tv Keeping Cities Safe Discussion CSPAN May 29, 2018 1:55pm-5:14pm EDT
lance bottoms. the u.s. conference of mayors recently met in washington, d.c. for a conversation on public safety issues facing cities in america. mayors and police chiefs discuss gun violence, school safety, the opioid epidemic and police community relations. thank you, mayor cranley. i am steve benjamin and i am so glad to see so many of our mayors and the chief of police 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 discussing critical issues for our cities and for our great country. obviously, we're all 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 what a horrific event and praying that it would would be an outlier in american culture. regrettably, that's not been the case over last two decades and 12 killed and students and teacher and 23 more wounded before the young men turned the
gun 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 of course did not happen. regardless of how much data we present, how many narrative and paful stori w share, congss still fails to act. tings since then and we have discussed virginia tech, sandy hook. marjorie stoneman douglas high. every day i engage with my children, ages 13 and 10. and all their beautiful little friends. and i 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. i know for parents and certainly for grandparents and those of us
who love all children that it can be paralyzing to us. for those of us has policymakers, 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 even as some states who seek to jail us for acting, we need to have the courage to still act. that's our responsibility. i know the mayors talk a lot 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 holbrook we need to hear from you. every time i have a conversation with him and some of his colleagues, i learn something new. it arms me with something else that we can do to try to make our communities safer.
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. arming teachers are not the answer. we do know that schools need more resources to help them identify students who are prone to violence and helping them get the help they need. they must also have available trainedchool ce oicers who can help build relationships with young people and there to help diffuse violence situations. as we discuss this topic, there are a few issues we should keep in mind. what actions should we be taking to keep our children safe, particularly while they're at school? were there appropriate levels of
protection in our schools? it's okay to be at 20,000 feet. it's okay to be at five inches. if you've got some on the ground solutions, some ideas you have, let's put them on the table. how shall we plan to respond to emergencies in our schools? what special roles can mayors play as leaders of our individual cities to help enhance school safety? we have with us today several people who are going to provide insight into this topic. mike casterly is director of the great city schools and long time partner of the conference of mayors. mack hardy is director of operations for the national association for school resource officers. a retired school officer himself. in addition we'll hear from west palm beach mayor.
and police chief sarah mooney about their city's approach in efforts to keeping schools safe. as we say in the church, protocol has been established. i will allow you to go in that order without interrupting you. obviously, let's keep time so we can have good hard and fast q&a once we're done. >> thank you very much, mr. mayor. i'm the executive director of the council of the great city of schools which is a coalition of 70 of the largest urban school systems. my board of directors is on as the superintendent and the president of the board of education at 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'd like to make just one additional kind of tactical remark on the
conversationhat we just had. i completely agree wh the observations that were made about the role of social media and i agree with the observations that were made about issues of race and how that informs school violence and the like. one of the initial questions was, what made the parkland situation a little bit different, and what kind of 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. that particular school district mandates debate clubs in every single middle school and high school in that school district. it 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 pa participants. so it's, again, a small detail, but to the extent that everybody is looking for kind of tactical things that you might put on the table that is one of them that comes out of broward county. a lot of times, i think probably the mayors and the chiefs of police in major cities and big communities across the country aren't necessarily used to seeing the school speak out on these school safety issues, even though these incidents occur in our back yards. that was really true after the parkland situation, too. 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 organizations speaking out about school safety. our organization has probably been closer to the u.s. conference of mayors over the years on this and many other issues. but in earlier years some mayors have encouraged us to speak out on gun safety issues, concluding we should stick to our knitting around the educational environment of our kids. but the wave of shootings over the years finally about two weeks ago prompted our board of directors, which, again, includes the superintendent and the board president from each one of these 70 major cities, to finally speak out and pass a resolution that i think was pretty hard hitting. it was 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. it also required and strengthened all universal background checks for the possession of any other type of firearm in addition to assault weapons. it also opposed all conceal and carry laws that one of the mayors spoke about earlier. it laid out a charge for all agencies at the federal government to be tasked with reducing the number of gun 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. it authorized or called for the provision of additional funds for planning, 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, counselor, psychological, social workers and the like. and it called for the repeal of the dickey amendment and other provisions in the federal law as one of the mayors indicated prohibited the use of federal data to get underneath what some of the causes are behind some of these various events. again, 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, around the gun free zones, around the targeting and
planning in school resource officers around the bolstering of our mental health capacity to identify problem areas with individual kids. and provisions to improve the quality of data at the federal an 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 everyone else's legislation. we wanted to make sure that at least the big city school districts across the country were on record as supporting the same things as the mayors and chiefs of police all across the country. we 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
