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The Bakersfield Monitoring Team, a third-party group tasked with ensuring the Bakersfield Police Department meets the terms of a stipulated judgment entered with the California Department of Justice, held its first online community listening session Thursday as is required by the judgment.

The BPD entered into a stipulated judgment in August 2021 after a four-year investigation by the state. A stipulated judgment allows the police to avoid legal fault, but must reform policies such as use of force, stop, searches and seizures, supervision practices, providing mental health resources, expanded language access, community policing and others.

Debra Kirby, part of the monitoring team, posed four questions to the small group of residents at a Zoom meeting held so people could voice their experiences with the police. These responses were gathered to aid the monitoring team in their five-year reform effort with the BPD, Kirby said.

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