Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has assembled a committee to help enhance the relationship between the police department and the community.
The committee will consist of 19 individuals, including Councilwoman Thelda Williams and Councilman Carlos Garcia, as well as former police, activists, and healthcare professionals.
Former director of the Human Services Division of the Phoenix Police Department, Reverend Gerald Richard knows what it is like to connect the police department with the community.
“This is incredible what they are doing in Phoenix right now,” he said. “What I like about this, you’re bringing a whole family together to say we need to have a solution.”
The committee was created in response to a video that went viral across social media. The Phoenix PD were accusing an African American family of shoplifting a doll and some underwear. The officers pulled their firearms and aimed them at a pregnant woman and her children, who were all unarmed.
Action was demanded across the community and country to stop incidents similar to this, which is why Mayor Gallego has put forth this committee.
“This is now the fourth time that I personally have been involved in this,” said human rights attorney, Diane Post. “I am a little short on hope. I do hope that it works, but I wish they would take a broader look.”
The committee’s job will be to analyze community feedback, review social media, conduct surveys, look at previous reports, and monitor training at the Phoenix Police Academy.
The committee is due to begin its work at the end of this month and present their recommendations in June of 2020.
Click here to read Mayor Gallego’s memo on the committee.