forwa forward. the last thing we're doing, and maybe it's something you are already doing as an organization, but one tactical thing we're doing as a group is reviewing each other's safety and security systems. so we corral our directors of safety and security in our school districts, our facilities folks, our mental health directors and the like and we review each other's operations in our sister school systems in order to spread best practices and also challenge each other to do better in places where there are gaps in security systems. matter of fact, we were just in palm beach last week. it's 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, and that is leaning on each other's
expertise to bolster and strengthen your own safety and security systems. with that, i will yield the floor to my colleague from the school resource officers and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> okay. first of all, thank you mayor benjamin for allowing me to be here. it's my first time to be here with you. but during today's presentations, i've heard community policing mentioned several times. i've also heard we don't want schools 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 who is passionate about school policing or school safety and the safety of children and the safety of staff. i was in a former life a teacher. so i came out of college and i was a middle school teacher for
eight years before i moved to law enrcementhere i spent 25 years. 22 of those years were in school based policing. i'd like to first of all ask, you know, 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 -- does anybody know what year that occurred in? 1927 was our most devastating and largest school massacre. it happened in michigan. and i thought about that today, it wasn't on my list, but seeing all the mayors in here, the culprit of that was a school board member, the treasurer, who was upset because he didn't have
some taxes passed. he firebombed his own house, his own farm and then he 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. and i'm so thankful that 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. but when a partnership is formed between schools, police, and our community, where there's teachers in our community, including teachers, students and staff members and they're all communicating together, these things work. we have a list of 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. because what we get in the media a lot of times are the bad, the horrible horrific things. but we know that every day we have people, staff members, we have administrators, we have police officers working in our schools. these acts of violence are averted every day. nasro is non-profit organization that was formed in 1991. 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 being a teacher before but i had no training when i entered a school. i didn't know what a law enforcement officer is supposed to do. i knew what i was supposed to teach, but i didn't know what a law enforcement officer was supposed to do until i received training. when we send our police officers into schools, it's important they're well-trained. i heard you mention that, mr. benjamin, that they're
well-trained, that they understand the most important thing we're doing is we're protecting kids and we're creating a safe learning environment. when we're talking toids can, this community policing that's being built, bridging the gap with a well-trained properly selected law enforcement is important. we know that if one day they have to react, they may go from talking to an administrator, talking to a student one second to the next moving towards violent situation. which probably occurred in maryland. at 7:44, who knows what he was doing, but at 7:45 he was encountering a young person in a violent situation. you have to have a person that is approachable, going to open himself up so students can approach him and talk to him. but he also has to have the ability to act. that's where we think it needs
to be a law enforcement officer who has experience when we put them into the schools. with that being said, what is an sro? a sworn law enforcement officer carefully selected and specifically trained. we know the 1% of the time they may have to act, 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. they're classroom resources. they're community resources. and they are not a school disciplinarian, they're a 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 go into schools to bridge
them that gap, give them an avenue to discuss problems they're having before it 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. training that is offered that they can go in at a low cost, which is always good to our leaders' ears. but, you know, ways to make our school environment safer by using the vision and the sight and the ears of our community around us. our teachers in the schools, along with our law enforcement partners. benefits of this program are great. they're long term law enforcement and school commits. and they're networking schools that are built through these programs are very important to
urocommuniti our communities. community policing is community policing 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, yes, we're there to create that safe learning environment. but when we do it right, they're teachers, they're mentor and 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. i ask this one question, when you select officers to go into your school i hope you're selecting them to go into school where you want your child or grandchild to go into school. thank you. >> thank you. mayor? >> well, good afternoon, everyone. i'm the mayor of west palm beach, florida. our charge was to talk about what's happening in palm beach
county around school safety. 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 commonsense stand on gun laws. so thank you to the conference of mayors and for the stand that we've 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 ref source for myself and our community. so thank you for that as well. i come to this in sort of a different way. i've been mayor for seven years of west palm beach. before even moving to florida, i worked in schools for 25 years. and i started out my school career as a 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. the horrible tragedies that have occurred, but what can we be doing in prevention and intervention? 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 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 a little bit about the palm beach county schools. chief mooney will talk more about the public safety piece of it.
palm beach county schools is the 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. they cover 39 municipalities. the coordination has to occur if we're going to keep our young people safe. we talked a little bit about marjorie stoneman douglas and what's the difference. certainly, those students have been very clear about stating enough is enough.
