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Wednesday, June 10, 1:30 p.m., Bridging the Gap, A Series Intentional Conversations: Session One - Speaker view
Charli Matthews
27:39
How about these women in leadership!
Jacquie Johnson
28:40
Hello Charli!
Charli Matthews
29:50
Hey! Excited to be here and learn!
Michele Coley
31:10
Welcome Charli
Rodney Pelt
32:14
Hello everyone.
Kenya Goodson
34:14
Can someone give a definition of community policing?
Veronica Taylor
37:25
I'd like the definition of community policing as well.
Michele Coley
39:10
We will get a definition of Community Policing
Nicole Pérez
39:38
What proactive/preventative training and mechanisms already exist in our police department? What are we hoping to add or improve locally?
Jamilah Cooper
40:45
I have a few questions for our Chief of Police. The first question is: Can you explain to us the protocol for dealing with an officer who is reported for misconduct; from the time the report is filed to the time the officer is disciplined or removed from the force?
John Weber
41:10
Well said, Chris/
Rodney Pelt
41:45
Well said Rep. England
Amanda Mulkey
42:39
What concrete steps are being taken right now by Tuscaloosa, Northport, and the County to evaluate areas in policing that must be changed and areas in which change should be made? How will the cities and county communicate this to the community?
Donna Foster
43:35
Hands down to Chris England!
Monica Scicolone
43:54
Will Mayor Maddox be signing the pledge to implement the suggested changes to address police use of force policies (“8cantwait”)? https://www.obama.org/mayor-pledge/
Nicole Pérez
44:30
What relationships exist between law enforcement and social services? Is it referral only, or are there consistent avenues to learn from each other and improve community weaknesses?
Mike Altman
44:36
Two questions for LEO: 1) Could the TPD and the Sheriff’s Dept. make their use of force guidelines and policies public?
Mike Altman
44:48
2) What do they think of the 8can’twait policies?
Tyshawn Gardner
45:23
I think we have to be clear that everyone has to be including in the conversation of what community policing means. It means funding for community organizations, investment in programs that reduce crime. What people want to see is that more violence and more incarceration should not be the first step or idea to reducing crime and dealing with minority communities. Community policing is and is more than getting out of your car speaking to people.
Mike Altman
46:05
What exactly are these meetings? With who? What organizations? How often?
Rodney Pelt
46:07
Spot on Dr. Tyshawn
Amanda Mulkey
46:10
Absolutely, Tyshawn!
Tiffany Hutchinson
46:28
Tyshawn I completely agree.
Mildred Black Hooks
46:38
This is a start. Pulling Chief in now
Torrance
46:52
For our police chief, sheriff and mayor. What is your assessment of the George Floyd arrest & murder as well as the procedure of arresting & charging the officers responsible?
Kathryn Drago
46:54
Where would a citizen go to find out the percentage of the budget spent at the city or county level on policing? And the breakdown for those expenditures?
Madeline
47:08
Can anyone in the police explain why there is not accessible public data about types of arrests, and demographics of who is arrested in Tuscaloosa? The lack of public facing data equates to a lack of accountability for the police
Shekitha White-Crowell
47:15
Well said Dr. Gardner. We don't need any more violence here in Tuscaloosa.
Tyshawn Gardner
48:02
Question? Will the Mayor, TPD, and the Sherrif accept the challenge proposed by President Obama to review policing policies. WE haven’t heard a lot about what we are going to do in light of Minneapolis (window tint stops?). Do we have choke hold prohibitions? Can we consider citizens review boards. What are the actions that will come out of the peaceful protest. That’s a good point Chief. Listen to the community.
Torrance
48:03
Could the Chamber pull our local District Attorney into this discussion?
Tiffany Hutchinson
48:05
How is TPD and the Sheriff's office getting feedback from the community. Are there public meetings?
Que Chandler
48:36
It would be nice to have a Virtual Townhall with the new police chief. There are many people who are not aware Chief Blakely has been appointed. Could we make this happen? We deserve a proper introduction.
Nicole Dugat
49:48
What are the specific avenues for community members to make their voices heard when it comes to community policing?
John Weber
50:07
Doesn’t trust one of the foundations of community policing? If so, isn’t transparency a key to trust?
Amanda Mulkey
50:26
What will the Cities and counties do about school resource officers? In my professional experience, children sometimes end up in situations where their adolescent behaviors and their trauma responses when they interact with SROs instead of school staff/counselors. This can sometimes set off a cascade of legal consequences that contributes to the child’s trauma and contributes to the school to prison pipeline.
