Friday, October 18, 2013

(Around) 100 days in: Chief Hamner updates Council on Police Reform Efforts

On October 16, Chief Hamner reported to City Council on BIPD reform efforts, and his personal goals for the department. The written report is full of confounding detail--what one would expect following dozens and dozens of LEMAP and Pendleton report recommendations--but his verbal presentation was short and clear. The Chief wants friendly, service-orientated policing, he wants better mental health response (related article here), and he's putting a high premium on officer training and evaluation. He also wants to report quarterly, to Council, about BIPD operations. He's amenable to a civilian police commission that plays a role in the complaint process, but only after officers are trained in new policies and procedures.

What the chief did not say to council, but did tell the Civil Service Commission last week, is that he likes Criminal Justice Training Commission executive director Sue Rahr's distinction between "warrior" cops and "guardians," and the CJTC's new interest in producing the latter. The possibility was raised, with the Commission, that we could actually seek out "guardian" types during the officer interview process.

On Summer of 2012, an ICP citizen's committee recommended seven steps to improve BIPD/community relations: (1) a public commitment, by the BIPD, to a more collaborative, community-oriented style of policing, (2) clear department goals and objectives in a strategic plan, (3) crisis intervention training and the establishment of crisis intervention personnel, (4) regular reporting to city council on policing issues, (5) civilian oversight, (6) improved youth/officer relations and (7) more bike and foot patrol.

Glad that we're all in agreement.