i have lived in florida for 16 years. and florida's 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 properties. if you're coming into our city library or into our city hall, you're allowed to bring a gun. mayors were threatened with removal 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 a metal detector. if you have a gun, we ask you to voluntarily leave it behind. if you choose not to leave it behind, we escort you. so while we have to -- while we're preempted from making decisions locally about gun laws, we do our best to keep our people safe. the students in west palm beach have been very active, just like those at marjorie stoneman douglas in parkland. we had a group of students march to city hall. probably about 500 kids standing in front of our 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 commonsense gun laws should be in place. and, yet, our representatives, our legislatures are not listening to those people. hopefully those young people will have registered to vote and will be out there voting. at which point i'll be very optimistic. so i'm going to turn it over to our chief, chief sarah mooney. >> good afternoon. finally you have a chief that's talking. i appreciate the opportunity. >> you're not from st. louis, either, right? >> absolutely. i did go to school out there. i will say that. >> you'll never forget that. >> i'd like to thank you for the
opportunity to take a few minutes 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 the key. it's not all a law enforcement effort by any means. p mr. hardy was mentioning about putting officers in the schools to make sure you have the right people in the right places, that's the key. if you have an officer that's not worried about being a mentor, if they're just running and gunning and all they want to do is the criminal aspect of things, that's not the person you want in the school. recently after the parkland incident, our legislation was still in session. they actually acted pretty quickly to change a few things in regard to the safety of the schools in our county and in our state. one of the things they did is they've allocated $40 million to palm beach county. it sounds like a lot of money, but that's supposed today include target hardening, increasing school police
officers -- or school police department by 75 officers in addition to hiring social workers and mental health counselors. to me, when you're talking about the actual schools themselves, also, 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 our own police force for the county school district. so right now, they have about 150 sworn officers. as the mayor said, we have about 180 schools. i'm sure you can do the math. that's not even one officer per school. and one of the common themes that i would imagine most of the chiefs in here would agree with is visibility is key. and if you have 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. again, the target hardening is crucial in order to make sure that we increase the safety of our schools. the second thing that they've done recently is in the county itself we've done external evaluation of our current status. and what we do and how we do it. everybody can monday morning quarterback pick apart that went wrong at parkland. our sheriff actually, rick bradshaw, he's a former police chief at west palm. we have a very good connection and communication with him. he said they'd like to see how we do things in palm beach county and get an assessment. perf has agreed to come in and
they're meeting with subject matter experts in regards to responding to mass casualty events. it's not just the schools. this discussion right here is targeted towards schools, but it could happen anywhere. it could happen at a mall, a government building. it could be at a doctor's office, a hospital. we have to be prepared in order to address those different issues. school is a little bit more specific. and that's what we're geared towards now. the overall look that perf is doing is going to give us a scorecard on how we're doing things. whether it's preparation, training, how our communications work, 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'll take a look at that and see how we're doing. i think that's going to be very important that when that report comes out that that's going to be shared nationwide in order to
what best practices are and suggestions on how things can do better. our state attorney has convened a grand jury to do an overview coming in june in regard to how we do -- how we handle school safety in palm beach county. not just in the city of west palm beach, but county wide. 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 information on how we do things now to a panel of citizens and get recommendations from them to see if we're doing things the right way. if they have recommendations. the people in the community who have insight to what they think would be more beneficial to us on how we could conduct business.
finally, the third point that we're focusing on is information sharing. just the collaborative effort that when you have somebody on your radar that's going to do something wrong, you want to be able to reach out and touch that person. you want to see if you can get them some services, you want to see if you can intervene in that. one of the things about a week or two after the parkland shooting, our county came out -- in conjunction with the sheriff's office and police, an app. they were in the works of developing an app prior to the shootings that's called student protect. every student can download that. the employees in the school can download it. parents. civilians, law enforcement. basically it's a forum where people can anonymously leave tips in regards to potential threats. whether it's somebody who saw a
friend on facebook touting they're going to shoot up a school, that gets routed to our school board police and our sheriff's office. our sheriff is also in charge of basically the homeland security efforts and information sharing for the south end of florida. we have a fusion center there in west palm beach. if 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 to the jurisdiction it belongs to and allow that particular jurisdiction to intervene. whether it's a school that's going to interconvenienvene, th the opportunity to intervene before something happens and to at least put that kid on the radar in regard to letting his parents and his school what's going on. once you have those people identify uied identified, that's where the crucial piece comes in.