Mildred Black Hooks
50:42
Nicole great question, and I believe that the forum is unfolding as we go. We do not have it in place now.
Donny Jones
50:45
This is from Charles Lane on Facebook: I think the important question is HOW are the police helping the community? Chris England put it best when he explained that something like a traffic stop should be specifically about a traffic violation, and not the assumption of criminal activity. Ron Abernathy, this meeting is only a stepping stone. HOW do we make change?
Mildred Black Hooks
51:19
I will voice that Donny and Charles Lane.
Shekitha White-Crowell
51:56
Very good points Bishop Smith.
Mike Altman
51:57
is a citizen review board one of the ideas the Sheriff or Chief have considered?
Pam Rogers
51:57
TRUST is built upon relationship
Tiffany Hutchinson
52:29
YES!!!
Rodney Pelt
52:31
Great question Mike…
Alexa Tullett
52:32
To Walt Maddox: given your point about the ineffectiveness of asking police to solve more systemic problems, have you given thought to the idea of decreasing investment in the police force and increasing investment housing, wellness resources, and community self-governance (e.g. https://www.8toabolition.com/, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/what-does-defund-police-mean.html)
Tyshawn Gardner
52:49
Great point Bishop Smith. Thank you.
Markedia Wells
52:59
Great question Mr. Altman!
Judith Taylor
53:08
I support a citizen review board that has access to a detailed report regarding the stops made across the community and the outcomes of those stops.
Tammi Holley
53:10
Great point!!!
Pam Rogers
53:23
That’s good, Bishop
Kathryn Drago
53:26
Great point! Could we hear about current policies on qualified immunity and how they might change if they need to?
Rodney Pelt
53:28
Well said Bishop Smith.
Donny Jones
53:37
From Ashley Denise on Facebook: A firm definition needs to be made about what community policing means. Some may interpret community policing to be the same as the Aubery Case.
tina turley
53:50
Thank you Bishop Smith
Amanda Mulkey
53:59
Yes, Bishop!
Shanté Morton
54:55
Yes!!
Nicole Pérez
55:35
What measures already exist? In other words, what is our starting point at a city and county level?
Derrick Wilder
55:51
Trust will not be in the community, when the community is not informed on what's going on
NSD Patrice Moore Smith
56:26
Partnership is Key to Building a Bridge
Donna Foster
58:09
What type of training does the Chief/Sheriff plan to provide to their departments to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community?
Rodney Pelt
58:14
So there is No community based oversight?
Madeline
58:17
Just last night in the city council meeting, Mayor Maddox defended allocating $150,000 for better weapons to the Tuscaloosa police (which was voted on June 2). In my view, this undermines much of what is being said by the mayor and those in the police about "listening" to the community. What can we do as a community to make sure that those in power are not just saying the right things about listening to the community, but are actually doing things to make substantive change?
Nicole Pérez
58:46
Can we hear from the school board and social services in this or future series? I'd like to understand their thoughts on these community policing initiatives, and how they work with law enforcement to ensure SUSTAINABLE change, especially as issues move between departments.
Veronica Taylor
59:03
Definitely needs to be community based oversight Rodney Pelt
Alexa Tullett
59:40
Good point Madeline
Torrance
59:55
If the oversight isn't non-restrictive and fully transparent it's insufficient.
Charli Matthews
59:56
Opening up these meetings like this to get feedback from community is a great start
Veronica Taylor
01:00:16
That's right
Rodney Pelt
01:00:33
Right
Judith Taylor
01:00:36
Yes, we do need these discussions to continue. We also need access to data about the crime in our city, the mental health crisis in our city, and the budgets that support our city.
Derrick Wilder
01:00:39
Yes but we need action
Gladys Hill
01:00:44
That is correct.
John Weber
01:00:49
Mayor Maddox, Are there any obstacles to making reports of disciplinary actions involving law enforcement officers public?
Kenya Goodson
01:00:58
You are right about that Mr. Mayor. We have to be consistent on our demands. A suggestion is to have meetings that people can attend. A lot of meetings in Tuscaloosa are during working hours. Maybe do more virtual meeting even after COVID-19.
Que Chandler
01:01:01
Thank you Chris.
Amanda Mulkey
01:01:08
What are the city and the county doing to (1)expand mental health services and (2) make those services more accessible for those who do not have transportation?
