Seven Bloomington residents—including several downtown and west-side leaders—have been picked for a new civilian board to advise the police chief.
The Bloomington City Council is expected to vote Oct. 23 on the first appointments to the Public Safety and Community Relations Board. The appointees chosen from 66 applicants are:
- Robert Bosquez, serves with the West Bloomington Revitalization Project
- Sally Rudolph, decades of public service in many roles including planning bodies and the McLean County League of Women Voters
- Jeff Woodard, director of marketing and community relations at the McLean County Museum of History
- Arthur Taylor, longtime civil rights activist
- Jan Lancaster, owner of the Bistro in downtown Bloomington and a staunch ally of gay rights
- William Bennett, City of Refuge Ministries pastor
- Surena Fish, retired Wood Street resident who was active in recent years in a neighborhood campaign to stop disruptions at a business near Miller Park
“The city would like to wholeheartedly thank all of those who expressed interest in applying to serve in this capacity,” said city spokesperson Nora Dukowitz. “With 66 applications received, it was a challenging selection process. All applications will be kept on file for 24 months in case a vacancy should arise.”
The board’s creation in July capped a months-long lobbying effort by local organizations such as Black Lives Matter. That came in response to growing tensions in Bloomington between police and many members of the minority community, some of which were documented in a May report. Not In Our Town, YWCA McLean County, and the ACLU of Illinois joined Black Lives Matter in advocating for the board.
The mayoral appointees will advise the police chief and help settle disputes over complaints against Bloomington officers.
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