we've got to have more mental health counselors. we have to have people to talk to these kids. they're not necessarily criminal, they've got things going on. dealing with the police isn't the way to go. some of the resources need to go to that. that's what we're looking at. our sheriff's office also recently developed a behavioral health unit where they actually 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 that application that comes to the kids. or from the kids. additionally on that app, there's apsod on it. so if you have an active shooter situation in a school, you can have that kid that's locked in the closet on the third wing on the second floor behind a water fountain putting a 911 alert out immediately and his gps coordinates is available. the officers, they're responding, they'll know exactly where that person is and they can get information through the phone systems in order to go directly to where that person is
or know where they're at to tell them to stay put. it's a huge undertaking especially if it's an active situation. we haven't had that available yet, but that's another work in progress. the fact that you have something out there that these kids can communicate to the adults and ask for help has been huge. i'll tell you, literally the day after it went live, they got an anonymous tip about a kid that was threatening to shoot up a school on a facebook post with a gun in the picture. they ended up tracking that kid down at his school. actually tracked down what school he went to. he wasn't in school that day. they went to the house, found the kid and found the gun. the gun was an airsoft but they got it. that kid has more time to get resources to help and figure out why he was planning that and whether or not it was a true threat. it's important we can information share with everybody in a timely fashion. those are some of the steps 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 those studies at the schools that are local, our officers go out and meet with the principals. we have blueprints of the schools. we have them loaded into our c.a.d. system. that information is readily available to the officers that are responding on their computers in their car. when they get there, they know -- if you can identify where the threat on the campus 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 where they can direct others that are coming in behind them. it's things like that that are imperative to address the school situations. it's not all law enforcement. it's a collaborative effort between everybody. not only on the front end, but the back end, too. 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. we missed a lot of opportunities to intervene. so in palm beach county right now, we're making a concentrated
effort to not let those types of things slip through the cracks. so when you have an opportunity to intervene, we have the resources available to do that. >> thank you, chief. >> yeah, i would just like to associate myself with my fellow panelists here and underscore something i think all three indicated, and that was around the issue of collaboration and communications. i think when we went into palm beach schools last week, we saw exactly what it is that was described. frankly, palm beach and the palm beach schools do a terrific job 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.
it's something that we all, as a group of police chief and mayors and school officials, could probably work on together. one of the thinge've noticed is we looked at the safety and security stems 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 force is 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 city or school district configures its own security system can really be vastly different from place to place. 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 -- 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 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 all of you. mayor? >> i just have been sitting here thinking about something mayor fisher said about the wealth disparity and the gaps. 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 country who are generationally poor. 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 worthwhile? i've been thinking about what mayor fisher said. i just think it's an important consideration. >> the value of having a school psychologist as a mayor as well. >> and a social worker as a police chief. >> absolutely. any questions or discussions? let's get the chief down here.
>> thank you. i'm the chief of police of the westland police department in michigan. i wanted to talk about a concept that's a little bit different but it's been building momentum in our community. after the parkland tragedy, we have a whole new challenge in law enforcement. it's the increase in social media threats that we're now getting. some of these social media threats -- all of these threats -- >> could you get closer to the microphone, chief? >> my apologizes. all social media threats need to be investigated whether they come in from snapchats or facebooks or instagrams. it's challenging for lawsuit. 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 your key scans and all that, but trying to work with protecting our schools from the inside out. 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. if we went around the room, the majority of us wouldn't know how to access our children's social media accounts. so the idea behind us doing that is -- when we were reaching out to our school board -- is that these parents have the desire to learn. we're putting the movement back on them to be a part of the prevention and the intervention. it's been building momentum in our community. i wanted tod share that concept with the other police chiefs. i think taking the step back and sharing it through our press information officer, through your city website and giving information to the parents -- you set a day, whether it's once a week you'll go through your children's social media sites. it's going to help. i wanted to share that. it's been building momentum in our city. >> thank you. >> 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 it happened is we started looking at arrests of juveniles. and one of the things that we saw, which 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 the shopping centers, the bus transfer points, and the high schools. our school board had had a zero tolerance policy when it came to violence. so that meant an automatic arrest of any teenager. and 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 was zero tolerance. they wanted to go to a position where the school administration would determine should the child be arrested or not. which we found unacceptable. at that point, we said the officers have to make the decision. and 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 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, mr. mayor. please. >> i had a question for you -- i have a couple of questions. one is about the resolution. i appreciate the multifaceted approach -- >> pull your microphone a little closer. >> and so one of the questions i have on the resolution itself is that it's very specific in certain terms, but there's no mention of school resource officers within the 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 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 mayor saglan's point, lincoln nebraska is a similar sized community to madison, wisconsin. we have similar conversations that are going on. in fact, the ongoing advocacy for additional school resource officers in the schools has created an impression of a school to prison pipeline. >> well, on our website we have the protect and educate.
it's a free download. it's factual based. it was produced by a dr. bernard james, pepperdine university. he's in the midst right now of a -- to renew that. it's a 2012 publication. we have a white paper out on it right now. and he's going to have a rewrite coming up. we're waiting on it to hit our doorsteps right now. anxiously to see what the new findings are. and the findings from 2012 which were 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 whatever, but we know juvenile arrests went down as those went up.
