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tv   Keeping Cities Safe Discussion  CSPAN  April 16, 2018 9:41am-1:11pm EDT

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watch landmark cases tonight and join the conversation. our hash tag is landmark cases and follow us on c-span and we have resources, and the companion book. a link to the national constitution center's interactive constitution and the landmark cases podcast at c-span.org/landmark cases. >> next, a look at public safety issues facing cities across the country. among the topics, gun violence, school safety, and the opioid epidemic hosted by the u.s. conference of mayors, this is just over three hours. >> thank you, mayor kranly. i am steve benjamin and i am so glad to see so many of our mayors and the chief of lease
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and the fantastic partners with us here today as we address these issues, some that we've been addressing for far too long. we're dising critical issues for our cities and for our great country and obviously, we're around the table because we know we have to work together on these solutions now and in the future. this session that we're about to begin deals with the initial tremendous concern to all of us, the safety of our schools and our children. i do remember being three months on the job, the director of the probation and pardon services disqualified my weapon in 1999 and i know exactly where i was as many of you do as well, in april 1999 when the columbine shootings first occurred. i remember thinking at that time
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what a horrific event and praying that it would would be an outliar in american culture. regrettably, that's not been the case over last two decades and 12 killed and students and teacher and 23 more winded before the youngmen turned the guns on themselves. as the first major school shooting, columbine was viewed as the defining moment in this country, an incident that has prompted the congress to act on the free flow of weapons in american society and that, of course, did not happen and in regard to how much data we present, how many narratives and painful stories we share, congress still fails to act. there have been numerous school shootings since then and we have discussed virginia tech, sandy being hoo, marjory stoneman douglas high, every day i engage with my children ages 13 and 10,
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and all their beautiful little friends and see the fear on their faces at times when they talk about the challenges of going to school and just not knowing what waits for them that day, and i know that for parents and grandparents and just those of us who just love all children that that can be paralyzing to us. those of us as approximately see makers, we recognize that we need to understand the issue, but more importantly, we need to act even when congress fails to act or state governments fail to act or some states as they threaten us with laws that seek to jail us for acting, we need to have the courage to still act. that's our responsibility. i know the mayors talk more than police chiefs do because police chiefs just act. you get the job done, but i will tell you that just as i interact with my chief, skip holbrooke
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and kelly, we need to hear from you every time i have a conversation with him or some of his colleagues here in this room, when i have the opportunity to interface, i learn something new. it arms me from my perspective with something else so that we can do to try to make our communities safer. so we want to make sure we force a good, strong dialogue here. we cannot expect our children to learn if they're too afraid to go to school. schools must be safe and nurturing environments and arming teachers are not the answer. >> we do know more schools will help them identify students who may have problems or get them the help that they need by helping the mental health counts lous, psychologists and social workers. they must have available, trained resource officer relationships and be there to help dif fouz potentially vealent information or respond
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to them as it happened just a few miles away from here saying st. mary's county maryland. there are a few issues that we keep in mind. when actions should we be taking to keep our children safe particularly while they're at school? what are the appropriate levels of protection in our schools and it's okay to be at 20,000 feet and it's okay to be at five inches if you've got on the ground solutions and some things that you piloted and ideas you have, and let's put them on the table. how should we plan to respond to emergencies in our schools and what special roles can mayors play as leaders of the individual cities to help enhance school safety. we have with us several people who will provide insight into this topic. mike castly is executive director of the counselor of the great city schools and longtime partner of the conference of mayors. mack hardy is the director of operations for the national association of school resource officers, and retired school
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resource officer himself the conference connects with nasro after sandy hook and we've been working together ever since. in addition we'll hear from west palm beach mayor geraldine grillo, and i gave it a shot, mayor. pretty good? >> very good. >> sixth grade spelling bee champion, just so you know. and police chief sarah mooney about their city's approach and efforts to keeping schools safe. as we say in the church, protocol has been established and i will allow you to go this that order without interrupting you and let's keep some time so we can have good, hard and fast q and a once we're done. >> thank you very much, mr. mayor. i'm mike castly and i'm the executive director of the great city schools which is the coalition of 70 of the largest urban public school systems. my board of directors is on the superintendent and the president of the board of education of
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each one of those major city school districts. i will be brief because i know everybody wants to have a broader discussion about school safety. before i begin, however, i would like to make one additional, tactical remark on the kfr conversation that we just had and i completely agree with the observations that we made about the role of social media and i agree with the observations that were made about the issues of race and how that informs school violence and the like. one of the initial questions was what made the park rand situati different and what galvanized those kids to speak out in the way that they did. it's a small thing, probably, to be sure, but one of the things that that school system does, this is the broward county school district where stoneman douglas high school is located.
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that particular school district mandates debate clubs in every single middle school and high school in that school district and encourages every single kid to participate in one of those clubs. so all of those kids that were so well known through the national media were actually participants in those debate clubs and knew how to make a case, knew how to lay out evidence to support that case and they weren't afraid. so it's, again, a small kind of programattic detail and to the extent that everybody is looking at tactical things that you might put on the table, that is one of them that comes out of broward county. a lot of the times, i think probably the mayors and the chief of belief and the major cities and the big communities across the country aren't necessarily used to seeing the school speak out on these school
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safety issues even though these incidents really occur in our backyards and that was really true after the parkland situation, too. other than people speaking out . other than people speaking out periodically from the education community about arming teachers by and large you didn't see a whole lot of education or organizations speaking out about school safety. our organization is probably been closer to the u.s. conference of mayors over the years on this and many other issues but in years past, some of the mayors haven't necessarily encouraged us to speak out on gun safety issues, i think probably concluding with we ought to stick to our educational environment of our kids, but the wave of shootings over the years, finally about
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two weeks ago prompted our board of directors, which includes the superintendent and board president from each one of the 70 major cities, to finally speak out and pass a resolution that i think was pretty hard hitting, passed unanimously by our board of directors and called for banning the sale, the purchase, the possession, the use, and the manufacture of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition cartridges and also required and strengthened all universal background checks for the possession of any other type of firearm in addition to assault weapons and opposed all conceal and carry laws that one of the mayors spoke about earlier and it laid out a charge for all agencies of the federal government to be tasked with reducing the number of gun
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related injuries and deaths in the united states. it opposed the arming of teachers in our schools, it expanded the perimeter of gun-free school zones and authorized or called for the provisional of funds for planning and coordinating with our police forces, school safety across the country, more target hardening the additional funds for school resource officers, additional funds for more mental health personnel, counselors, psychologists, social workers and the like, and called for the appeal of the amendment and other various provisions in federal law that is one of the mayors indicated prohibited use of federal data to get underneath what some of the causes are behind some of these
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various events. the resolution passed unanimously and we went about the process then of turning that resolution into additional legislation. we have proposed a five-part piece of legislation around the banning of assault weapons, the gun-free zones, targeting and planning in school resource officers, around bolstering of our mental health capacity to identify problem areas with individual kids and provisions to improve the quality of data at the federal and state level to better understand these issues. now, we are as cognizant as everybody else is that our legislation will have to stand in line behind everybody else's legislation, but we wanted to make sure at least the big city
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school districts across the country were in support of mayors and police chiefs across the country and wanted to add our voice and the pressure we could bring with the american public to congress as well. so we have now tried to make our voices clear and put legislation forward and the last thing that we are doing and maybe it's something that you are already doing as an organization, but one kind of tactical thing that we are doing as a group is reviewing each other's safety and security systems. we corral our directors of safety and security in our school districts, facility folks, mental health directors and the like and we review each other's operations in our sister school systems to spread best practices and also challenge
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each other to do better in places where there are gaps in security systems. as a matter of fact, we were just in palm beach last week reviewing the safety and security systems in the palm beach schools and it is something that we actually now do quite a lot of. but it's something that you also might want to think about if you're not doing already that is leaning on each other's expertise to bolster and strengthen your own security and safety systems. with that i will yield the floor to my colleague from the school resource officers and happy to answer any questions. >> well, first of all, thank you, mayor benjamin allowing me to be here. my first time to be here. but hearing today's presentation i've heard community policing mentioned several times and i've also heard we don't want schools
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to look like prisons. i've heard that too. i've often said, sometimes when you get me at a place like this, you get somebody that's passionate about school policing or school safety and the safety of children and staff. i was in a former life a teacher, so i came out of college and i was a middle schoolteacher for eight years before i moved to law enforcement where i was 25 years, and 22 of those years in school-based policing. i would like to first of all ask we understand that these acts of violence, these massacres that occur in schools are horrific and devastating to communities and to children, not only in those communities but it causes fear throughout our nation through schoolchildren, which is a very sad thing. our most devastating school massacre that's ever occurred,
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anybody know what year that occurred in? 1927 was our most devastating and largest school massacre that happened in michigan and i thought about that today, wasn't on my list, but seeing all the mayors in here, the culprit of that was a school board member, the treasurer of a school board member upset because he didn't have some taxes passed and he fire bombed his own house, his own farm and killed 38 children and adults in a school in michigan. that is sad, but it's not something that's just a phenomenon today. it's been going on for years. i'm so thankful we have an opportunity to talk about it in this forum and to discuss things that we can help make our schools safer. as we've known over the years police can't do this alone. schools don't need to do this alone.
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but when a partnership is formed between schools, police, and our community, where there is teachers, and our community includes teachers, students and staff members and they're all communicating together, these things work. we have a list of averted school violence acts that have occurred since the parkland incident. if any of you would like to have that i would like to share it with you. what we get in the media are the bad, horrible, horrific things, but we know every day we have people, staff members, and we have administrators and police officers working in our schools and these acts of violence are averted every day. nasro is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1991 and we work to train school resource officers to go in our schools. as a young police officer, quite a long time ago, going to a school, i had the opportunity of
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being a teacher before but had no training when i entered the school and i didn't know what a law enforcement officer was supposed to do, i was supposed to teach, until i received training, which was very important to me. when we send our police officers into schools, it's very important that they're well trained and i heard you mention that mr. benjamin, i appreciate that, they're well trained and they understand that the most important thing that we're doing is we're protecting kids and creating a safe learning environment with -- when we're talking to kids, this community policing that's being built, the bridging the gap with a well-trained, properly selected law enforcement officer, is important because we know that if one day they have to react they may go from talking to an administrator or student one second to the next moving towards a violent situations which probably occurred at maryland, 7:44, who knows what
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that sro is doing. i haven't heard him say, but at 7:45 he was encountering a young person in a violent situation. so you have to have a person that is open, that is approachable, that is out there going to open himself up so students can approach him and talk to him, but also has to have the ability to act and that's what we think it needs to be a law enforcement officer that has some experience when we put them into the schools. so with that being said, what is an sr so sworn law enforcement officer carefully and properly selected and specifically trained because we know that 1% of the time they may have to act to save lives, that the other 99% of the time, they're bridging the gap between youth and law enforcement, they're visible, they're active, law enforcement figures in their community, their classroom resources, community resources and they are not a school disciplinarian, they are a
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positive role model. with that being said, one of the things that's really important when we put police officers properly selected, well-trained police officers in school, not only those things i mentioned, we also hope to reduce juvenile delinquency. we want to reduce juvenile crime. we do not go into schools to put kids behind bars. we go in there to bridge that gap, give them an avenue to discuss problems they're having before it ever reaches that point to promote a harder environment, a harder target, then we want to train them on how to do that. and that comes through some crime prevention through environmental design. sep training that is offered they can go in at a low cost, which is always i know good to our leaders' ears, but ways to make our school environments safer by using the vision and the sight and the ears of our
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community around us, our teachers in the schools, along with our law enforcement partners. benefits of this are a program, are great, long-term law enforcement school commitments, and they're networking skills that are built through these programs are very important to our communities. sr programs and community policing is community policing as we believe at its best. when it's done correctly with the right people, with the properly trained people in our communities. with that being said, when we send law enforcement officers into school we are there to create that safe learning environment, but when we do it right they're teachers, they're mentors and they're law enforcement officers. and so with that being said, i know quite passionately, i'm sorry, but that's something i've lived my entire life at. when you select officers to go into your school i hope you're
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selecting the officer to go into your school where you want your child or grandchild to go to school because that's the person that i want to be in the school where my kids go. thank you. >> thank you. mayor. >> well, good afternoon, everyone. i'm jerry muoio, the mayor of west palm beach, florida. our charge was to talk about what's happening in palm beach county around school safety. first of all, i want to say i'm really proud to be a member of the u.s. conference of mayors and proud to be a member of an organization that has taken such a common sense stand on gun laws. so thank you to the conference of mayors and thank you for the stand that we have taken for a while about what we expect to see. i also am a member of the mayors against illegal guns and have found that a great resource for myself and our community, so thank you for that as well.
