DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– After Dayton Police said the officers involved in the Clifford Owensby case didn’t violate department policies, Mayor Jeffrey Mims said one of his top agenda items for 2022 is police reform.
“How do we create the best set of opportunities for trust among citizens as well as police,” said Mims.
Opportunities to gain trust is key in achieving police reform, but Mayor Mims argues trust goes both ways.
“Both parties need to be calm, responsive and respectful to each other and put us in a better situation where the anger piece doesn’t dominate in terms of those relationships and interactions,” said Mims.
When Mims served as a city commissioner, he was the city’s Use of Force Committee lead and said an important tool in police reform is teaching de-escalation techniques to the public and officers involved. Tools that Mims said would’ve played a huge role in Clifford Owensby‘s arrest in 2020.
“De-escalation is what we’ve seen as primarily the foundational piece to some of the things that’s happening that we’re not happy with in regards to situations with police,” said Mims.
Owensby is a paraplegic man that was dragged from his vehicle by his hair during a traffic stop by police last October. Since then, Owensby has filed several lawsuits claiming the officers violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and more. Mayor Mims said including ADA policies within law enforcement agencies will help heal community relationships.
“Making sure there is respect and responsiveness relative to those situations, those citizens as well deserve dignity and respect in terms of their treatment,” said Mims.
On Tuesday, Dayton Police announced they will be hiring a new position that will be overlooking department compliance within ADA policies and more. 2 NEWS reached out to Owensby’s legal representation for a comment and is waiting to hear back.