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Ohio Mayors Alliance forming network to assess, share police reform policies

Mayors Alliance
Ohio Mayors Alliance
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 17, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Mayors Alliance is forming a “Police Reform Support Network” to help cities across the state assess, share and support best practices to address racial bias and improve community-police relations.

"Backed by a powerful national outcry, mayors across the country now have increased leverage to create meaningful change to policing practices. We have a duty to listen and be responsive to our citizens and also consider thoughtful reform recommendations and best practices from reputable sources. Now is the time to process these ideas and turn them into collective action,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, who was joined by Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, and Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown.

The joint effort between Ohio’s cities with state agencies aims to align efforts and better integrate the work of the Ohio Collaborative on Community-Police Reforms while bringing other community partners to the table, according to a news release from the alliance.

“This network is intended to help cities do the difficult work of implementation,” said Ginther. “It will draw on best practices and research from around the country to help mayors, city councils, and police departments understand what needs to be done to address the very real challenges of racial bias and the need to reform policing practices in communities across Ohio.”

According to the release, the support network will:

1) assess police reform policies in Ohio cities and nationally;

2) share best practices and policy standards within Ohio cities; and

3) support local implementation by helping to navigate barriers to reform and bringing in resources to implement. It will start by focusing on limits on use of force, expanding body cameras, improving oversight, strengthening accountability, improving training and recruitment, and rethinking public safety more broadly.

“Cities and local police departments can’t solve these problems alone,” said Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown. “We need external support to help break down some of these barriers to reform that have existed for far too long.”

The network will also look at systemic challenges to criminal justice and social service reforms while helping local leaders “think more broadly about community safety,” the release states.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said "true, sustainable change" goes beyond one city or the action of one mayor.

"The network we are forming will give cities the additional support to assess and implement those much needed changes," Horrigan said.