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i examine to this in sort of a different way. i've been mayor for seven years of west palm beach but before moving to florida i worked in schools for 25 years. and started out my school career as school psychologist and then went into school administration. so as i think about this, i think about certainly what we need to do to keep our schools safe and our students safe and the horrible tragedies that have occurred, but what can we be doing in prevention and intervention and what should we be doing in prevention and intervention? you know, we're talking about having more resources in schools, well those resources, obviously, need to also be school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, so that we can intervene and prevent children from slipping into mental illness if that's possible or
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identify those children or young people who need additional help, who need the kind of support that's going to keep them on track. so what i thought i would do also today is tell you about the palm beach county schools, chief moonie will talk more about public safety piece of it, but palm beach county schools is a tenth largest school district in the country with 174,000 children and 160 schools i think. they cover -- it's a county-wide school district so they cover 39 municipalities and all of the unincorporated areas of palm beach county. immediately i'm sure you're saying to yourself, oh, that means there has to be really good coordination among the municipalities and, of course, the county sheriff's department. i think that's what unfortunately hear from our chief, is about the coordination and collaboration that has to
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occur if we're going to keep our young people safe. we talked a little bit about marjory stoneman douglas and what's the difference. certainly those students have been very clear about stating enough is enough. i've lived in florida for 16 years and florida is a state with very few gun laws. we never met a gun we didn't like, we floridians. about five or six years ago the state legislature passed a law that allows people to bring guns into city hall and other city properties, so if you're coming into our city library or into our city hall, you're allowed to bring a gun. mayors were threatened with
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removal of -- from their positions if they didn't uphold this law. the interesting part about it is that they banned guns in the state legislature. right. so what we did in west palm beach was that we -- if you come into our city buildings you go through metal detector and if you have a gun we ask you to voluntarily leave it behind. if you choose not to leave it behind we escort you. while we have to -- while we're preempted for making any decisions locally about gun laws, we do our best to keep our people safe. the students in west palm beach, students in palm beach county, have been very active just like those at marjory stoneman douglas in parkland. we had a group of students march
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to city hall probably about 500 kids would you say, 500 young people standing in front of city hall demanding action. i'm afraid i'm not as optimistic about what's going to happen as a result of this movement. i will be optimistic when we see those kids voting because until our representatives realize they're going to lose their job, unless they take a stand, a proactive stand on gun control, then i'm not sure what kind of impact is going to occur. we know that the vast majority of people who live in the united states believe that common sense gun laws should be in place, and yet our representatives, our legislators are not listening to those people. hopefully those young people will have registered to vote and will be out there voting and at which point i will be very optimistic. so i'm going to turn it over to
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our chief, chief sara moonie. >> good afternoon. finally you a chief that's talking. i appreciate the opportunity -- >> you are not from st. louis, either, right? >> i did go to school out there. i will say that. i would like to thank you all for the opportunity to hear about what we're doing in palm beach county and in the city of west palm beach in regard to increasing our school safety and opportunities there. the main thing i can tell you is that collaboration is keyes. it's not all a law enforcement effort by any means. mr. hardy was mentioning about putting officers into the schools to make sure you have the right people in the right places. that's the key. if you have an officer not into what's going on in the schools, if they're not worried about being a meantor, running and goong and do the criminal aspect of things that's not the person you want in the school. after the parkland incident, our
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legislation was still in session and they actually acted pretty quickly to change a few things in regard to the safety of the schools in our county and state. one of the things they did is they allocated $40 million to palm beach county to address some of the safety issues in the schools. with that being said it sounds like a lot of money but that's supposed to include target hardening, increasing school police officers by -- our school police department by at least 75 officers in addition to hiring social workers and mental health counselors. $40 million for 187,000 students to me, when you're talking about the actual schools that some of them are a lot older than others that are going to need a lot of revamping to harden, there's going to need to be more resources down the road. i will tell you that in regard to the police force itself, we do have palm beach county is kind of unique, our own police force for the county school district, so right now they have
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about 150 sworn officers and as the mayor said, we have about 180 schools. i'm sure you can do the math, that's not one officer per school and one of the common themes that i would imagine that most of the chiefs in here would agree with is, visibility is key and if you a uniformed officer at a school that's seen by somebody that's thinking about coming into the campus to do something wrong, they're going to go to the next school down the street so they don't have to confront anybody. the key is visibility as a first step. but again, the target hardening is crucial in order to make sure we increase the safety of our schools. the second thing in the county itself what we do and how we do it, everybody can monday morning quarterback what happened at parkland and you pick apart all the thags went wrong. there were a lot of thags went right also after the fact. but the things that went wrong,
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seemed to be in the forefront. so our sheriff rick bradshaw for palm beach county sheriff's office, a former police chief at west palm, we have very good connection and communication with him. he went and said, they would like to see how we do things in palm beach county and get an assessment. perf has agreed to come in and are meeting this week in regard to responding to mass casualty or shooting events not just at the schools but overall. the reality it's not just the schools. this discussion right here is targeted towards schools but it could happen anywhere, at a mall, at a government building, it can be at a doctor's office, a hospital. we all have to be prepared in order to address those different issues. schools, a little more specific, and that's what we're geared towards now but the overall look that perf is doing with the county itself is going to give us a scorecard on how we're doing things, whether it's preparation, training, how our
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communications works, what we do after the fact, after action reports, the wellness of the officers and the people involved in the situations. it may not be a week or two weeks down the road but the impact that comes out, the ptsd, things like that that occur after the fact they will take a look at that and see how we're doing and i think that that's going to be very important that when that report comes out, that that's going to be shared nationwide in regard to what best practices are and suggestions on how things can go a little better. another thing that we're doing proactive in the county, our state attorney has convened the grant grand vir jury to do an overview of how we handle school safety in palm beach county, not just in the city of west palm beach but countywide. they've been having meetings with local leaders in law enforcement to include the sheriff on that also, to see how we respond and what our suggestions would be for making things a little bit better in the school communities. they're going to present their findings and the information on
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how we do things now to panel of citizens and get recommendations from them to see if we are doing things the right way and if they have recommendations, so that's part of your collaboration from the community itself, not just the legislators or the law enforcement professionals, but the people in the community that have some insight into what they think would be more beneficial for us to how we can conduct business. finally, the third point that we're focusing on is information sharing and just the collaborative effort of when you do find out that you have somebody kind of on your radar that potentially is going to do something wrong, whether it's going to be to themselves or a group, you want to reach out and touch that person and see if you can get them some services and see if you can intervene in that. one of the things about a week or two after the parkland shooting our county came out with in conjunction with the sheriff office and school police an app on the phones. we keep talking about social media. these -- every kid has a phone. they all have a phone. and they literally were in the
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works of developing an app prior to the shootings that's called student protect and every student can download that it, the employees in the school can dloeds it, parents, civilians, law enforcement and it's a form where people can anonymously leave tips in regard to potential threats, whether a kid saw another friend on facebook touting they're going to come up and shoot up a school, that information gets routed directly to our school board police and sheriff's office. the important thing about that is our sheriff is also in charge of basically the homelanded security efforts and information sharing for the south end of florida. we have a fusion there in west palm beach also where there that information comes in from a student that's in the north end of the county, but it's about somebody in the south end of the county, they can divert that information directly to the jurisdiction it belongs to and allow that particular jurisdiction to intervene. so whether it's a school that's going to sbreern or going to be
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a local jurisdiction or a county officer deputy that's going to go out, they have the opportunity to intervene before something happens and to at least put that kid on the radar in regard to letting hus parents know what's going on and school and to sitting down and talking whim him. once you have those people identified that's where the crucial piece comes from. the backup. what's the follow through. we have to have more social workers and mental health couns lors and people to talk to these kids once they've been identified. they're not criminal. they have other things going on and dealing with the police isn't the way to go. some of the resources really need to go to that and that's what we're looking at. our sheriff's office recently developed a behavioral health unit where they pair social workers or mental health counselors with sworn deputies and/or police officers to actually do those follow ups when they get an alert on those -- that application that comes to the kids or from the kids. additionally on that app, there's a gps code on it.
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if you have an active shooter situation in a school you could have that kid locked in the closet in the third wing on the second floor behind, you know, a water fountain, putting a 911 alert out immediately and his gps coordinates is available. the officers responding will know where that person is and get information through those phone systems in order to go directly to where that person is or know where they're at to be able to tell them to stay put. it's a huge undertaking if it's an active situation. we haven't had that available during an active situation yet but that's another work in progress. the fact you have something out there that these kids can communicate to the adults and ask for help has been huge. i will tell you the day after it went live, they got an anonymous tip about a kidd threatening to shoot up a school on a facebook post with a gun in the picture. they ended up tracking the kid down at his school, tracked down what school he went to. he wasn't in school that day. they went to the house, met with the parents, found the kid and
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the gun. the gun ended up being an air soft but they got it. the kid has a little bit more time to get some resources to help and figure out why he was planning that in the first place and whether or not it's a true threat. it's important we can information share with everybody and anyone in a timely fashion. so those are some of the steps that we've done. more locally, in order to help enhance what our school police do, our jurisdiction has made a concentrated effort to get involved in some of the studies at the schools that are local, officers meet with the principals, we have copies or blueprints of the schools, loaded into our cat sim so that information is readily available to the officers responding on their computers in their cars so they know if you can identify where the threat on kamts pus is, they can have a blueprint of that campus right in front of them before they arrive so they know where they need to go and direct others coming in behind them. it's things like that, that are imperative to address the school
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situations. but again it's not all law enforcement. it's a collaborative effort between effort and not only on the front end but the back end too. i think the back end is where we're missing things. if you've read enough about the parkland shooting, the shooter was on the radar for quite some time and we missed a lot of opportunities to intervene. in palm beach county right now and in west palm we're making a concentrated effort to not let those things slip through the cracks so when you have an opportunity to intervene when have the resources available to do that. >> thank you, chief. >> sure. >> mike? >> i just like to associate myself with my fellow panelists here and underscore something that i think all three of them indicated that was around the issue of collaboration and communications. i think when we went in to palm beach schools last week, we saw exactly what it is that was described and frankly palm beach
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and the palm beach schools do a really terrific job of -- in protecting and providing security for their students. as we go around and take a look at the safety and security systems in a number of our other big city school districts we don't always see the same level of collaboration and cooperation that we saw in palm beach and it's something that we all as a group of police chiefs and mayors and school officials could probably work on together because we -- one of the things we've noticed is we looked at the safety and security systems in our own school systems is, that, you know, some of our school systems have their own police forces, some of them don't. sometimes the local police forces in the school, sometimes it's not. sometimes we have sros, sometimes we don't. sometimes they're sworn police officers in the schools. how it is the local county or
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city or school district configures its own security system could be vastly different from place to place and we often see gaps in how it is we communicate with each other, what agreements we've come to about who has responsibility for doing x, y or z during a situation, and how it is we -- what the protocols are for communicating with one another in an active shooter situation. so while we're waiting for the federal government to get their act together if they ever do, one thing that we might want to think about is -- is doing some more active collaboration with our safety and security folks and your chiefs of police and mayors and the like to see if we can strengthen some of the gaps that we continuously witness. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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thank all of you. mayor. >> i just have been sitting here thinking about something mayor finisher said about the wealth disparity and the gaps and that's probably not too many other places in this country where that's more evident than in palm beach county. we have 33 billionaires who live in the county, 75,000 millionaires, and then we have farm workers and people who live in the western part of the county who are generationally poor and the gap is just extraordinary and i think it sort of goes back to that prevention intervention piece. how do we address that, how do we make education great for all of the kids in our county. how do we make sure that all of our young people are -- feel valued and worth while and i
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just have been thinking about what mayor fisher said and it's an important consideration. >> you see the value of having a school psychologist as a mayor as well. so thank you. >> and a social worker as a police chief. >> absolutely. any questions or discussions? let's get chief down here and then mayor soglin. >> my name is jeff, i'm the chief of police of the police department in michigan. i want to talk about a concept that's been building momentum in our community and after the parkland tragedy, we've kind of had a whole new challenge in law enforcement and it's the increase in social media threat we're getting. some of the social media threats or all of the social media threats -- >> can i get you close to the microphone. >> sure. obviously, all social media threats need to be investigated whether they come from your snapchats or facebook or instagrams, but it's challenging
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for law enforcement and it's -- and so in regards to that, what i think that we need to take a look at is, we've been looking at not only protecting our schools from the outside in, which would be with your camera systems and your key scans and all of that, trying to work with protecting our schools from the inside out and what i mean by that is we're taking the approach in westland as we're actually teaching our parents how to use the snapchats and how to use the facebooks and how to use the instagrams and i think that if we went around this room the majority of us probably wouldn't know how to access our children's social media accounts. so the idea behind us doing that when we reach out with our school board is that these parents have the desire to learn and we're kind of putting the movement back on them to be a part of the prevention and the intervention and it's been building momentum in our community and i kind of want to share that concept up with the other police officers that i think that taking that step back and kind of sharing it through our press information officer, through your city websites, and
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really just giving education to the parents on how you set a day, whether once a week you're going to go through your social media, your children's social media sites, it's going to help. just wanted to share that. building momentum with our city. >> thank you. mayor soglin. >> one of the most challenging problems we had several years ago had to do with the role of the educational resource officers in our school relative to the relationship with the vast number of teenagers, and it was something that at first we didn't anticipate but then the challenge made all the sense in the world. what had happened is we started looking at arrests of juveniles. one of the things that we saw, probably everybody has the same results, is teenagers get arrested where teenagers hang out. and so the prime places where kids were getting arrested were
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the shopping centers, the bus transfer points and the high schools. our school board had had a zero tolerance policy when kamit camo violence. that meant an automatic arrest of any teenager. that created great disparities and great challenges and was affecting the relationship of the young people to our police department in regards to larger community issues. so then the school board wanted to go in a different direction, realizing the responsibility that they had undertaken and the problems they created with zero tolerance. they wanted to go to a position where the school administration would determine should the child be arrested or not.
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which we found unacceptable. at that point we said the officers have to make the decision. this became a considerable challenge that undermined the relationship of not just the school district to the city and the police department, but also the relationship to the teens. and i just want to put that out as a caution in regards to those who do not either have an active program or have not yet hit that wall. >> thank you m mayor. >> please. >> mr. casserly, i had a question for you, a couple questions, one is about the resolution and i appreciate the multifaceted approach and all of you are speaking about. >> introduce yourself if you don't mind. >> jeff bliemeister, lincoln, nebraska, chief of police. one of the questions i have on the resolution itself is that it's very specific in certain terms but no mention of school resource officers within the
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confines of this document. that term is not specifically used. but yet, when you're speaking you're speaking in advocacy to school resource officers to a degree, is that correct? >> yes. and actually the legislation that we put together even though they're not specifically mentioned in the resolution, in the -- in the legislation that we drafted up, part of the money would go to support additional school resource officers in our schools. >> i appreciate that clarification. and this goes to mayoring so lynn's point, and we have many of the similar conversations that are going on. in fact, the ongoing advo katy for additional school resource officers in the schools have created a narrative to some, the school to prison pipeline we are trying to combat, trying to educate on, and mr. hardy, do
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you have any comment on that particular research where there are bodies of work that say there is a direct next u.s. or causation towards incarceration, especially of minority populations? >> in our website that we have, the protect and educate is a free download, factual based, produced by dr. bernard james, pepperdine university, and he's in the midst right now of a -- to renew that as a 2012 publication and we have a white paper out on it right now and he's going to have a rewrite coming up. we're waiting to hit our doorsteps right now. anxiously to see what the new findings are. the findings of 2012 which were
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presented in a congressional hearing were that when you look at it, the juvenile arrest records in the united states went down as the number of resource officers went up. not saying that, you know, it was, you know, whatever, but we know juvenile arrests went down as those went up. >> yeah. i think this is one of those areas where we've got to really work together and be careful about this because this is not -- how it is we balance school security and disproportionate discipline is a very tricky thing to do that all of us, particularly in the school community, need to work harder on and i think the research has been pretty clear in some cases that the school to prison pipeline does begin in
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too many situations how it is we discipline kids disproportionately in our schools, how the reasons why we suspend them, both in school suspensions and out of school suspensions and what the role of police and sros in that process is. training, obviously, as mack mentioned plays a very, very important role in this, but so do the specific protocols that we use for disciplining kids. it's not necessarily the call of an individual school resource officer about whether somebody gets suspended or not. we need to have a more kind of all-encompassing process where the protocols are very clear and not any one entity in a school is making a decision like that because it's the recipe for disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates in our schools.
