Dear Town of Jackson Constituents-
It has been a busy week, among many busy weeks. On Tuesday, a reporter noticed that our Town Police Department posted an offensive joke to its police blotter. The content mentioned sex with a minor in a humorous tone, irreverently joking about it. Being flippant about any crime, but especially assault of a minor, does not align with the Town of Jackson’s values.
Assault is not something to joke about. The Town of Jackson knows that. The statement might not have been intended to offend, but intent, in this case, is not as important as impact. We know that words matter, and that victims of assault deal with outsized impacts every day. I have learned that someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, that every single day more than 570 people experience sexual violence in this country.
The Town of Jackson and its staff want to be a part of the solution. We are starting to see how systemic these issues are, and even before this incident, the Town was in discussion with the Jackson
Hole Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collective about leading dialogues and trainings. We intend to work with this local group and professional diversity and inclusion consultants, to help our entire town team understand systemic issues of bias and privilege and the cultural constructs that perpetuate them.
This will not be a one-off training but a continuous series that everyone on town staff, including the Police Department, will participate in. Among many other topics, it will focus on gender equity and parity. Large strides have been made toward gender equity in the workplace, but women in Wyoming still make only .71 cents for every dollar that men do. We need to have real conversations about the value we place on women in our community and ways we can be more equitable. We are looking forward to starting dialogues and trainings for staff in the late fall.
We are not perfect, and we know we have a lot of growing and learning to do. Thank you for your time and commitment to keeping Jackson the best place and community it can be.
Your Town Manager,