Rodney Pelt
01:01:13
I’m tired of talking. We demand ACTION.
Veronica Taylor
01:01:21
From Taylor Hardin to Bryce to the streets then potentially police encounters.
Matthew Wilson
01:02:19
I totally agree Amanda
Derrick Wilder
01:02:48
Right Rodney. All talk to soothe the problem
lowanda
01:03:09
Like to hear from Councilwoman Raevan Howard on what is happening on the Westside regarding community policing.
Veronica Taylor
01:03:16
Yes Mr. Dedrick
Adam Miller
01:03:26
Our community desperately needs RELIABLE, pervasive public transit. People who can't get to work reliably can't ever get out of poverty. Are plans being considered to improve public transit?
Rodney Pelt
01:03:28
Yes sir! Thank you Thomas.
Kathryn Drago
01:03:31
The state is not working for us. That is correct. And I feel your frustration with that, Mayor. But let's imagine the that we cannot change policy at the state level right away. Would it behoove us at the city/county level to shift some of our limited funding from policing to mental health or other social services?
Jenna Reardanz
01:03:32
Yes! Citizen reviews AND transparency is needed!
Judith Taylor
01:03:42
Totally agree that we need a citizen's board.
iPad
01:04:04
now that's good Sir
Donna Foster
01:04:29
Madeline brought up a great issue. 150,000K last night was approved for better weapons. Why not allocate that money for better training for officers, implict/explicit, mental health training, de-escalation techniques, etc. This training would be a better use of funding.
iPad
01:04:48
Tuscaloosa economic diversity needs to be addressed
Amanda Mulkey
01:04:48
A citizen review board must have some actual authority, though, to subpoena records and to have actual input and impact - not just to “have a say”
Adam Miller
01:05:05
Agree with Donna & Amanda.
Kathryn Drago
01:05:11
Yes, great point Donna and Madeline.
Madeline
01:05:23
Donna -- I appreciate what you're saying, but I think that money would be much better spent *not* on more or "better" policing, but investing in the community -- mental health support, public schools, etc
Judith Taylor
01:06:40
Yes, we need access to the data and the authority to demand transparency.
Diana Privett
01:06:43
All these problem start at home & church. We (the entire country) need to turn to God.
Stephen Dethrage
01:06:50
I understand that there are legal obstacles to openly discussing personnel matters, ongoing investigations and more, but what is being done to ensure that even after the outrage of a particular incident dies down, the public is informed of its outcome? I'm thinking specifically of the "viral" TPD arrest video of April 2019. We were told Chief Anderson was disgusted, that an investigation was underway and eventually that a settlement was reached with the woman in the video, but was the fate of the two officers involved ever publicly released? If not, why?
Matthew Wilson
01:07:43
Great Point Stephen Dethrage
Nicole Pérez
01:07:51
Agree Stephen. Still hoping to hear from Chief Blankley and Sheriff Abernathy on what transparency and training already exist in our law enforcement system. We have incredible law enforcement officials, but what is the process for problematic behavior?
Veronica Taylor
01:07:57
Great question Stephen. What happened to those officers?
Donny Jones
01:09:12
From Stephanie Buffaloe on Facebook: How do we ensure that corrupt officers who have been written up multiple times are Never allowed to do what was done in Minneapolis? On the flip side, how do we protect good police officers such as Dornell Cousette?
Derrick Wilder
01:09:41
For one way to build a bridge. To recruit people for the police dept.Put up billboard with African American Officers on them.We have a Olympic medalist and a female but her face isn't even used to recruit
Joe Scrivner
01:09:44
How many police officers on the TPD? What’s the racial breakdown of those officers?
Kenya Goodson
01:10:22
People are at work or leaving work at 4p....smh
Amanda Mulkey
01:10:22
Can these meetings be opened to virtual participation?
Judith Taylor
01:10:22
The meetings are taped and available online.
Michele Coley
01:10:38
According to 2018 annual report 288 212 White male 52 black males 3 other only 21 women
Veronica Taylor
01:11:32
Thanks Michele...the number of minorities definitely needs to improve.
Jade
01:11:37
Thank you, Michele. That is very eye-opening.
Gladys Hill
01:11:56
There should be individuals recruited for the police department who are required to have some college education and training in human behavior. Better qualified pool will then warrant better pay and better quality of policing.
Amanda Mulkey
01:11:57
How many TPD officers are residents of the city and how many are non-residents? Of the ones that are residents, how many are assigned to the area in which they live?