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and i know in our own schools while suspension rates have been going down, i could not claim to you that our suspension rates are not disproportionate by race and the like. >> one other thing is a clear understanding between the law enforcement agency and the school system and the mou is imperative so that both the schools and the police departments understand where the lines are being drawn and what the roles are of the schools and the police department. >> the separation of the discipline versus the criminal law act. >> right. >> and how it is they collaborate with each other so there's a seamlessness in how it is we do our work. >> mayor whaley and chief ramsey. >> i just wanted to thank you. i don't think it should go without notices from the commitment from the council of great city schools the
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recognition about what needs to happen with our gun laws to change, to change what's going on inside our schools and your recognition of that is really important. we could have the conversations about school safety but if we have less access to guns to folks we will probably be better off in our school system and i appreciate you recognizing that. >> we had strong backing from your superintendent and board president. >> chief. >> i just want to add something around this issues of school resource officers and increased arrests if we have more security in schools because i think it's an important topic. when i was the police commissioner philadelphia one day one of my deputies came into the office and said we have a problem. he had been going over data and what he saw was we were making a lot of arrests in schools. and he also had a solution. he actually had worked on a diversion program. i gave him permission to move forward with it and he got the school superintendent involved, he got the district attorney's
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office involved, the courts involved, and it was a very comprehensive strategy. in a year we cut in half the number of arrests we made in schools and kids coming in with a small amount of marijuana. we were locking kids up that had a pair of scissors in their backpack and forget to take them out and getting arrested for having a weapon in schools, stuff like that. minor argument between kids, no one is hurt, you know, instead of it being a school discipline problem they were being arrested for assault. we're giving kids criminal records for minor things. we've got to be very, very sensitive to that because when you say school safety and security, in the minds of many people that means more cops and arrests to make schools safe. and that's just a wrong way to approach this. we can have safe schools without making a lot of arrests. i mean there aren't many people sitting around this room that
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didn't do something stupid when they were young and lucky enough not to get caught, all right. with the exception of me, of course. i was always perfect. but we do that and, you know, and a lot of this falls on the schools because a lot of things that used to be handled internally in schools just school discipline matter now, they're calling police. and getting a kid arrested. so i think we need to think about that as we move forward. the other comment i would make around sros, if you are in a jurisdiction like philadelphia where we actually supply the school resource officers, i mean parkland was a wake-up call. you better pay attention who its is you're putting in the schools because -- and make sure you have people that are, one, they have the right personality and they can work with kids and we know we have some policemen that cannot work with children, that is just notes where you want to put them, you have to make sure
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they have the right personality, but have the ability to take some action if something happens in the school. it's a dog gone shame but kids now not only have fire drills but active shooter drills. think about that and the climate that creates in the minds of young people in fears where schools used to be a safe haven and now it's a place you have to practice active shooter drills. i'm old enough and there's only one or two in the room i won't mention any names that may be enough enough to remember this the school where in the early '60s, we were having drills on what to do if there was a nuclear explosion because of the cuban missile crisis and all the stuff going on and i remember as an elementary school kid one day walking home and i started crying, i was afraid we were going to all die. they had us crawling under desks and holding our heads as if that was going to do anything, but it was a threat.
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the threat and the impact psychologically it has on young people, that's the collateral damage of what's going on now and even though the likelihood of it happening in their school is very remote, in today's world with the kind of communication and the way in which we just show these scenes over and over again, it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter whether you are in parkland, florida, whether you are in columbine, it doesn't matter anymore, and we need to think about that when we think about safety for our children and every time these budgets come out and the first thing people want to cut, counselors, they want to cut social workers, they want to cut school psychologists, cut all these resources that make a difference in these schools. we've got to speak up and make sure that we really just go beyond just, you know, school safety from the very narrow framework of law enforcement, but look at it wholistically and take the appropriate actions. >> thank you, chief.
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mayor mihalik and chiefs biehl in that order. from finley, ohio, recently we had a community meeting where we talked with our school district about the perceived issues and factual issues around school safety and what we could do to be better, what gaps existed and it was interesting to hear from, you know, not only the parents, but also the students themselves. interesting to me is that a lot of the students didn't talk about the need for additional school resource officers which we do have them in our system, they talked about the need for more counselors and psychologists and social workers to identify those who need the assistance before it gets to a point where we have an act of violence. i'm wondering, as, you know, we continually ask our law enforcement officers to be everything to everyone, we're asking them not only to be
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peacekeepers but asking them to be social workers, asking them to be psychologists, they are super men and women, but they can't fix it all. so it seems as though there is this thought that school resource officers are the be all, end all, in this conversation. are larger school districts across the country having conversations around the need for more emphasis around counseling and is that where we should be potentially looking at beefing up funding as opposed to asking the brave men and women in our -- in the school resource officer positions to fill those gaps for us? >> yeah. they are. and while, you know, i mentioned a number of things in the resolution that we passed and also in the legislation that we proposed, but i think all of the school people in my coalition would agree wholeheartedly that if we had more counselors, if we had more support staff, if we had more social workers, that it
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would go a long way to addressing some of the issues that our kids bring to the school with them every day. i don't think it's any particular mystery that our kids are bringing challenges to the school that they've never brought before. in a nuclear age or before. and our teachers are often asked to do the same kind of thing as our sros are, and that is, be all things to the kids at one time and they can't address all of the social, emotional, behavioral issues that -- and family issues that our kids bring to the schools. so i think we're all in agreement if additional resources were to be had, it's where we would pump a lot of it and that is into the social support systems and the social and emotional learning for all
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of our kids. >> let's keep it tight if we can. i'm getting the hook, the hook back here. i'm sure every point we can make we can fully integrate into several parts of the discussion as we move along. chief? >> well, as an introduction that's not my strong point. i will do my best. one thing i would suggest is we really need to approach the issue of school safety from the standpoint of a problem-soflg process. i had an opportunity to do that when i was assistant police chief in cincinnati, where there was concern about a school that was over the [ inaudible ] and the superintendent expressed concern that the educational quality that students were experiencing was affected by the external environment, the neighborhood had a high level of crime, i worked at it as a young police officer, i knew the area very, very well, but i did something probably unusual, we need to ask the kids. so we partnered with the
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university of cincinnati and early childhood development professors and designed a survey to survey the children and ask them about their perception of safety, not what we thought about their safety, we also did data analysis too, we looked at children traveling back and forth to school during right before, an hour before and after school, what does the data tell us. literally there were certain strengths and length of streets that had no event at all for the entire school year. it wasn't an external issue. the biggest ah-ha when we asked the children about their experience, if they were threatened or felt unsafe it was more often in school, not externally in the environment, and more often involved another student, whether it was in the school or externally. so really was an issue of the school culture, the school environment needed to be addressed, not more cops in the neighborhood. that's a direction we would have went if we did not do the analysis and do our homework.
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fast forward to dayton and we had a rather significant fight on a school bus back in 2010/2011 involving one of our high schools on the east side of dayton, we approached that as a problem solving process also. we got our partners to the table, the school, the neighborhood business association, neighborhood association, juvenile probation, our police officers, we developed it was called high school disorderer reduction project, no the a fancy name but that initiative garnered us the -- basically received the policing award in 2011. that was a collective problem-solving process. there were issues around yeah, we needed to have additional patrol present, that was part of it, but the internal school environment and something that the school owned if you will and had the ability to influence. they had basically a lot of the conflict occurred during class exchange, after class got out, they had to go to another class,
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often in close proximity, people would bump into each other, i will see you after school. there was conflict built on the structure of the school itself. that was addressed where some students that were poorly matched to those educational environments, placed in better environments, bottom line an 80% reduction in assaults in a year and academic performance increased that year and each subsequent year. we need to approach these in a comprehensive way getting our partners at the table and basically engaging a problem-solving process. my recommendation. >> thank you. last word, chief harrison. >> good afternoon, new orleans police. to the chief's point about the correlation between more school resource officers and increasing arrests, i think the chief touched on it briefly, and charles ramsey touched on it a little bit. i think the answer lies in in a couple areas. the selection of the officer and number two, the training of the officer, number three the clear and defined roles of the school
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resource officer as defined by the community policing model, not the public safety model, but the community policing model. as long as the selection and the training fall under the commune policing model what we have found is that incidents that were likely to occur or were planning to occur within the school, students were giving that information to the school resource officer who was able to then communicate that more broadly to the rest of the department because relationships were built where students were able to learn the trust that officer, but that falls on the community policing model where it's problem solving and information flows freely both to the officer and from the officer because the officer is viewed as part of the faculty, not necessarily as part of the police department solely. and i think -- but if it stays in the confines of the community police mod and the school can embrace the officer and vice versa as a member of the faculty and the students can look at the officer as faculty who happens to be a member of the police
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department, i believe we -- you don't have that problem with more officers and increasing arrests. we've seen decreases in arrests but we've seen better relationships between youth and police as long as we stay with school resource being housed, trained and selected by community policing ideals. >> thank you, chief. i'm going to wrap up and save my summation for tomorrow. quickly, we did learn the importance of collaboration, making sure we're working across all of our various disciplines, the importance of acting, actually doing something and not waiting. and then sharing the information. there's some incredible best practices that i think some of us learned about here today, sharing that information. i want to make sure we don't get out of here by tomorrow and not really discuss preemption as well. the mayor mentioned the incredible challenges that they face in florida, but that's -- it's not unique to florida.
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they have some unique issues. but across the entire country, you look around 2007, but certainly before then and since then, we've had these incredibly onerous laws that have preempted local policymakers and law enforcement and peace officers from protecting our community. no longer playing checkers while others play chess, we have to get on offense and start putting ideas and policies on the table for our state legislators to say no to, to say no to, and then they own some of these major challenges as we expect that they should. our chief sent a letter to our state legislators last week laying out some clear issues that they ought to act on if, in fact, they want to make columbia and the rest of our state safer. we have to get on offense and deal effectively with preemption. thank you so much. i'm going to pass it back to mayor cranley. thank you all of you for your presentations.
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>> to stay on time we're going to keep moving. and we're now going to talk about the issue that has come up in every one of our sessions so far and that is, strengthening police community relations and we're going to turn the floor back over again to mayor freeman wilson who has been a leader in this area as in so many others. no tha . >> thank you, mayor cranley, and at this time we're going to talk about strengthening police and community relations, a subject that has been at the forefront of the media in many of our communities. of course in some more than others, as there have been police-involved shootings and other forms of violence that has involved the community and the
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police. everybody understand the importance of having an effective and responsible police force. i think likewise, people also understand the desire of the community to be policed and to be policed constitutionally. about three years ago -- and we talked about it earlier -- the conference of mayors authored a publication that really did sort of distill the issues around police/s community trust. we actually beat chuck ramsey to
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the gun and because he chaired a task force, co-chaired a task force for president 21st centur force. and around the same time black lives matter came up with the campaign zero report that talked about some of the concerns that they had on a national level. if you look at these three documents you will see many, many common issues that were
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raised. some of those issues involved the way that police officers are supported in their work. and i'm not just talking about pay and equipment, but i'm talking about what type of mental health support do they get? how do you monitor the stress level on their jobs? some of the other areas that these reports saw in -- or had in common was the importance of building trust between the police and the community. we saw improving practices in police departments, and not just
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discipline or those issues after a police officer was hired, but how do you determine who makes a good police officer? once upon a time it was a given that an mp from the military forces would be the ideal police officers. i dare say that many of our chiefs around the table were former military, but is that really the type of police officer that we need in modern days? we talked about ensuring timely and accurate communications and that is in the instance that there is a police-involved shooting. how do you communicate to the community? who does the communication to
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the community? what do you release? when do you release it? and what is the balance between ensuring that you have accurate information and ensuring that you have as much information as quickly as possible. when do you conduct an independent investigation and who is the best entity to conduct that investigation? and what role -- and we've talked about it throughout the day -- do income disparities and racial disparities play in the issues of developing and strengthening police and community trust. and how do we as mayors and police chiefs provide leadership
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in a national dialogue understanding that this area is probably one of the most important areas where local sentiments, local communication, the demographics and the tenor of your community are so, so important. we presented the findings from our joint task force, and many of you, mayor stodala, chief buckner, mayor landrieu, commissioner ramsey, many of you were on that joint task force that came up with the strengthening police community relationships or relations in
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america's city, and we took those recommendations and actually were honored to present them to the task force on 21st century policing. at this time we have the great privilege of hearing from one of those co-chairs of the task force and that is our very own chuck ramsey who, as you know, was the commissioner of police in washington, d.c. and philadelphia, but who is now serving as a special adviser to the u.s. conference of mayors. following commissioner ramsey's remarks, we will hear from baton rouge mayor sharon weston-broome and police chief murphy paul
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about their efforts to strengthen relationships between the police and the community, and we know that they have been very thoughtful about this issue as they have been at the front -- forefront of what is going on at a national level. we will then go to clarksville, tennessee, where mayor kim mcmillan and police chief a l z alonzo ansley will bring us up to date on some of the cutting edge efforts in their city. and after that we will open it up for what we know will be a lively discussion between our mayors and police chiefs and certainly questions. i want to close with something that i saw friday.
