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Committee to redesign Waterloo Police insignia convenes for first meeting
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Committee to redesign Waterloo Police insignia convenes for first meeting

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WATERLOO — Waterloo officials hope Wednesday’s kickoff meeting for rebranding the Waterloo Police logo will be the start of a cooperative journey between residents.

The committee, composed of 12 voting members and four nonvoting members, met on video platform Zoom. The group was formed after a City Council meeting drew varied feelings about the logo, a red griffin with a green eye on a gold background that was adopted in 1964. Some community members said the griffin resembled a Ku Klux Klan dragon, while police said the logo is a tradition that symbolizes vigilance.

“This has been a very heated conversation for very good reasons,” Mayor Quentin Hart said Wednesday. “I want all of you to be the example of how to work together to achieve a goal.”

Members on Wednesday shared words they associate with the current police insignia and then discussed values they thought described an ideal relationship between police and residents.

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The current logo elicited words like “aggressive,” “history,” “fear” and “courage” from committee members. Committee members said an ideal relationship between community members and police includes the words “respect,” “service,” “essential” and “support.”

The words are among many discussed that will be provided to designers for public submissions, said committee member Tavis Hall, executive director of Experience Waterloo.

The voting members include police department employees, local artists, activists and residents from various professional backgrounds, including former Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley. Nonvoting members include at-large Council members Sharon Juon and Dave Boesen, along with two local students. “I kind of think we’re all on the same team here,” said Major Joe Leibold of the Waterloo Police Department.

The group will discuss potential color scheme, wording and replacement costs for the insignia at its next meeting. It will then ask for public submissions of redesigned logos. The committee will first consider redesigns that include a reference to a griffin, and will then consider other designs. Submissions will be accepted through the end of 2020.

“This in itself is a beautiful start to bridging the gaps between the relationships between law enforcement and the community,” activist and committee member Jamie Sallis said. “I believe we’re making history as we speak.”

The committee must submit financial recommendations to the City Council in February, and will provide its final recommendations in June. The committee plans to meet again at 3 p.m. Nov. 4 on Zoom. Members of the public can provide comments to the email address comments@waterloo-ia.org.

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