County Council Listening Tour Re. County’s Criminal Justice System

Upcoming Sessions 

All meetings start at 7 p.m.

May 1 — County Council Chambers

May 15 — Sudden Valley Dance Barn

May 29 — Ferndale Library

June 12 — Fairhaven Middle School

June 26 — East Whatcom County Regional Resource Center, Maple Falls

The Whatcom County Council’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is running a listening tour at locations throughout the county, to provide citizens from every corner of Whatcom County with the opportunity to share information, input, and ideas for improving Whatcom County’s criminal justice system.

A major question to be answered is who should be in jail, said county council member Barry Buchanan, who chairs the committee.

“We in our community need to decide who should be in jail, who should be in treatment, or who should be in some type of monitoring program,” he said. “This is a tough question, and we’re hoping to get input and then go on to the needs assessment stage.”

Many comments at early sessions had to do with finding alternatives to jail for pre-trial detainees, Buchanan said. Other comments have to do with the proposed new jail location near Ferndale, and the linked issues of cost and size.

Along with Buchanan, County Council members Tyler Byrd and Satpal Sidhu serve on the committee.