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i know that none of you have a whole lot of time to watch television, but i will confess that for me it is a guilty pleasure, and "blue bloods" is one of my favorite programs. so friday there was an episode of "blue bloods" involving a shooting where an officer was killed by a gang member or in this case a want to be gang member, and there was a joint press conference with the mayor on this television a woman, of new york city, and the police commissioner aptly played by tom selleck, commissioner reagan. and during the course of the press conference that was really focused on the death of the
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officer and the apprehension of the suspect, the mayor spoke, i would say, out of turn and she went on in a press conference that was really focused on the death of the officer to talk about how the suspect might have been in fear for his life, and that resulted in an eruption among police officers throughout the city on "blue bloods" -- of new york in this case. the point of me bringing that up is to really indicate two things, one is that in this area more than any other it is imperative that the police chief
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and the mayor sing from the same song book, that we be on the same page. the other point is that it is probably one of the areas that we will find as mayors that is most fraught with perils because even though we understand the importance of having the 30,000 foot view, of seeing everything at all times, we also understand that there is a level of sensitivities from so many prospectives in this area that we need to be very, very careful and understand at the time that we address these issues how important it is to communicate
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thoughtfully and clearly. with that please receive commissioner ramsey. >> thank you, mayor. believe it or not, i have never seen "blue bloods." i haven't. but i do have the honor of sitting next to the two time real police commissioner of new york city, bill bratton, who is going to be our dinner speaker tonight. thank you, bill, for agreeing to be here with us today. i'm going to be brief because i really want to hear from baton rouge and clarksville. i think it's very important that we save enough time for questions and comments afterwards, so i will try to be as brief as possible. as the mayor mentioned, i had the honor of serving as co-chair of president obama's task force on 21st century policing and we
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were given very specific instructions and we were given a very tight timeline. we had about 45 days to get a draft on the president's desk. so that didn't give us a lot of time to address many issues, for an example i think it was mentioned by the mayor one area that we -- in hindsight i wish we had had time to cover would have been recruitment, hiring and retention, for an example, very important in our business. we chose six specific areas, in no particular order except number one and that was building trust and legitimacy because we felt very strongly that without that the rest of it didn't really matter all that much because if you don't have the trust of the community that you serve, then the rest of it will never be as effective as perhaps it could be. we are still in a period, even though we have had a slight uptick in some cities of crime, we are still at historically low
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levels of crime in this country. you know, i was around in the '70s, '80s, the '90s when we had the crack epidemic, late '80s, early '90s and so forth. there's very little comparison to the kind of challenges we face in terms of crime fighting that we do today. so why is it, then, with these historically low numbers we are seeing the kind of tension that we've seen between police and community particularly challenged communities and communities of color? and that's because there's never really been trust in many of these communities with police and what trust was established was very fragile. i think we underestimated just how fragile that is and main ma our communities. now, we reached these low levels and there were a lot of things that played a role, but i will use one thing that i think played a significant role, that
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helped us focus more strategically on crime and get crime down to the levels where we see it today and it started in new york with bill and the late jack maple with com stat. every tried to copy it and we have our different variations of it. they are not the same, but it was a model that really used data, that used ways in which we could target specific areas and put cops on the dots, as it's said. right? also one of the things that bill is noted for in his time as commissioner of the new york transit police, dealing with some of the lower level crimes that sometimes lead to larger crimes. so these are all strategies that worked. there is no question about it. but here is where i think at least in the cities that i
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worked in here and philadelphia, and i could use chicago as an example, too, i guess, is that we got in some cases, not in all, but in some cases so focused on the dots that we forgot that every dot represents a human being, a person whose life has been forever changed because of crime. this job is about people. i think we also in implementing strategies and i'm certainly guilty of this, you know, and i think it was scott thompson that mentioned, you know, fishing with a spear as opposed to a net, that we didn't think about the collateral damage that's sometimes caused in these communities when we go in with strategies to address a specific crime and disorder problem, but what happens in that community that is left behind, you know. it is one thing to have a gang problem, not every kid in the neighborhood is part of a gang, not every gang member is violent. a lot of kids are in gangs for a lot of different reasons, you have some that are very violent,
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but that's a very small percentage, but because we sometimes did not know the area and the people that we were policing to the extent we should, which community policing in some cases got kind of not tossed aside, but wasn't as emphasized as much perhaps as some other strategies, we were just stopping a lot of folks and, you know, one of the biggest complaints that i got as a police chief, it wasn't about just being stopped, it was about how they were treated during the stop. officers being disrespectful, being rude, not explaining what they're doing and why they're doing it and that sort of thing. so we kind of lost touch in that regard and, again, that trust in many communities very, very fragile to begin with and it didn't take much. now, you add on top of that social media, 24-hour cable news networks where it no longer matters where an incident took place, it may as well have
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happened in your own background. i mean, after ferguson i had protests in philadelphia. i used to go to st. louis all the time because i grew up in chicago, had relatives in st. louis, i didn't know where the hell ferguson was. never heard of it. who would have believed that a police force of about 50 officers, with about 50,000 residents, would have changed policing in america, yet it did. because that's the power of communication that we have to deal with now. so whether we are large, small, medium, it doesn't matter. as a profession it's in our collective best interest to build that trust, to build that legitima legitimacy. think about it. if you saw something on the news, however bad it might be, and the public is watching it from your town, from your city and people looked and they said, boy, that's terrible, but our cops would never do anything like that, we've got a long way
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to go probably before that conversation takes place in a lot of our cities, but why can't that be a goal? because that's how strong our relationships need to be because we are going to be challenged constantly, whether it happens in your backyard or somebody else's i guarantee you you are going to be challenged, and so that's why having relationships, being trust, legitimacy, we talk a lot about procedural justice and things like that, but we also have to look at internal procedural -- how do we treat our own people? you know, we're very punishment driven as police organizations, right? we've got our rules and regulation, you do this you get this much time off, you do that you get this much time off, you get fired if you do so-and-so and so-and-so. we were talking about alternatives to incarceration of juveniles, there's diversion that can be done in a sense within our own departments where education and training may be the remedy as opposed to three days off. and so we've got to look at this
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in a very holistic way if we want to have the right mindset for our officers as they get out on the street and interact and deal with the public. the other area that we used as a closing was officer safety and wellness and we thought they would make good book ends, but we weren't talking about officers getting shot or stabbed so much because we do a good job of taking care of cops that get hurt like that, okay? they've got good insurance, best hospitals, all that. but what about the psychological trauma that exists from doing this job and the things that you are exposed to that aren't normal? i mean, i personally can't tell you how many homicide scenes i've been to in my career, but, you know, it's really not normal to be at a murder scene. that's not something everybody experiences, other than watching it on "blue bloods" or whatever tv program you happen to watch. what about situations where you've had some of your colleagues murdered, shot and
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killed, what's the psychological impact that has over time? the mental health of our police officers is very, very important and we need to start paying attention to it because we wonder why sometimes they're rude, you know, use of force, all these kinds of things, shootings where they shoot a little too quick, many of them are hypervigilant. they are in these areas on a daily basis, you listen to the radio, man shot, robbery in progress. you've got all these kinds of things going on and now you're in a dark alley somewhere behind a suspect that someone may have said might have had a gun, they make the wrong move and boom all of a sudden you have a shooting. i'm not trying to make excuses but what i'm trying to say is we need to think about the mental health and the trauma that police get exposed to and we wonder why we have such high rates of alcoholism, suicide, domestic violence, all those kinds of things, we don't talk a
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lot about, but i will guarantee you we probably have a higher percentage of it in policing than we've got anywhere else. some of that is a direct result of the kinds of things that officers are exposed to. ptsd isn't limited to soldiers coming back from iraq and afghanistan, it can happen anywhere. how do we identify it, treat it, wheel with it. keep them safe, keep them healthy so they can enjoy a 20, 30-year career with all these things. that our profession can continue to move forward and we are not looking at some of these viral videos that we see and they make you scratch your head and just say, why? and, again, it's not to make excuses, it's to deal with some of the real issues. those are the kinds of things we tried to tackle in the report and i think it has a direct bearing on building strong relationships because how you interact then with your community matters. so it's not just about feel good stuff, it's about the real things that really make a difference out there when it comes to one person interacting
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with another. and the last thing i will say before i turn it over to the mayors and chiefs, how does it happen? it happens one interaction at a time. one cop, one citizen. a story -- the cent commissioner of philadelphia, richard ross, tells a story when we put all of our rookie cops on foot patrol for the first six, nine months in some of our most challenged neighborhoods that have a lot of crime occurring in open space. it does two things, one, it is an effective crime fighting strategy, it really does have an impact on crime that occurs in those areas, but number two, it teaches them a valuable lesson that hopefully will stay with them throughout their careers. in the most challenged neighborhoods we have in the city there are more decent law abiding people living there than there are criminals. you don't know that driving 40 mile an hour down the street in a crown vic. you know it when you are on foot interacting with folks in communities. he was out one day and he sees
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this one rookie and he is on his smartphone and there's this little girl standing next to him and he assumed right away that the kid is standing there, he is ignoring the kid, he is just on his smartphone so he got out of the car and stopped and said, hey, officer, how are you doing? what's going on? >> he said, oh, she had a question, she had a homework assignment and she didn't know the answer to it so i was doing a google search for her to get the information. do you think that would have happened if he was in a car driving down the street past that little girl? no. do you think that's something that will stay with that girl for the rest of her life? yeah. i would certainly hope so. we have an obligation to build those relationships one interaction at a time. we will have enough negative ones that we have to deal with just by virtue of what we do, so let's build as many positive ones as we possibly can. thank you. >> commissioner, thank you so much for your comments, but more importantly thank you for your leadership in this space.
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before we hear from mayor broome and chief paul, i want to yield to our chair who has a comment he'd like to make. >> commissioner, thank you so much. i want to -- there is a theme that has been running throughout everything that was said today and one of them has been we have to create trust. we have to do that because it doesn't exist right now, which is worth just speaking to in a very blunt and open way. it seems to me from the comments, especially that commissioner ramsey made, that we are out of order, we are fighting ourselves. this is where we politicians and us police chiefs sometimes get influenced by the argument of the day, that we have to be tough on crime and of course everybody here knows that in order to be tough on crime you have to be smart on crime and we've been all trying to figure
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that out. just a couple of brief comments because i know that mayor broome and chief paul have some compelling information to give us, but i just would like to just state simply some things that should be obvious for us. in order for communities to be safe the police and the communities actually have to be on the same side fighting against crime rather than on opposite sides fighting each other. some of the examples today we are going to have where we've gotten opposed to each other where people think it's a zero sum game, you either be on law enforcement's side or the community's side. all of us know that we can't win the fight against a small number of individuals that are causing havoc in our neighborhoods if we are not on the same side. one of the things that we get overwhelmed by is how difficult it is, but it is absolutely clear as chief ramsey has indicated that we are not at our highest level of crime and that there have been other times in the united states of america when we had problems that were
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actually more difficult. so even though this is hard, i just want everybody to stay focused on the notion that this is a very solveable problem. it's clearly not simple. it's complex. it's absolutely not easy, it's hard, but this is not the most complex or hard problem that the united states of america has faced, which is why it's all the more curious that we can't seem to get the body politic focused on actually what to do and who is supposed to do it, when is it going to get down, how is it going to get done, who is going to do it and when is it going to get done by? >> the worst thing we are doing is trying to make the answer simple and the fix easy when we know that it is not. i just want to call us into purpose on making sure that we acknowledge how complex it is, how hard it is, but that we know the answer because some of us are doing a really good job of finding it in our communities as
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well. and as hard as the discussion that we are going to get into in a minute is complicated we ought to be able to speak to it in truth so we can make sure the community and police are one. the community runs away from the police when they are afraid, when they think the police are there to hurt and not help. i just think that finally we can be in favor of better community police relations and at the same time support our law enforcement officers. chief ramsey just gave us an example about the wellness and the mental health of officers and there was one poignant moment in the city when both the chief and i were at the scene where a mother had driven her three beautiful little children -- i think they were under three years old, all three of them, three and a half down to the bottom, killed them and then killed herself. and the police officers that attended to that scene -- and i've been to a lot of difficult scenes like many of you have, but that's the one that broke our officers down to their knees
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where it became so immediately apparent to me the incredible continued devastation that our officers see and that sometimes the officers don't feel comfortable seeking the kind of help that they need and we're maybe not as attuned to that as well. and then not too far after that going to a scene of a murder in a pretty intense neighborhood where there was a body on the street and then watching all the little three, four, five year olds having to witness that as well and that trauma, that collateral damage as the commissioner tells us about spreads itself out like a virus in our community and then it folds back in on itself. we really are on the same side. i just think it's important for us to not let us get ripped apart ever between the police and the community because it's only when we find out how to be one and we can do that. i commend that to you because sometimes that goes without saying clearly and it's critical we stay on the same side relating to that.
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>> i just want to add mayor landrieu i also found chief ramsey's comments to resonate with our experience in cincinnati and i'm sure every other city, you know, that the -- the impact on officers' stress, emotional, and just a sense that with the heightened media and scrutiny that all cops face, body cameras, et cetera, there is increasingly this sense what can i do, you know. i remember after we went through unrest in the early 2000s, you know, cops would routinely say, you know, the red tape, my hands are tied behind my back. this viewpoint which i don't think is accurate is real, though. it is a genuine perception that many cops have around the country and i think one of the goals of this task force and i know in our city chief isaac with david kennedy and a whole bunch of others helped train officers what they can do.