Tiffany Hutchinson
01:12:15
I'm curious when the public safety meetings are scheduled for the Sheriff's office and Northport PD
Markedia Wells
01:12:30
These committees, meetings ect need to be accessible. Is there a process or list of such meetings? How can we apply or seek appointment for committees?
Diana Privett
01:12:35
When you attend these meetings, go with an open mind. And, really listen to when the police speak . Get to know their point of view too!
Judith Taylor
01:12:59
Attracting better qualified or educated police candidates is very difficult given what we pay our officers.
Derrick Wilder
01:13:18
A lot of people are at work during this meeting
Rodney Pelt
01:13:48
I think this whole thing is bigger that “tint”.
Joe Scrivner
01:14:02
Thank you. 212 out of 288 is almost 74%.
Donny Jones
01:14:11
From WIllie Williams on Facebook: Could either of the law enforcement official weigh in on “criminal profiling” vs. “racial profiling” practices in our communities... are they the same in practice? Is there a need to differentiate between the two?
Adam Miller
01:14:30
YES
Mildred Black Hooks
01:14:36
@donny 10-4
Rodney Pelt
01:15:14
That tint law will lead to profiling. I don’t want my community to be profiled.
Derrick Wilder
01:15:17
Yes Michelle Yes👏👏
Judith Taylor
01:15:18
Chief promised to make tint stop data available to the public at a meeting last week. We need to monitor how reports are shared.
Mike Altman
01:15:32
can he also clarify his statements that enforcing the tint law was meant to get into cars
Mildred Black Hooks
01:16:50
I am hearing a resounding concern for access to data, transparency, and community review. I also hear you saying that the timing of the public safety committee might be a barrier to participation.
Veronica Taylor
01:17:12
Mike Altman "get into cars" definitely needs to be addressed.
Kenya Goodson
01:17:39
I wonder if the salary is an issue to hire police?
Mildred Black Hooks
01:17:46
Diverse police workforce, training on diversity and unconscious bias.
Gladys Hill
01:17:47
Recruitment is hard because minorities do not trust the system. Culture is hard to change. How do we do that?
Que Chandler
01:18:09
OF course it is Kenya
Derrick Wilder
01:18:14
Agree Gladys Hill
Mike Altman
01:18:17
because of the history of American policing, 1/3 of black men have a felony conviction in America, so of course its hard to recruit them
Joe Scrivner
01:18:29
What is the starting salary for a police officer?
Judith Taylor
01:18:33
Hard to recruit new employees for a job that pays less than $39,000 a year and is a dangerous job.
Matthew Wilson
01:18:34
You are right Gladys
Brandy Snipes
01:18:46
Recruiting should start in high school
Kathryn Drago
01:19:04
And the job is also harder because police are dealing with issues that social workers or mental health providers should be doing. That's a great reason to push for community-based safety funding.
Kenya Goodson
01:19:06
Folks will do a better job and they will apply for a job if their salary reflects the difficulty of the position.
Amanda Mulkey
01:19:30
Does TPD , NPD, or the County use any training materials developed by Dave Grossman or anything based on those ideas? I.e. - Killology or Bulletproof Policing or Bulletproof Mind
Brandy Snipes
01:19:34
Most city employees (PD and FF) do it for the love of the job, not the paycheck.
Judith Taylor
01:19:36
Is there a plan for the city to provide ongoing educational benefits for police officers?
Madeline
01:19:43
Recruiting should *not* start in high school -- recruiting for police (and the military) targets low-income students who might feel that here is a job that gives them some financial security. Get police out of schools.
Rodney Pelt
01:19:49
It’s hard to work for who you don’t trust. I’ve tried to channel many of my students/mentees to apply but they refuse. Trust is a huge factor.
Mildred Black Hooks
01:20:06
Trust
Mildred Black Hooks
01:20:08
I hear you
Veronica Taylor
01:20:34
We understand officer safety but as of late and often the citizens feel the need for safety...what incidents have happened as of lately that the officers have this FEAR?
Kenya Goodson
01:20:51
I understand what you are saying Brandy, but folks are not applying. Officers should get paid even if they love it.
Derrick Wilder
01:21:00
Who wants to work for anyone with a bad reputation
Gladys Hill
01:21:27
If you do not need nothing but a high school education to get on the police force, than salaries are going to be low. Yes, even police officers want to be valued for the dangerous work that they do, so salary is a factor in recruitment.
