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New Eau Claire positions to foster inclusivity in proposed 2021 budget

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - As the dialogue concerning social justice continues throughout the country, Eau Claire city officials are striving to promote a safe and inclusive community by proposing two new positions.

Proposed in the 2021 operating budget are the equity, diversity and inclusion coordinator and the police co-response coordinator.

The first position would work in the city manager's office, developing relationships with key stakeholders, community groups and external diversity organizations to promote social justice.

The second position would replace a vacant detective position at the Eau Claire Police Department.

That person would respond to emergency calls, especially those concerning people with mental health issues. The employee would also collaborate with area social workers on how to provide crisis intervention and short-term counseling to community members.

"I think it will be a very strong step forward with both creating a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion and also responding to certain instances that require a softer, more inclusive lens as opposed to just a purely law enforcement lens," said interim Eau Claire City Manager David Solberg.

Hourly wages for the police co-response coordinator could start at $29 an hour and $35 an hour for the EDI coordinator.

Solberg said if the proposed budget passes in November, the hiring process could begin as early as January.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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