DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After introducing a long list of recommendations earlier this month, the work to bring reforms to the Dayton Police Department continues.
The Police Reform Implementation Committee met for the first time Wednesday night.
Over the next few months, the job of this group will be to make sure progress is made to implement the reforms as they were intended by the working groups that created them.
“We can do it better in Dayton and I see it as a way for us to be a national best practice,” Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said.
The members of the Implementation Committee will provide input over the next few months as the police reform recommendations are set into motion.
“We’re not talking at one another, we’re working at the same table on some of the really tough issues, and I’m really hopeful that in the end, that’s what’s going to make a difference,’ Dickstein said.
The 142 recomendations include improving oversight, training, recruitment and other practices within the Dayton Police Department.
So far, five have been completed, including the police recruiting budget and a few changes to use of force policies.
Several are in progress, like police body cameras for officers and a comprehensive use of force policy to be released yearly.
“Policing is at a crossroads right now,” Dickstein said. “It’s incredibly difficult to be a police officer and it’s incredibly difficult if you are a member of our Black and brown communities because they in large don’t feel a great deal of safety from our public safety forces.”
Some of the changes will be quick to implement, and others will take time.
Dickstien said she believes the reform with the biggest impact will be the recommendation to provide an alternative response in situations where mental health or other professionals may be better suited.
“That’s probably a year-long process because of the moving parts and all the people we have to have at the table,” Dickstein said.
Dickstein said she expects that by the group’s six month mark in November, a good portion of the recommendations will be completed or underway.