On Friday afternoon, USC sent an email announcing the official formation and outlining the goals of the Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board (CAB). This comes on the tail of Annenberg Media’s story, uncovering a years-long pattern of racial profiling and discrimination at the hands of DPS.
The email, from the co-chairs of the CAB, Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro and Dr. Erroll Southers, outlines the action steps, scope, governance, and communication plan for this board. They stress not only formation of solutions to long-standing problems of discrimination, but ensuring those solutions are implemented.
“We must develop responses that are specific and measurable, and that people will be held accountable for implementing,” writes the email.
The CAB leadership has developed a two-step process for creating and implementing DPS reform. Over the past two weeks, they have convened for a series of eight Pilot Conversations, where they met with community members and stakeholders to think about how the CAB can best go about engaging with issues of public safety and discrimination. They plan to take the findings of these meetings into their Co-Design Public Safety Sessions, which will begin next semester. These sessions will provide a forum for students and community members an opportunity to voice their experiences involving DPS and policing at USC.
According to the email, the board plans to issue recommendations to the administration by the end of the Spring semester.
The CAB was originally formed in 2015, by then-Provost Michael Quick, with the intention of eliminating racial profiling in DPS policing practice. This board only ever met twice in the 2016-2017 school year and no actionable items came out of these meetings, according to Annenberg Media’s recent report. Since 2017, the CAB has been effectively defunct.
The CAB was re-formed in a June 11 email from USC President Carol Folt, where she outlined a series of actions in response to killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor meant to combat racism and promote equal opportunity at USC. President Folt officially named 19 members to the board in August of this year.