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they are told all the time what they can't do. what they can't do. what they can't do. this err desperate in my opinion to be told what they can do. i think that's a real break through and something that would be of real value if this task force can help communities going through that transition to talk about how we treat police officers as humans and tell them not just what they can't do but what they can do. >> thank you. mayor weston-broome? >> thank you very much. and i will say that mayor landrieu, you are absolutely right, everything that's been said here i wholeheartedly agree with, that this issue of closing the gap between law enforcement and the citizens of our community is certainly a solvable problem, but it is not a simple one. my best friend who was an elected official once said that
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public service is not for the faint of heart and i would say coming up with a solution to what we're discussing today is certainly not for the faint of heart. i have been the mayor of baton rouge for 15 months, but who is counting? when i came in office i inherited a community that was in great need of healing from three tragedies that took place in the year of 2016. the first was an officer-involved shooting surrounding the alton sterling case, the second was the ambush and murder of three law enforcement officers, the third was the great flood of 2016 that took place in baton rouge and surrounding areas. when i took the oath of office
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on january 1st, 2017, those issues didn't stay in 2016, they came right with me as mayor. so my platform in running for mayor and talking about public safety was integrating the pillars of the 21st century policing plan as an excellent model for what we could do as a city and as a community could close that gap between law enforcement and the citizens of our community. so the first thing that i did, recognizing the challenge that we had first with the officer-involved shooting, was to bring individuals from the community, all walks of life, together, law enforcement, faith-based community, nonprofit leaders in a collaborative experience where we talked about what can we do from a policy point of view, something
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tangible that shows this community that we're moving in the right direction. as a result of that collaboration we came up with some use of force policies that were best practices and that would now become part of our police policy. not just something that is taught in the police academy as i'm told, but something that was put in our police policy. secondly, i asked the council to support my efforts in purchasing body cameras for our police officers, which of course certainly protect the officers and certainly coincide with information for citizens in the community. lastly, i would say that i had a very open selection process that took place that was involved -- involving members of our
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community in selecting a new police chief. the chief that was there when i came in office retired in october, i then implemented a process in which we -- we have a very different process in baton rouge of selecting a police chief involving civil service, that a whole another conversation for another day and time, but at any rate we had a very open and transparent process of selecting a new police chief. i believe that those initiatives have helped us turn the page, although we are still working on the healing process of our community. with that being said, i'm very proud that our new police chief has really worked hand in hand with the officers, but more importantly with the people in the community in terms of closing the gap. i will let him take it from here, but i will tell you that
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right now he's probably more popular than the mayor of baton rouge in that everywhere he goes he gets a standing ovation when he speaks and i hear young people who come and talk to me about the chief, i have people who send me e-mails who want to meet with the chief, so for me that's a great thing for our community. chief? >> well, for me i can't go anywhere so that's not a good thing, but i'm nervous because i'm sitting next to commissioner ramsey and bratton, i don't know if you want an autograph and take pictures right now. we are at, you know, a unique police in the city of baton rouge. i've been like a sponge over the last three months. i took over january 1st and there are some cultural issues we are working on within the department, but one of the reasons that i'm excited is because when i went around to the districts, at the baton rouge police department and i
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talked to the men and women, the boots on the ground, that's where i heard a lot of the solutions from. the men and women of the baton rouge police department. so i'm excited to see this energy that i believe we have in the police department and this thirst for a change by many of our police officers who really recognize that we can become better at our craft. sometimes when we set the bar hi high, we achieve those goals. that's what i think we have right now in the police department. you know, community policing as commissioner ramsey talked about, it's really a shared responsibility between the citizens and the police department. and that's why it's important that the communities are afforded the opportunity to have direct meaningful and a
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constructive voice in aspects of the way that their neighborhoods are being policed. that's what we're doing right now. you know, we are meeting with any and everybody, we want to talk to everybody, we are listening. we're listening to learn. through our partnership with the department of justice as part of the national public safety partnership we have some of the communi community policing experts that are going to come in and help put a strategy in place long-term for the baton rouge police department and we're excited about that as well. but, you know, the leadership in the police department, you know, they buy in pretty fast, but it's the boots on the ground that we've got to get. we've got to make sure that they understand the importance of community policing and it starts at the academy. that's not just having a little box to say, you know, you've met a certain block of community policing. it doesn't. it doesn't mean you have one of
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three guys that are assigned to a community policing section and now you've met this community policing check box. it's the understanding that what commissioner ramsey talks about in the 21st century policing model, that we are guardians of the community first. and that every man and woman who wears the uniform should understand that. and that should be the foundation of every academy when we start. and that's what we are doing at the baton rouge police department, you know, we are excited about it. i wanted to just talk a little bit about what we talked about and stress. you know, one of the things we have to understand is that this is a hard job and mental health in our police officers is important, but we also have to create an environment as leaders where our police officers feel safe to say, i need a break. where they feel safe to say, do
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you know what, something is going on. and you know historically we have not done that as leaders in law enforcement. you know, a lot of these police -- a lot of our officers we have pride and it's looked at as a sign of weakness. so we have to be mindful of that when we look at employee assistance programs to help our police officers relieve those cups of stress. it starts from the top. it really does. to make sure that we create an environment where our officers feel safe. i want to touch on one more thing, the media's responsibility in community police relations. you know, we have some irresponsible journalism that goes on out there that has a role in community police relations and it is very important that you have a relationship with your local media because the good deeds, all the great things that we do every day that that doesn't make headlines. we don't hear those stories. so we have to do a better job of telling our story as law enforcement officers because the reality is the majority of the
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men and women who wear this uniform, they understand those values of loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity and personal coverage and they do it every day. when we have a few that don't deserve to wear that badge, sometimes we get painted with this broad brush. and i can tell you as an african-american i've seen what painting a certain part of our community with a broad brush would do to our african-american males. so let's be careful with that. thank you. >> thank you, mayor, and chief. mayor mcmillan and chief ansley? >> thank you so much. i am -- to follow all of what we have heard thus far is kind of hard because i agree with all of
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it and i think that all of us strive to present the best case that we can. we in clarksville, it's the fifth largest city in the state, but we have the -- sometimes we call it the fortune and misfortune of being 49 miles from the largest city in tennessee which is nashville. so we have a very large population in our community. we are also home to the seventh largest military installation in the nation in ft. campbell which sits right in the middle of our community and has approximately 25,000 to 30,000 active duty military forces who all live primarily in our community with all of their dependents. so that adds another role to our police department. but when i became mayor eight years ago in clarksville i was
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extremely fortunate because the man sitting next to me, chief ansley, was already the police chief. so i didn't have to go out and look for somebody that could take on this role. but we had some issues we had to deal with in clarksville. we had a number of lawsuits that had been filed against the police department, racial-type lawsuits, we had issues with the basic diversity that existed within our police department and basically not a good community relationship with our community. i sat down with chief ansley and we embarked on a mission to change the whole reality. and i can say now that we have no lawsuits that are presently filed against -- we resolved all of those lawsuits, so we now have one of the most diverse
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police departments in the entire southeast. we have the lowest crime rate for a city of our size in the entire southeast. and those things don't come just because somebody is not doing their job, it's because of the man sitting next to me and his entire police force which is 300 sworn officers strong and works every day to make sure that we build those community relationships. when i first became mayor i said, what can we do to make sure that we are making sure that the police officers are in the community and that the young people in our community and the old people in our community everyone respects them? so we started a program of the mayor's summer night lights programs where we actually went into all of the areas of our city and allowed the police department to interact with
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everybody in our city in order to give the young people something to do, but to also show them that the police officers are people who they can respect and who are there to help them. i think that has been so helpful to our community and to these relationships. i'm going to let the chief tell you about all of the great things that we have been doing in our community to strengthen those police community relationships, but i think that is the absolute key in what we do. if the public doesn't respect the police, they can't solve crimes. they have to have that interaction and that relationship with the community to be able to get the tips, to be able to find out how they can solve those crimes and because we do that we also have one of the top, you know, case solving records again in all of the southeast. i think that what we've seen in
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our community is when you saw the marches, when you saw the riots, when you saw the public go out and actually try to rally for what they think is happening, that doesn't happen in our community. i think it's because people know that we're not doing that. they don't need to have a march and a rally and a protest in our community. but we still go out. we have regular meetings where we go out with the entire community to address the issues that are happening in other parts of the country just to show the public that we're just not going to stand for that in our community and i think it works so well. i just want to say that, you know, when you live in the state of tennessee, i think i know my fellow mayor from kentucky over here probably has the same issues, but, you know, guns are so prevalent in the state of tennessee, i don't know if anybody realizes that, but we
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have guns in bars, guns in church, guns in parks, both state and federal parks, we have guns in every city building. we cannot prohibit people from carrying guns anywhere, including all of our parks and everywhere else. the state legislature continues to overrule our ability to control the guns. so our police department is under some serious strain sometimes to deal with these guns that are everywhere and prevalent throughout our community, but they're doing a great job and i just want to publicly in front of everybody here tell you -- and i like to tell them this -- i go to every swearing in, i go to every promotion, everything that i can go to to show all of those police officers that the mayor supports them in everything they do and i tell everybody that they are so fortunate to come to work because they have the best
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police chief in america. now, i don't mean to say that -- i know there is a lot of police chiefs in here, but that's what i think about my chief and he has been the chief the entire time i've been mayor and i'm getting ready to run again and i hope he's going to stay for me when i'm still here as we continue to go because i think we all make a great team. and that's what it takes, it takes teamwork and cooperation between the mayors and their police chiefs and their police departments to make our communities work. chief, i'm going to turn it over to you and let you brag on everything that you're doing in the police department. >> thank you, mayor. my name is chief alonzo ansley, i'm a lifer with the clark vil police department. i'm going to keep this brief because i think we are a little over. i've been chief of police for 11 years and we're famous for stealing. i suspect we stole ideas from several of you in this room and probably this definitely will be a learning experience for me going back to clarksville. one thing i would like to touch
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on, the mayor mentioned something about our reputation and building that trust that we had to build and that's why i've been chief so long, 11 years. because i do care about the community and i do care about the police department. i got tired of seeing us on the front page when we lost several -- not just had discrimination lawsuits, we lost them and that can cause quite a bit of damage to your police department. >> i wasn't mayor then, chief. >> she was not the mayor then. i had the privilege of sitting -- had an invite from the nashville chief of police chief anderson to sit on the major cities round table and chief -- commissioner ramsey was there and he said something that stuck with me to this day, i don't know if he remembers it, but he said cops do not like the way things are and cops do not like the way things are when you change them. and that is a fact.
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as i mentioned before, some of the things we have done of recent program we started was -- a recent program we started was we called it cutting the chat where we walk into a local barber shop, we stole that one from north carolina, by the way, but we walk into a local barber shop, we sit down and have a conversation, supposed to last 30 minutes, usually lasts an hour and a half. i don't shy away from them, but we also want to show them that we are people, we have families, just like they do. and that program has worked very well and some of the things we have done to change our reputation we basically went back to the basic principles of community policing, that is, positive relationships. people do not want to see the cruiser going down the street, people want to see the officer out on the -- in their
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neighborhoods talking to them. the one thing i will say, i'm going to say this and it may not be a popular thing to say, but one thing that i have noticed in my years and i have noticed what the public expects at least the public forums i have attended is they expect accountability and that is one thing that we have -- i have embraced is accountability. chief, excuse me -- commissioner ramsey mentioned it. it's not about punishing an officer for making a mistake because i never do that, you own your mistake, you may get a slap on the wrist or whatever, but if you lie to me, if you -- if your integrity isn't in check i will fire you. what frustrates me the most, and this may not be popular, is i have fired people from our department and i have seen them end up elsewhere. and that does frustrate me. i have seen it on many occasions because in my opinion we do not
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as a police culture do a good enough job to check people's backgrounds. if you are going to hire a police officer that i fired for lying, which his ability to testify as a witness in open court has been compromised for the rest of his career, then i have a problem with it. this, once again, it's my honor to be here, a learning experience for me and it's a pleasure meeting all of you. thank you very much. >> thank you, mayor mcmillan and chief ansley. so we've heard a number of issues that have come up consistently, the interdependency between the police and the community, the impact of ptsd and stress, the importance of accountability, and these solutions that come from boots on the ground.
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we are representative of leadership in our cities, but we certainly know that patrol officers, line officers, have a lot of insight. and the impact of preemption, which is something that continues to inform our conversations because we understand that the state legislatures in each of our states have a direct impact on our ability to govern locally. so with that i'm going to open it up for questions and comments at this time and we're going to go to mayor kennedy. >> good afternoon. you know, we were talking about community relations with the police department. i'm proud to say in freeport we are a very diverse community, 30% black, 30% hispanic, 30% white, 10% mix.