Brandy Snipes
01:21:30
High school students need to know there are options other than college when they graduate. As an HR Manager, I can tell you how difficult it is to find employees who want a trade, not a degree.
Emily
01:21:43
is there research that shows that window tint has any effect on officer safety?
Adam Miller
01:21:54
So let's spend more on salaries and less on guns and other military-style equipment.
Derrick Wilder
01:22:17
I agree Adam
Brandy Snipes
01:22:20
Married to a FF, Kenya, so I totally agree. He puts his life on the line every time he is at work. But he did not choose it for the pay, is all I am saying.
Que Chandler
01:22:21
Very nice Adam.
Veronica Taylor
01:22:27
Exactly Emily because if not it still seems like profiling
Kenya Goodson
01:22:48
I got you, sis Brandy! I appreciate his service!
Brandy Snipes
01:23:07
Thank you!! They are all so appreciated...
Heather.Mills@RaymondJames.com
01:23:12
Thank you for facilitating this, it is a great platform for discussion.
Charli Matthews
01:23:18
Thank you for putting this together!
Amanda Mulkey
01:23:26
Thank you for this forum!
Tennyson Smith
01:23:27
I know we are speaking on education, policing, and a better Tuscaloosa. The policing is the reaction to a greater problem. It begins with education on the front end. Prior to the three high schools, the TCS was thriving and one of the largest schools in Alabama. I am not a native of Tuscaloosa, but I watched the fall of the education system with the split of the three schools. The neighborhood schools work for some, but it is my belief, if you create a diverse school system, it could potentially help the students who feel hopeless. If we are sincere about Tuscaloosa thriving, how can we create a school system that can help economic development?
Brandy Snipes
01:23:31
Yes, thank you for this!
Rodney Pelt
01:23:38
Thank you’ll for entertaining these difficult conversations.
Gladys Hill
01:23:38
Thank you for having this conversation.
Judith Taylor
01:23:41
Yes, this should be a good career opportunity not a job that is viewed as a job for someone who can't find a job anywhere else. Our police officers should be valued city employees and be paid and have benefits that demonstrate how they are valued. But they must be the good guys.
Mike Altman
01:23:43
Thank you all for this!
Mike Altman
01:23:53
very smart people in this chat
Naytalia
01:23:54
What is the Police Departments policy on use of force?
Sam Crawford
01:23:56
I've taken and passed the physical exam and passed the written exam and and was put in place to advance to the next steps of employment this after my background and everything came back clean...there was no attempt to contact me afterwards
Ellen Potts
01:23:57
Thank you so much for putting this conversation together!
Matthew Wilson
01:24:15
great point Tennyson. And thank all of you for a great conve
Matthew Wilson
01:24:20
Conversation
Kenya Goodson
01:24:28
Great discussion!
Rebecca Minder
01:24:37
Would be great to see a follow-up on some of the questions and having them answered for the community
Nicole Dugat
01:24:39
Thank you for organizing this
Judith Taylor
01:25:31
Thank you to the organizers and participants.
Que Chandler
01:25:43
Despite possession and use of marijuana, black people in Alabama are 4.1 times higher than their white counterparts to be arrested.
Mildred Black Hooks
01:25:49
Budgeting, oversight, trust, transparency
Nicole Dugat
01:25:55
As far as answering questions, I might recommend answering them in a document that gets emailed to everyone who was involved since many folks have asked questions that others also would like to hear the answers for
Veronica Taylor
01:25:57
Have a great rest of your day everyone.
Rodney Pelt
01:25:58
Let’s all continue to be PRO-active.
Joe Scrivner
01:25:59
Thanks, everyone. All the best.
Pam Rogers
01:26:07
This was good. Thank you all
Mildred Black Hooks
01:26:10
I
Tennyson Smith
01:26:19
This was a great conversation all.
Mildred Black Hooks
01:26:25
Guys, I will get the questions captured as well.
Rebecca Minder
01:26:33
Thank you so much for coordinating this conversation Let’s keep it going!
Mike Daria
01:26:40
Thank you all.
Mildred Black Hooks
01:26:47
Thanks guys. One of many.
Jamilah Cooper
01:26:50
This question is for the Chief and Rep. England. In a situation like the one with George Floyd, what punishment (or protections) could a regular civilian or first responder receive for trying to intervene and help a victim of police brutality? I ask because I feel there should be laws that allow us to participate in our own policing. I have already drawn up a petition and would like to know the likelihood of laws being created to protect those of us who would do more than take video of incidents of police violence.