Four years ago, Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice began work in Milton.
2016 was the same year that Police Chief John King was promoted to lead the roughly 55-person department.
Since then, the grassroots Courageous Conversations have held more than 50 events aimed at initiating change through frank community discussions about race in Milton.
During that same period, King has focused on keeping the department on the leading edge of efforts to provide fair and effective policing that treats all people equally.
These two key players met on July 29 in an online community forum about police and race relations. According to the organizers, about 75 people listened in to the remote discussion.
In a time of heightened race relations since the death of a Black man, George Floyd, by white police officers in Minneapolis, King was called to talk about his department’s progress, its record of hiring minorities, and other issues.
King also promised to continue to seek an answer as to why the department’s own data revealed that 48 percent of the department’s arrests over the past four years were of African-Americans, when only about 15 to 20 percent of the town’s population is Black.
(A much more in depth story appeared in the Milton Times issue of Aug. 6 in print and in the subscription-only e-edition.)