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we have no unrest at all. and i contribute to a couple of things. one that our police department starts at the age of about nine years old the fourth grade. we have a program in the village of freeport where it's called adopt a cop and all the police officers go to a fourth grade class all year long and start that relationship young with the children. so at four years old the children each have a police officer there every month comes in at the end of the year they have a big party, they give out pizza pizzas, bring in police, the horses, scuba team, helicopters and develop a relationship at a young age, instead of waiting to 15 or 16 when you have a problem, we are starting it at four. our chief started this program many years ago. no unrest at all. not to mention i would say we are the first police department in new york state to mandate the use of body cameras and every officer given a taser and trained how to use them so we don't have, you know, deadly force when not needed. it's been really working fine
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and the chief had put this program together. how many years have you had that? >> 24 years. >> 24 years and it is a great problem. fourths graders, we are expanded it to sixth and the eighth grade where each class will adopt a police officer and they are there every month. these police officers come in on their days off, they put on -- they may be doing a 7:00 to 7:00, come in the next day at 11:00 just to see the class and go with those children. it's proven to be successful. five and six years down the line some child will walk up and say i remember you, you were my adopt a cop. >> what's interesting about this program is through these years nine of our current officers remember when they were adopted by a police officer and they brought them around. so it works out great. if i'm in a store they will come up to me and say, chief, do you remember me? of course i will say, why he, i do, and we will have a conversation about what happened in their school that day or that home. and that's really how you build legitimacy and that's how you
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build trust, by spending the time with them at an early age and start growing those seeds. so by the time they become older, they can trust you and they feel a lot better about you. and those questions change. and they will remind you, chief, i remember when i met you five years ago or ten years ago or one i just hired last week, 15 years ago, who said you made a difference when you came into my classroom and spoke to me and i always remember that and to this day that's the day i decided i want to become a police officer. because i saw the opportunity that was available. we've been very successful with the program, i encourage all to try these programs. and building legitimacy isn't just in the schools, we build them with the churches. when there was a talk about a march on washington, one of our local pastors, very famous gospel winner, reverend donny mcclark invited me to his church and he had about 800
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parishioners there that day and he was there to sing the praise of the police department. we may disagree with what happens in other parts of the country, but we support our freeport police officers because they are there and we are part of the community and we are all a team and without peace in our community there's peace nowhere. that's why the community trust that we receive -- in fact, i'm sure commissioner bratton will speak about it tonight, about the nine rules of appealing reform. is you get your legitimacy, you get your power from the community and it goes a long, long way to making the community and the police department better. >> mayor broome and then maryor butte geg. >> i wanted to add something that's prevalent on my mind and
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really a transition from what the chief who just spoke said and that is the issue that we face as leaders, as mayors and i believe as police chiefs and that is trying to dismantle this us against them mentality and culture that exists not only in our community but throughout the united states, and i believe that those of us who are here in this room today can be a part of changing that culture. i know for me as a mayor and i believe it's the same goal for any police chief in this room is that we want the best police department that we can absolutely have, and we want to do whatever we can to make sure that the police and the community become one, but with these constant narratives that exist when you talk about, as i've often said, police reform
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does not mean police rejection, it just means that we all, whether we are the mayor, whether we are the chief of police, we all have room for improvement and everyone should want a stellar police department that serves their communities and it builds a great relationship. so i'm throwing that out there because i certainly would like to hear about perhaps some additional action steps that can take place to help us get closer to closing that and dismantling that narrative. >> thank you, mayor. mayor buttigieg. >> thank you. so i come to a gathering on this theme and i feet like i'm alternating between feeling really good and feeling despondent. feeling good because there is no -- it seems like all of us agree on what to do and all of us are doing it. there doesn't seem to be a fierce controversy over what
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steps should be taken or some big idea that we have totally missed, but then despondent because all of us are doing all of those things and yet we are still here talking about the issue, which means it hasn't been solved. in south bend the chief and his command staff have done a terrific job doing all the things we're supposed to be doing, programs in the schools, introducing body cameras, going to community events, lots of foot patrols, recruiting from neighborhoods and communities that are affected. we have a civilian board that makes -- actually it's an unusually powerful one in that the chief makes a recommendation to them on discipline and they make the final decision instead of the other way around, although some in the community feel like that doesn't kound as a civilian review board because we are appointed by the mayor. we are doing the work with the national network and david kennedy. to me it's valuable not just because of the actual impact on gun violence but because you can't do it unless you pull
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together a community coalition to make it happen which means all these folks have each other on speed dial for when something else goes on. we have a clear procedure for what to do when there is an officer-involved shooting. i like going as many years as possible without one of those, we just managed to have two in two weeks, both of them proved to be ruled justified and in one case one very good data point i had in our police community relations was that a witness from the neighborhood really was one of the ones who established that the officer did the right thing. but the other part of me is looking at cases like one where we had six people shot at a party, miraculously none of them were killed, and infuriatingly not one of them will tell us what happened. so it tells us that even though the chief and his team are doing all these really great things, we are still not where we need to be. the question i was hoping to put to the group is do we have any
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concrete actionable ways of just measuring where police community relations stand? we thought of one, which is to take shot spotter data and compare to 911 data checks at what time they call us about it. the theory is the more confident they are in the police department, the greater share of the time they'll be letting us know when something happens. but that data is pretty noisy. actually, the quicker we're on the scene, the less likely we'll get a call. so i'm looking for other things we can do. we don't have a polling budget. that could just help us measure month by month or year by year on top of all the data and good stories and bad stories we get how we're actually doing on this question of legitimacy in ways that we can track and follow and act on. >> i want to address mayor broom's point. to his point, there are citizen
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satisfaction surveys that we used to do twice a year that we now do once a year. they're put on by a commission made up of professors from local universities that do that for us. that will give us an indication of how we're doing with police/community relations but how people's perceptions of crime, their perceptions of police/community relations. to her point about the us against them, and we talked about the word accountability. i think the thing we left out was the word transparency. a lot of times accountability doesn't really work without full transparency to the community. so accountability through like, for example, strong policy, strong training, strong supervision and management, and strong discipline internally but messaging that externally, that only works internally. but people really need to know that you have that externally. so we have decided to put just
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about everything we do online and make it available to the citizens. every use of force, every discipline, call for service, response times, citizen complaints. every single thing that can be measured, we make available to the community. over time, that relieves some of the questions that citizens would tend to ask. then when there are critical incidents, for example a police-involved shooting or some other type of critical incident, i make it a point of meeting with the immediate family member within the first 12 hours. 12 to 13 hour, i'm with them. so at the first press conference, at the second press conference, my opening statement is i just met with the family. to the extent that i can, i'll have them standing there with me. those things help over time. but i believe we're speaking to an internal police culture whereby we only measure police
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chief performance. we evaluate police chiefs and police departments by their crime fighting strategies, the number of arrests, clearance rates, not necessarily by citizen satisfaction and community's perception of our performance. so i think those citizen satisfaction surveys will go a very long way, and it takes a little bit of work to begin the change in internal culture, starting with chiefs all the way down to the newest officer to not put so much emphasis on just crime fighting strategies but on community policing strategies and building relationships and changing citizens' perceptions of how we do it. i often say we always wanted to deliver police services in a way we thought they should be delivered rather than agreeing to deliver the police community services you think you need. that's where we need to be. >> i've got a question. how many of you have civilian review boards in your
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communities? by a show of hands. okay. we're going to take two more comments. weav we're going to go to david kennedy. i'm going to go to my chief, three comments, then i'm going to go to our mayor here. >> mayor, there's a new player in this community sentiment area. so i'm not endorsing this. i've heard about this. it's interesting. i pass it on only for informational value. but there's a firm which believes that it can supply you with a smartphone app that as it percolates out through the community can bring in more or less realtime kind of community sentiment and legitimacy information.
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there are cases that that's statistically and meaningful. elucd. so informational only, no interest, can't verify it, but i think things like this are coming and may lower the cost of what would otherwise be formal social science research. having said that, we know what the answers are. this is to the us versus them question. we're administering for the justice department the national initiative for building community trust and justice. some people here are involved in that. the urban institute through that did this kind of expensive formal research in the highest crime areas of six american cities. what they found across the
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country was in these troubled minority crime hot spots, so these are the places where shot spotter says they don't call 911, you got very high levels of respect for the law, very high interest in safety and security, a high willingness theoretically to work with the police, a high willingness to do voluntary community public safety work, and a very low belief that the police would hold themselves accountable or were like them or shared their values and would be respectful. that's not an immediate phenomenon. that set of beliefs did not begin with ferguson or the crack epidemic. that attitude is deeply historical. i've been saying for a long time, and i've said this to you,
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when white folks talk about these issues and these incidents, they talk about the issue and the incident. when black folks talk about them, they talk about history. we get the same sort of thing for the lgbtqi community. every people that has been oppressed internalizes and continues as a collective narrative, that oppression. and the really big move in this, i think, is what terry cunningham did 18 months ago now, what chief allen is doing in gary, which is to take on this historical reality head on and say to alienated communities, it has been us versus them. that's not a mistake. that was true. the history of the nation is that we have treated you really badly under color of law, and we
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can't just pretend that didn't happen, and we can't reset it without acknowledging it. and terry made international news 18 months ago in san diego when he apologized on behalf of i.c.e. app. the field is ready for that and communities want to hear it. until we say it clearly, we're just pretending. >> thank you. chief allen and then the mayor. >> yes, our department -- our entire department has went through procedural justice training and identified some of those biases we have as law enforcement officers or human beings. it was interesting to find out that a lot of officers didn't realize they had those biases based upon their history and upbringing and things that have occurred in their lives. it was interesting we brought that out and allowed the officers to see that. what we're working on now is a process to get that type of
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training to the community. to touch on some other things, we've talked a lot about the trust and the legitimacy. i've been trying to tell our officers, we have to get away from the sps. that's secret police stuff. for years, we've always had that idea that, well, the public doesn't need to know what we're doing. we just do it. we're the police. we have to get away from that. we have to get away from that because like you said, you can google it and know what we do as law enforcement officers. we have to get away from that. one of the things we are doing, we partner along with indiana university northwest and offer twice a year a citizens police academy where they can come in and get some training and get some insight into what we do as law enforcement. so they can get a better understanding of what we do. so they can understand that, okay, the police are not just out here doing things willy nilly. there's a purpose behind what they do. by doing that, that trust is incorporated into that. we also go out to our community
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meetings. we're doing things in the community so we can continue to build that trust up. i agree with the chief about painting our own story. every morning i hear from my mayor, you know, we have to get our narrative out there. i am listening when you say that. >> mayor, you have the final word. >> i'll be brief. just a couple things. one of the things we've noticed in west palm beach is as our crime is going down, our call for service is going up. i think that maybe that tells us something in terms of trust level and people being willing to call and ask for help. i think that's important. the other thing i want to talk about is, you know, we have that whole list of outreach programs that all of you are doing. one of my favorites is something we call kids and cops dialogue. we bring kids together with police officers in a facilitated discussion that occurs over
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multiple weeks. and that's where we start breaking down those barriers of perception where kids can at some point say, look, you know, you came in to where i was and acted like you, you know, whatever. cops can say to the kids, well, look, when you call me names or spit at me, it just makes me feel like this. so they have really deepened significant discussions about the relationship between their community and the police officers. the fact that it's facilitated in a very specific manner, i think that they really get to the point of starting to look at some of that historical distrust and perhaps disproportionate mistreatment. it really works well. >> i want to say this.
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mayor wilson is doing an excellent job. she has us within four minutes, five minutes of on time. i'm not getting in trouble with her and john by taking us off schedule. i want to make sure -- i'm not sure if some of you read david joyce's piece in the "new york times" on gun culture. it's a really compelling piece. it talks about gun culture and different parts of america that may be familiar to some of us but unfamiliar to others. i think it's a great lesson in the importance and value of inclusion and making sure we speak and act in very inclusive terms. i use inclusion vis-a-vis the term diversity as well. there are challenges that people face all across this country, and they are of every age, shape, race, hue, religion, and we've got to make sure that we dial into those issues, that we
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understand that some of the challenges that folks are facing in appalachia are the same challenges that people are facing in the inner city in some of our greatest cities. we got to make sure that as we understand and comprehend that they are historical issues that go back to some of america's original sins that we're looking forward and that our dialogue and discussion speaks to the more perfect union that we're trying to create. we've got to pull people in. we've got to make sure that we're all eventually singing from the same hymnal or for lack of a better religious reference. so again, let's continue to think about us, about us, and recognizing that all the challenges we face are not issues just of race but racial issues are really very real. there are suffering people of every background all across this country, and we've got to make sure we speak to those issues if ever we're going to have a dialogue that everyone can
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embrace and we can move forward on together. just wanted to say that. thank you. >> thank you, mr. vice president. before i turn it over to our chair, so i've got an opportunity to take a ride in a helicopter. and the question is i can pick a pilot out of this room. do i pick chief paul, or do i pick tom? chances are i'll pick tom or nan. not because they're necessarily better pilots than chief paul, but it's because i know them better. he and i just met. so when we talk about police/community relations, we're really talking about building relationships. and if i don't know you, it is
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very difficult for me to trust you. mayor, back to you. >> thank you very much. we will in many ways continue this discussion, i'm sure from chief bratton this evening, at least hearing about his amazing experiences. tomorrow morning, chief isaac and mayor landrieu and i are part of a continuing police community reform, which is really police/community relations in the time frame we live in. that'll be sort of chapter two of this discussion. i have a lot more to add, but given the time, i'd like to keep things moving. we are now going to move to a section to be run by my good friend from finley, ohio, about dealing with people in crisis. i will make one point of personal information to everybody. i'm going to have to step out of this session a little early because i'm having to take a
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call from reverend jesse jackson. the good news is he's coming to cincinnati tomorrow and not with happy news. the good news is it has nothing to do with the police. the bad news is he's announcing a boycott against kroger, which is headquartered in my city. in my experience, it's done a lot of good things for our city and our urban corp. nonetheless, please forgive me for stepping out to take that call. if i'm not here to wrap up this session, i'd appreciate you do so. >> thank you very much, mayor. thank you, all, for spending some time out of your very busy schedules to discuss some pretty important and deep topics. i know that we have a lot of work to do back in our own communities, but i think it is noteworthy that you're here and that we're having these conversations. the more we can communicate, the more focus we can bring, and the more understanding i think all of us can have.
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that only bodes well for our communities. we're going to focus now on our efforts to improve police response to people in crisis, specifically due to mental illness and/or chemical dependency, a growing problem in our cities. people who are in a mental health crisis are more likely to encounter police than get actual medical help. as a result, 2 million people with mental illness are booked into our jails each year. nearly 15% of men and 30% of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition, and the vast majority of these individuals are not violent criminals. once in zwrajail, many individu don't receive the treatment they need, and they end up actually getting worse rather than better. we know that much of this can be avoided when police officers are able to actually connect them to treatment and services that will
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divert them from the justice system. this is often facilitated when officers are able to work in partnership with mental health professionals and other human service providers. we also know that officers need the knowledge and the training to effect live respond to these crises, and they need to know how to de-escalate situations. police face different challenges in dealing with people overdosing or suffering from substance abuse disorders. the opioid epidemic has claimed nearly 500,000 lives over the last decade nationally and has been declared a public health emergency, although the national response has been plagued by inaction. the centers for disease control and prevention report that drug overdose deaths in 2016 alone totalled 64,070 individuals. a 21% increase over the year before with three-fourths of all drug overdose deaths caused by
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opioids. furthermore, the cdc's statistics confirm that fentanyl is driving the sharp increases in opioid related fatalities. while police are often first on the scene in dealing with a drug overdose and there are measures that they can take like administering north ameri administering naloxone, we need to examine what we can be doing to prevent drug abuse and get people into treatment. just last week i was fortunate enough to join our conference president as we convened a meeting in dayton to discuss successful community solutions for combatting the opioid crisis, and i'm really thankful for the leadership that the mayor has produced around this effort. we're going to hear now from officials from three jurisdictions about their efforts to improve police department interactions with people in crisis.
