DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On June 3, the Dayton City Commission announced five focus areas related to police reforms in Dayton. Today, the Commission is announcing the structure to drive real policy change and enable these changes to be shaped by the citizens whose lives they impact most.
Five working groups will address each of the five police reform areas. Each working group will be co-led by a City Commissioner and community leader. The working groups and co-leads are:
- 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.
- 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.
- Training: Continue implicit bias and de-escalation trainings for all Dayton police officers. Co-leads: Commissioner Darryl Fairchild and Stacy Benson-Taylor.
- Recruitment and 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.
- 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.
Working groups will be made up of community members, the Dayton Police Department, members of the Community Police Council and people with expertise in the criminal justice system.
“For us to have a discussion about improving the quality of our police force without including the police makes virtually no sense whatsoever,” said Dayton City Commissioner, Jeffrey Mims Jr.
Mims said the committees are diverse and each member is asked to provide their unique perspectives.
“This isn’t something that we’re doing to police officers and it’s not something that we’re doing to the citizens,” said Mims. “This is something that we’re doing together and we have a united front as we move to carry out those functions.”
Commissioners said the City of Dayton hasn’t had some of the problems they’ve seen other places, but there is a lack of transparency and trust between the urban communities and police department.
So their biggest effort will be to increase the comfort level between them.
City Commissioner Christopher Shaw is co-leading the community engagement group. He said they’re going to take a deep dive into what resources could help create trust and transparency between urban communities and police officers.
“What are the possibilities of including a mental health professional or social worker on some of these calls,?” said Shaw. “We’re going to take a close look at best practices around the country regarding police engagement.”
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