Dayton City Commission announces police reform process

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton City Commission announced five focus areas related to police reform in Dayton back on June 3. Thursday, officials released a structure they say will drive real policy change and enable changes to be shaped by citizens whose lives they impact the most.

Five working groups will work with each of the five police reform areas, co-led by a City Commissioner and community leader. These working groups are as follows:

  1. Oversight: Increase transparency in the process to report suspected police misconduct and strengthen the Citizen Appeal Board made up of community members. Co-leads: Commissioner Matt Joseph and Montgomery County Recorder Brandon McClain
  2. Use-of-force: Assess all recent incidences in which force was used by Dayton police to look for patterns and biases, which will inform a review of use of force policies. Co-leads: Commissioner Jeffrey J. Mims, Jr. and Willis Blackshear, Jr.
  3. Training: Continue implicit bias and de-escalation training for all Dayton police officers. Co-leads: Commissioner Darryl Fairchild and Stacy Benson-Taylor
  4. Recruitment & Promotion: Review police recruitment, oversight, and selection processes to better identify any potential issues in new officers and increase diversity in the force. Co-leads: Mayor Nan Whaley and Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gerald Parker
  5. Engagement: Continue to deepen community engagement by rank and file officers to strengthen relationships with the people they serve and protect. ​​​Co-leads: Commissioner Chris Shaw and Shannon Isom

These working groups will be comprised of community members, the Dayton Police Department, members of the Community Police Council, and people with expertise in the criminal justice system. The groups will be supported by city staff, University of Dayton law enforcement, and staff from the Dayton Mediation Center.

Members of the working groups will be announced next week.

“Since the protests over George Floyd’s murder began, Daytonians have shown incredible passion and thoughtfulness about rooting out systemic racism in our community and in our police force,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “We are looking forward to creating the opportunity for Daytonians to work alongside Dayton Police to shape policy for the Police Department that serves them. Policing affects all communities, but with the focus on racism and policing, we are working to ensure that black Daytonians are front and center in this conversation. We appreciate the many community leaders who have already reached out with their interest doing this work and the commitment Dayton Police have made to engaging as well.”

City officials say the groups will evaluate best practices, engage the broader community, and make policy recommendations that will be evaluated by the Dayton City Commission and city administration.

The majority of this process is expected to occur over 6 to 9 months, though some policy changes will likely be enacted sooner.

Regular report-outs on these groups will be shared publicly on social media and at daytonohio.gov/policereform.

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