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montgomery county police chief tom manger, louisville mayer greg fisher, and police director and chief richard beal. first, chief, we'll start with you pchl you. >> thank you, mayor. 10% of the calls that police officers go to involve somebody who's dealing with a mental health issue. it may not be dispatched as a call that involves somebody with a mental health issue. maybe trespassing at a local store. but when you get there, what you find out is, in fact, the issue is you're dealing with a person that has a mental health issue. 10% of the calls we go to involve someone with a mental health issue. one out of four people that police officers shoot is dealing with a mental health issue. one out of four. so i don't think i need to go
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beyond that to demonstrate to this group just how critical our ability to deal with folks that are dealing with mental health issues is. we have to ask ourselves, how equipped are our cops to deal with folks that have mental illness? i think all of us can talk about, well, we have the crisis intervention training, cit. well, we've got a half a dozen officers trained with cit. well, we probably need 100% of our officers trained with that. some of us are getting there. but cit typically is about 40 hours of training. that's a pretty tall order to train every single cop, you know, with a 40-hour class. so it will take likely years to do that. i think what we can all, i hope, agree on is that as we encounter people every day that are dealing with mental health
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issues, with addiction issues, that we're now all wise enough to understand that incarceration is not the answer. incarceration does nothing. we need to find ways to connect these folks with treatment, as the mayor just said. there are a number of initiatives nationwide and a number of local initiatives that we've all adopted that are putting us in the right direction. the national council for behavioral health offers something called mental health first-aid. that's not a 40-hour class. i think it may just be able to do it in one day, i think. i could be wrong. okay, thank you. so mental health first-said is worth its weight in gold until you can get somebody to that 40-hour class. and maybe we do that in the academy. i will tell you that personally one of the reason its haven't added another week to my six
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months of recruit academy is i think officers need a little bit of experience and get some seasoning out on the streets before you start teaching them about, you know, giving them the crisis intervention training. it would be much more meaningful to them, much more relevant once they've spent some time on the street. the icp, and i won't steal any thunder, but the one-mind campaign is just an amazing initiative. again, a nationwide campaign. this is really -- all of these initiatives are about de-escalating dangerous situations. that's what we're trying to do. i had a call, one of my cops -- and we're all wearing body-worn cameras in my jurisdiction. although, my videos aren't very exciting. my cops that we actually do get some pretty amazing videos. i had an officer who was dispatched to a large department store for an individual who was
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wearing a chewbacca costume. he was just walking around the store and making people uncomfortable. so when my officers went there, they walked all through the store, couldn't find him. the officers are in front of the store getting ready to leave when somebody comes running out and says, the guy is back, but he's taken his costume off. he's standing there in his underwear and he has a knife. one of my officers goes down the aisle, sees this guy. it looks like a white male. he's probably in his early 20s. and in fact, he's standing in his underwear and he's just looking at something on a shelf. the officer saids ys to him, dr the knife. the man turns toward the officer and picks the knife up in sort of an aggressive stance and starts walking, not running, but walking very methodically toward the officer. the officer takes out his service weapon say, drop the knife, drop the knife. the officer, mind you, is
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backing up. you can tell from the video. the officer is backing up. and he's saying, you know, telling the guy, drop the knife. i don't want to have to shoot you. drop the knife. i'm telling you, i don't want to shoot you. drop the knife. he's trying to talk this guy down. he gets on his radio real quick, tells the other officer, you got to evacuate the store, i got a subject with a knife. without explanation, the guy turns around, starts running. the officer starts running after him. he's able actually to -- another officer is able to catch up to him, deploys a taser, the guy goes down, knife goes sliding across the floor, they get the into custody. everybody's safe. nobody's hurt. that's the outcome you want in something like that. but when you watch this, this officer was in a situation where he could have lawfully discharged his weapon. it was a deadly force situation. if he'd have just stood there, the guy would have been right up and as soon as he got within
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arm's reach, it would have been a deadly force situation. because we're teaching our officers better tactics and -- you know, it's not just was the use of deadly force lawful, was it within policy, we're all asking that third question, the most important, was it necessary. in this case, the officer, very proud of him, the way he backed up, the way he kept talking to the guy, telling him i don't want to shoot you. maybe that clicked with the guy and he went running the other way. so again, this is all part of the training that our officers are getting in terms of dealing with folks that have mental health issues, which this guy it. the -- in montgomery county, we've established mental health courts, and it diverts people who have committed lower level offenses away from the criminal justice system and plugs them into treatment. we have something called a steer program where we don't divert
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people, we deflect people. that is, they never enter the criminal justice system. the officers who respond to these, again, low-level offenses, nuisance type calls. we. connect the person immediately with a social worker who is available to us and typically resolve a lot of cases that way. we have two full-time social workers that work with my cops. when we go to an opioid overdose, there's a social workers that goes with the officers who respond. when the person is revived, they see the social worker and they see the police officer and we give them a choice. you can go with the police officer, you can go with the social worker to treatment. police officer is really not going to take them into custody, but 100% of the people pick to go to the social worker. the good news is that after a month, we still have more than 50% of those folks who have remained in treatment. so it's a very successful program. it costs money because you've got these social workers who are deployed to the police
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departme department, assigned to the police department full time, but it's really worked very well. finally, we have an officer, one officer who works full time dealing with families who have either autistic children or developmentally delayed kids, especially the ones where they elope or wander off and they're out in the community and people, you know, say -- you get a kid acting strangely and my cop shows up. the person could be an autistic could or teenager who then acts very aggressively or is shouting, that sort of thing. not only has this officer trained the majority of our officers about how to identify those kinds of, you know, how to identify someone who might be autistic or have some other mental health issue, but we also have trained our officers, given them some tips about here's what
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you do, here's what you don't do, here's what you say, here's what you don't say. in addition to all that, this police officer works with these families, and we have something called project lifesaver where we can issue the family a wristband for that individual. so if they do get away, we're able to track them down and get them safely back home. again, once a year we have something at our police academy called autism night out. it has grown to where we have between 400 and 500 autistic individuals, many of them kids, some young adults, who come with their families. we've set up the entire police academy area inside and out to be safe for everybody. we have all kinds of activities, and there's a lot of care providers for the parents. and it's just been an amazing program and very successful in
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terms of us connecting with the community of folks who have those kinds of issues in their family. so they really feel like they have some place to go to get some help and they can trust when, you know, the police get involved with their kid that it's hopefully going to turn out where everybody's okay. >> thanks, chief. mayor fisher. >> thank you. i'm greg fisher, the mayor of louisville. i'm going to talk about this issue from first identifying challenge folks and then diverting them and thirdly case management. sadly, this is a realtime issue for us. last night there was an officer-involved shooting with an individual that had several issues that manifested themselves during that encounter. our officers -- 98% of lmpd officers have been trained in crisis intervention training and during that encounter, you could hear through body cameras trying
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to de-escalate the situation, but it did end up in a the shooing. so i certainly regret that. we talked about the identification process. i think the chief covered that quite thoroughly. that's important for all of our officers. as i mentioned, 98% have been trained. likewise what we tried to do is divert as many of these individuals so they don't enter the criminal justice system and begin that whole spiral. we're implementing the law enforcement assisted diversion techniques that we learned from seattle, and that project allows for police to use their discretion of whether to arrest or to refer. about six months ago we set something up called the living room demonstration program, so this is staffed 24/7 with caseworkers, social service workers. so for low-level issues where a police officer has the discretion to arrest someone that is a problem, they can take them to the living room, drop them off. it's a 24-hour facility where then that person can stay for 24
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hours. they're surrounded by caseworkers to identify what these issues can be. they could be everything from homelessness, food insecurity, mental illness, so whatever we can do to give them help, we're doing that. that obviously is not only morally a better program but it's also less expensive than taking them to jail. we found when we took a look at our numbers, and i'm sure it's the same in your cities, that there are a small number of people that are in and out of your jails very frequently. they used to be called frequent flyers. we put a more friendly name on it called familiar faces. there's 50 folks that have more than eight incarcerations and eight emergency room utilizations that drive a tremendous amount of activity and cost in our system as well. so we've developed a homeless
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management information system that basically touches our police department, our jail, our emergency room, our homeless coalition. we now, you know, know these folks really well. we know where they're at in their treatment protocols so that we can give them the right services at the right time and not just throw them in jail and repeat the cycle that just goes on and on and on. so we've been very successful with that. it has -- it does create obviously the need for your city to have a lot of teamwork between the hospitals, your ers and corrections an your homeless coalitions. so that obviously is one of the benefits of this so that we can really understand what that individual person's need is and try to give them the help they need. related to that, two months ago we put in place a homeless encampment task force. the issue of dealing with homelessness obviously is extraordinarily difficult. about 5% to 6% of the american population has a severe mental
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illness problem. in our homeless community, it's four to five times that rate. while the public wants to tell us how easy it is to take care of this homelessness problem, we all know how difficult it actually is. so this issue on encampments and how to move folks, how to keep homeless camps clean, we're having a hepatitis a problem in our city right now because of some cleanliness issues. how do you go in, how do we notify the camps when we're coming in. so we've established a protocol around that. all the service providers are present. we give a 21-day notice to the camps. the police obviously are usually the initial group interacting with the police officers so tats we can get the social service workers around the camps, provide the case work required for each individual before a camp is actually moved in one way or another. obviously a lot of sensitivities with this, but it has raised the
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community awareness of how difficult this issue is and provides some community resources for us as well. like you all, i assume your homeless are like ours. some don't want to be homeless and they're there because of economic reasons. others, that is -- when we try to house them, they choose not to be housed. people have a really hard time understanding that. so they tend to be chronic, and they're the most difficult ones that we have to deal with. we also have the need to establish a low barrier solution for homelessness in our homeless shelters. if you're intoxicated, if you're under the influence of any kind, you're not allowed into the homeless shelters. for those that are most chronic, and that is a part of the population, we do not have a satisfactory solution for them as well, and we're working on that. i don't think you can talk about this issue without talking about
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people in crisis with the opioid situation. like most of you all, i'm sure all of our police officers and public safety officials carry naloxone. that's obviously really helping to keep people alive. we're also using a software solution to map where overdoses are taking place in our community so we can flood those areas with resources and try to interrupt the overdoses that are taking place in our community. then we implement a quick response team that takes an initiative no our hospital emergency rooms, and it's a police initiative that consists of a police officer and emt and addiction counselor. we try to get that person right into drug treatment, and we're seeing success with that as well. overdoses this year are down about 35%. we think it's mainly naloxone.
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a buddy system of if you're a user and i'm a user, you're watching each other while you're going through your high and making sure you come through it okay. i mean, i think that just shows you this power of addiction and how hard it is to work through that. but lives are being saved. so those are a few things that we're using in louisville to try to help us with people in crisis. >> all right. thank you very much. >> thank you, all, for the important work that you do. particularly we were asked to talk a bit about the opioid epidemic. it seems to be the topic of conversation, unfortunately, that the city of dayton talks the most about. what i said before in 2014 when i was lekked mayor, it wasn't something that i really was excited or even really knew would be the highest priority on our community, but we spend time every day and more and more percentage of time for our police and fire and really every single part of the city of dayton. as mentioned at the beginning of
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this task force, last year we saw a record high of accidental overdose deaths in the county. 560,000 people, around 550 some deaths of accidental overdose, mostly because of fentanyl coming your way. if it hab so we could talk a lot about different pieces. i'd like to particularly turn it over to chief beal. chief beal has been the police chief for decades. he's had this ride with us as well, seeing where it started, where it's going, and what we're seeing today. i have to say, though, for us on really moving and why we got so engaged because i think somebody mentioned before the county runs a lot of the social service work in our communities. that's the same in the city of dayton. for us, the toll on our police and fire responders has been enormous, what we call
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compassion fatigue has been something that has affected our police and fire department, the work that we've had to do to help with the health of our police and fire responders is something that we work on regularly because of this epidemic. and why we're very r aggressive on everything from needle exchanges to one of the first cities to put naloxone with our police officers and just the aggressive nature that we're doing to try to do literally anything possible to stem this hateful epidemic. lastly, i'll say there's a lot of discussion about -- and fair discussion, about the change in policing between the crack epidemic to the opioid epidemic. it is fair and true that i have a majority -- minority city commission. that's one of the first things they said to me. why would we be doing this?
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we haven't done this in our dmun dmu communities in the '90s? i said, i completely agree. i wasn't mayor in the '90s, so it's important to figure out a way to admit we were wrong in the past and make sure we don't continue the same sins we have done in the past moving forward. also, the issue with the opioid epidemic and heroin and fentanyl, particularly fentanyl, is just how deadly it is. people that can be -- we have people that have been addicted to alcoholism, which outnumbers this number even to date, but you can stay addicted and stay alive through alcoholism, at least for a time, maybe decades. with the heroin epidemic, you're talking about four to five years that we have as a tail because of fentanyl's entrance in it. that means we have to be very aggressive on getting people treatment as quickly as possible and as often as possible. so that's why i think this is very different than the other issues that we've seen across the country. unfortunately, it's a place that has hit our city very, very
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aggressively and appreciate chief beal's leadership on using his really limited resources to become social workers as well in this issue. chief? >> well, thank you, mayor. i would say with more than ten years as chief in the city of dayton, two words not in my vocabulary, bored or underchallenged. so we're going to talk about one of those challenges for a few moments. i have a bit of a formal, if you will, presentation. some information i want to provide you. i'd like to go forward with that. this is about responding to people in crisis with care. and this is about -- what i'm going to describe is an evolution over about a four or five-year period here. so we had initial success of something called downtown engagement the initiative, which is a strategy later expanded to become the mobile crisis response team. interestingly, that initiative which was to engage individuals in a downtown area for which a
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survey used a descriptor of persons without purpose. often the source of disorder complained pan handling, intoxication, et cetera. we realized we had a population that was in the downtown area. it was a source of regular complaints, if you will. we needed to do something about that. so downtown engagement product was that initiative, and we received a community policing award from the icp in 2015 for this initiative. the idea was to prioritize our response to these individuals in crisis throughout the city. so the mobile crisis response team emerged from that. it focused on individuals who were utilizing a high number of police and/or fire or community resources. the personnel responded to mental health calls and overdoses in a follow-up with needed agencies to link individuals to services. you might see a familiar individual here from afar. in a recent photo from a tour in
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our city last week with the mayor. the team now very recently consists of three officers. one fire department and paramedic and also peer-to-peer mentors as needed. there are monthly round table meetings with all the stakeholders with the idea that we need to troubleshoot when we have someone who is in crisis and how do we best get them connected to services, who is that service provider, how do we go about getting that done. so these monthly meetings are basically problem solving sessions to accomplish that. at times, community meetings are held as needed to augment support for the individuals who are the focus of our efforts to provide care. project grow emerged out of this, so it was defined as getting recovery options working. so this was a kind of formalized focus on those. we had opioid overdose incidents. this is 2017 data. we had contact with 439 victims.
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96 of those were taken directly to treatment. so we had a 22% of the individuals getting access to treatment. educational support was also provided to 290 family members. this is a very recent news story regarding this initiative. so i'll play that for you. >> for signs of progress. >> emergency responders say overdose numbers are slowly going down as community support goes up. ethan fitzgerald digging deeper into what that means. >> emergency responders, treatment specialists have told me treating addiction is a very personal and individual experience. conversation for change is an event that brings all of dayton's resources together and puts them in one room with the hopes of eventually getting people off the streets and into treatment. >> they're not used to the police showing up to offer help.
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>> it's dayton police officers like jason olson that check on past overdose victims and try to connect them to the resources they need. >> knocking on doors of individual, talking to the individual themselves or to family members, giving them treatment options, education for resources for their family for support. >> officers knocking on doors and having a conversation, often with people whose addictions have left them with nothing. punishment isn't on the forefront, like it once was. that's where east end services and conversation for change comes in. >> we take a person-centered approach. we don't tell you how to start your recovery process or get involved with those resources. we just create the environment for that and say, hey, we're here, we can educate you on what's out there, but you have to decide what's best for you because recovery is a long-term journey. >> addiction and its journey involves everyone, including amy duncan, an emt with the dayton fire department. >> the stigma of not wanting to get help is going away because our whole community in conversation for change, with
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the grow with fire and dayton police, you can go pretty much anywhere and get assistance. >> duncan lost her brother to addiction. her work and the success stories that come with it mean the world to her. >> part of what we do is we kind of take out the excuses and the roadblocks. we can make the phone calls. we can do the transportation to wherever they need to be. >> they help rebuild people's lives. conversation for change is the start of that for many, and the first of five events happen at linden baptist church at 5:00 p.m. this thursday. >> again, emergency responder telling me those numbers of overdosings a overdoses are down, but there's still a lot of work to do. to find a full list of events in your area, head to wdtn.com. >> so conversations for change actually began in 2014, and once again, it was very much a grassroots initiative.
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that area of dayton is really the epicenter of the opioid epidemic. interestingly, this initiative got news coverage back then even, and the former drug czar actually asked to meet with me in 2015. we sat down in chicago at the icp conference and had an hour-long conversation about how do we work on the ground to respond to this crisis. it was really a fabulous opportunity to have an in-depth conversation about strategies. what really drew his attention is that motivational interviewing was used as part of this intervention. the individuals who used that skill set was dayton mediation center volunteers and staff who would actually do the one-on-one interviews with those who were struggling with addiction to see if we can't get them into treatment. he had never heard of a police initiative, police/community partnership in which motivational interviewing was a component. that's what drew his attention to it. so this is a little of the data here. you used to be able to track
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people who entered treatment, but we still have data siloed and don't have ability to get the data from our local county resource that would tell us how people are doing in treatment and how long they're staying in the treatment. there's a little gap of data still here for us. we also have a needle exchange that was established after an emergency resolution was passed by the city commission, recognizing the problem with addiction but probably more broadly the risk of communicable diseases and the need to engage in harm reduction. that's been part of the network of services in the community for a number of years. this is just the responses from the mobile crisis response team to overdoses. this is not all overdoses, just those that the mobile crisis response team responded to. but you can see the spike in incidents. this is just the ones they've responded to, not all the incidents, once again.
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339 events that they responded to just in april of last year. then you see this significant decline. we really reached a turning point midyear. there's a lot of reasons probably why that is so. but the number of overdose incidents and deaths began to drop significantly in the second half of the year and has continued in the first three months of this year. we had anticipated based on the early months of five to six months in 2017. instead of the 349 county-wide deaths we had in 2016 that we were going to have more than 800. we ended with 566. so something has changed dramatically in our local environment. just a couple quick stories, and i'll stop. this is from one our success stories. my first encount we are him, i
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don't remember because i was dead. i was revived with narcan. this isn't the first time i overdosed. officer olson said he would be with me every step of the way if i chose treatment, that he'd help me get there. i just found out my girlfriend was pregnant. i wanted to be there for her and my child, but he didn't treat me like i was a bad person. he treated me like someone swwh needed help. when i called, he told me he would help me find a center that would help me work through my addiction. i still keep in touch with him, and i sent him a picture of my daughter. michael. one more, josh. i overdosed and was thrown out into a yard. it took me ten rounds of narcan to come back. officer jason olson is one of the first faces i saw, and he went to the hospital with me. he helped me get into treatment instead of pressing charges. i went to a 28-day program, and i graduated. it felt good. it was scary, though. i am five months sober. i pay taxes now, and i'm getting
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my license back and i'm a productive member of society again because of that fateful day. i am able to be certified as a peer recovery supporter for the state of ohio. thank you, officer jason olson. so a couple real quick conversations. stakeholders need to buy into mobile crisis response strategies and be patient with the results by allowing the programs to work, and stakeholders also need to temper expectations that arrests and citations will be the most important component to solving the problem. and there's our list of partners. >> all right. thanks, guys. questions for our panel. chief, captain. >> chief, we haven't quite reached -- to be frank, we experienced our first fentanyl overdose less than a month ago. since then, we've had a seizure of another load of fentanyl.
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looking back in hindsight, is there anything or any strategies you would recommend to us knowing that there's a likelihood is coming to get out in front of it and deter the exact or to mitigate the exact -- impact of that? >> great question. there's going to be an nij news from the front article that's coming out where i was interviewed about a lot of the ways we're responding in our community, but i will tell you what we have struggled with is comprehensive data across all systems that tells what's going on. so there's coroner data. that's pretty accessible. what's going on in emergency rooms, private providers. what our health clinics are seeing. to have all of that information available to tell a complete story across all these various data sets and institutions is important. so getting data that's siloed integrated. you want early warning. you want to know that something
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is emerging early on to be able to get out in front of it. we saw fentanyl in our community really became predominant the last two years. that was a shift in the environment. i think all of us were seeing it to a degree, but we were done perhaps understanding at the time collectively that this has become the dominant drug of choice or availability in illicit market. i will tell you what we are seeing now. so we're seeing another shift. the shift is now going toward meme a methamphetamine and cocaine. we just had a conversation. local chiefs, et cetera, met with senator portman, the attorney general who came to university of dayton. i said, we keep talking about this is an opioid epidemic. i said, we better be looking more broadly because it's not going to stay that way.
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clearly we're seeing that shift in dayton. one of them is get your data from being siloed to being integrated. partner with treatment providers. find out what they're seeing and remove barriers to treatment. treatment really is the answer. >> thank you, chief. >> if i could just add real quick, i think one of the most difficult things that cities have had to deal with, at least in ohio, has been this decentralization of the data that's collected and how it's not shared specifically with the populations that are most impacted. so counties are set up to work directly with the state, but the counties aren't necessarily communicating with the cities, which is where, you know, this is impacting the most. we've tried to chat with our state leaders to say, hey, what we need is one centralized point of collection for this data, and we need you to be communicating with us on a consistent basis.
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and we all need to be, i think, as mayor benjamin has said, we all need to be singing from the same hymnal here. because the death rates don't come in as quick as maybe they should. counties are the first to be notified or county health departments are the first to be notified of a spike in emergency room visits. and some counties do a great job of communicating that directly with cities, but most do not. so i imagine that ohio is not unique in this issue. so it's great to have the data, but if it's not happening in realtime, it's tough to have a law enforcement response to that. but it's also even more difficult to respond to it in a public health way. >> none of the subjects that we have here cover data. chief manger started with data when he said 10% of their calls are mental health.
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our back of the napkin, back of the envelope data says 30% of all of our police and fire calls are either related to mental health or to substance abuse. when the ambulance goes out, it's not going out for coronary. it's going out for a drug overdose. it's going out for the victims in a domestic abuse. we're dealing with 19th century uniform data reporting, and i think that one of the most important things we could do here is gather together the right people. the officers in the street who are dealing with, what are those, the frequent faces -- >> familiar faces. >> the familiar faces. the researchers who can help us use this and whether we're talking drugs and substance abuse or mental illness or we're talking about disparities in terms of race. all of that is dependent upon
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having valuable information and data. we don't have it. the system stinks. and i don't think -- you know, if we wait, unfortunately, for the present administration or for that matter any other administration in washington to change the framework, we're going to be here forever. we've got to put together a new system for uniform reporting on all these matters and submit it to the federal government and start adopting it ourselves. >> brief editorial comment. we don't have to wait on the federal government, even though we would love for them to be there are in order to create a national wave. we can do that by a whole bunch of us doing the same thing and sharing it with each other. just a thought. all right. chief buckner. >> so these questions that i'm about to ask are intentionally meant to make you uncomfortable.
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in the framework that what my good buddy here asked, if we're doing these things and everyone consistency says we subscribe to the meat and potatoes it of the conversation, why are we still having these issues in the same areas for 30, 40, 50 years. so part of it is, and there's no simple solution, is the perception in reality. so what we, i think, do a poor job of responding to perception because i don't think we give it the kind of energy it deserves. question. the gentleman from montgomery county said that there was a guy in a chewbacca suit who approached a police officer with a knife in a threatening manner. the perception is if you were black and approached a police officer with a knife, you're not going to get de-escalation. you're going to get two between the eyes. the perception is when we responded to the opiate crisis, we're doing narcan and treating
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the users as victims and we knead to get them services. the per senception in the commu is why didn't you do that with crack. because the crack users were treated as criminals. now, along with that was a tremendous amount of violence that went along with that as to why police responded the way that we did. so then we talk about individuals who are having a crisis with mental illness. question, could a black man shoot ronald reagan and never be deemed not a threat to himself or the public and walk the streets of the united states? those are the perceptions. when say we do a lot of great things. the perceptions in these dmu communities, though, is we're selective about where we apply it. i meant to make you uncomfortable. >> is that it?
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do you have another uncomfortable question, chief? mayor, i'm going to come back to tha that. >> so somewhat related but not as poignant as those questions is the observation that this is i think an opportunity to build an infrastructure. everybody talks about the disparity in the treatment of the opiod epidemic and the crack cocaine epidemic, but there really is, i think, a decade by decade or period by period drug of choice. and so it was powder cocaine before it was crack. and then it was crack. and then it was methamphetamine, and next time, it will be something else. so i would suggest that this
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really does present an opportunity for us as mayors to lead in the building of an infrastructure for the response to whatever the drug of choice is on an equitable basis, so that whether the incidence finds itself more heavily in the suburban white suburbs, or in the black community, we will have a response that is even handed and we will be equally committed to that response. >> thank you. all right, is there any other -- >> you're absolutely right. you know, i think that what, when we talk about drug addiction or substance abuse, the recognition has to come that
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this is not a moral failing. this is a brain disease. these are choices that are impacting individuals for a lifetime. and it will continue to transition and that's why it's so important we have these great stories about overdoses decreasing, the number of deaths potentially going down, but we can't stop, like that doesn't allow us any opportunity to kind of lay off the gas here. i think it's super important to recognize that it will be something else. and what we have figured out where we didn't go right on cocaine and crack is that we need, you're right, karen, it's an infrastructure. and something that will hopefully help us deal with this well into the future. >> all right, thank you all so much. we have had a really long and very fruitful day, so i want to thank you for your attendance
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and your attention and for your involvement. i do want to make a couple of just closing comments. there seems to be a common theme that's run throughout the day about whether or not making the street safe or dealing with the opiod crisis is primarily a public safety issue, or is it a public health issue, or is it all of the above? i think you can see the common themes throughout them today, it's just as much a public safety as much as a public health event. and all of the approaches we are taking are going to help make the people safer. there are many people that have been raised today and chief, i want to thank you for bringing those up at the last moment. i do want to make the point because i had the opportunity to spend the day with lydia and dan in dayton. the opiod epidemic is not going away, it's going to get worse before it gets better, and of
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course it's coursing through every neighborhood in america and if it hasn't come to your neighborhood, it is. but it's not a problem with just opiods, it's an addiction problem. and the addiction will take on a different iteration, whether it be alcohol, whether it be one kind of drug or another kind of drug, we're seeing this over the past 50 years. i think that we can all agree that the way that we responded to the crack cocaine crisis, with just a lock them up and throw away the key and the disparities on the arrest was really wrong and it was misguided in the country and we shouldn't make the same mistake again, and maybe we can learn from what we did if we can approach this in a way that's meaningful. what chief beale told us about. i think you see this in your homeland security response, you'll see it in your police response, you'll see it in your opiod addiction response. one of the things that continues to get in the way is the silos
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between and amongst the agencies on a federal, state and local levels, horizontally and vertically. and the best ways to get around those is to break down those silos, share responsibility and have everybody at the table so we can target our response to the right people so we don't waste resources and put ourselves at risk. and finally just to -- treatment and prevention are the immediate things that need to be done, which is after you admit there is a problem to begin with. we need to think about what are the things that cause us to be in a position where we have to respond, and all of us know that prevention and getting way in front or things is much easier than coming back on the back end. so there are very few people in the country that can talk to these things as powerfully as you can. you deal with it every day, you
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see the good things and you see the bad things. just to sum up, i would hope the federal government would make itself present and do what it's supposed to do, but we don't have to wait on them, we can actually create a national response by each and every one of us in our cities that really house 80% of people in america and the rural areas that live in between where we depend on each other and come up with best practices in these areas where we are having the acutest, most difficult problems. so when we heard today from chief paul and mayor sharon weston bloom, they had three police officers that were ambushed and murdered, almost in the same space of having a police involved shooting on the other side that tore their community apart. and what they learned and how they went through that i think is important. 506 deaths of opiod overdoses
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and addiction. it we are the places where it's happening and we're the ones who because fate has put it on our shoulders are responsible for finding the very complicated answers and then chief going to speak truth or power in the state legislatures and the congress as to what each of us has to do and take a back seat to nobody in terms of the commitment we have to make our neighborhood safe and our community safe because it's on our shoulders. so i commend that to think about that tonight. chief bratton, we're really thiled ththil thil -- thrilled that you're here and we'll walk out of here tomorrow with a strategy. we'll take a break right now and we'll reconvene at about 6:00 for dinner in the ellington room, 6:00 tonight for dinner. thank you all so much.
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as a follow-up to the recent hearings with facebooks ceo mark zuckerberg, the communicate fors look at the privacy issues as a result of the spread of perm dat -- personal data. >> look at all of those politicians that asked mark zuckerberg questions for ten hours, every one of them has been using data mined from american citizens to communicate with their constituents, to build mailing lists, to target voters and a lot of this is for good and salutory reasons. >> really the metal information for me is how data is collected,
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used and processed by companies that engage in the online world in a very comprehensive and innovative way. >> watch the communicators tonight on c-span 2. connect with c-span to personalize the information you get from us, just go to c-span.org/connect and sign up for the email. the program guide is a daily email with upcoming live coverage. word for word, gives you the most data highlights, the book tv newsletter sent weekly is an insiders look at upcoming authors and book festivals and the american history tv newsletter gives you the upcoming programming exploring our nation's past. go to cspan.org/connect and sign up today. now the j street 2018
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conference on u.s.-israel relations. we'll hear from excuse san rice, also senators ben carden of maryland and vermont senator bernie sanders.
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