>> 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 too many situations with how it is we discipline kids disproportionately in our schools. the reasons why we suspend them, both in school suspension and out of school suspensions, and what the role of police and sros in that process is. training, obviously, plays a very, very important role in
this. but so do the specific protocols 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 an all encompassing process where the protocols are very clear and not any one entity in a school is making a decision like that. it's the recipe for disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates in our schools. 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. they are. >> also, one other thing is that the clear understanding between the law enforcement agency and the school system and mou is
imperative so 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 a criminal law act? >> correct. >> 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 then chief ramsey. >> i wanted to thank you. i don't think it should go without notice from the commitment from the council of great city schools the recognition about what needs to happen with our gun laws to charge. in order to change what's going on inside our schools. your recognition of that is something that's really important. we could have all these conversations about school safety, but if we have less access to guns we would be better off in our school system. >> thank you for that. we also had very strong backing from your superintendent and board president. >> chief?
>> i want to add something around this issue of school resource officers, increased arrests if we have more security in schools. i think it's an important topic. when i was the police commissioner in philadelphia, one day one of my deputies came into the office and said we've got 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. he got the school superintendent involved. he got the district attorney's office involved. he got the courts involved. it was a very comprehensive strategy. in a year we cut in half the number of arrests we made in schools. kids were coming in with a small amount of marijuana, we were locking kids up that had a pair of scissors in their backpack and were 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 relatively minor things. and we've got to be very, very sensitive to that. when you say school safety and security, in the minds of people that means more cop and most arrests to make schools safe. that's just the 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 didn't do something stupid when they were young and they were lucky enough not to get caught. all right? with the exception of me, of course. i was always perfect. we do that -- you know, and a lot of this falls on the schools. because a lot of things that used to be handled internally in schools as a school discipline matter, now they're calling
police. and getting a kid arrested. 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 jurisditi jurisdiction, where we supply the school resource officers, parkland was wake up call. you better pay attention to who it is you're putting in the schools. make sure you've got people that are one, they have the right personalities. they can work with kids. we have some policemen who cannot work with children. that is just not where you want to put them. you've got to make sure they've got the right personality. but they have the ability to take action if something happens in the school. you know, it's a doggone shame, but kids not only have fire drills, they have active shooter drills. think about that and think about the climate that creates in the minds of young people, the fear where schools used to be a safe haven. now it's a place where you've
got 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 old enough to remember this in school where in the early 60 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 everything going on f and i remember elementary school going home i was crying because i thought we were all going to die. because they had us crawling under desks as if that would do anything. but it was the threat and psychological effect it has on young people. that's the collateral damage what's going on now. and even though the likelihood of it happening in their school is very remote, in today's world in the communication in the way in which we show the scenes over and over again, it doesn't
matter whether you are in parkland, florida, 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 first people want to cut is counselors, they want to cut social workers and school psychologists, they want to cut all these resources that make a difference in these schools. and we have 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 holistically and take the appropriate action zbs. >> thank you, chief. >> thank you, very much. so lydia mihalik from ohio. recently we had a community meeting where we talked with our school district about the percve issues and factual issues around school safety and what we can do to be better, what grasp existed.
ang tr and it was interesting to hear from the parents but students themselves. and 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 school system. they talked about the need for more counselors and more psychologists and social workers to help identify those who need the assistance before it gets to a point where we have an active violence. i'm wondering, as we continually ask our law enforcement officers to be everything to everyone, we are asking them not only to be 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. and 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 about the need for more emphasis around counselling? and is that where we should potentially be looking at beefing up funding as opposed to asking the brave men and women 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 would go along 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 health that they never brought before in the 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 are all in agreement that if additional resources were to be had, it's where we would pump a lot of it into the social support systems and the social and emotional learning for all of our kids. >> let's keep it tight if we can, i'm getting the hook back here, and i'm sure every point we can make we can fully integrate into parts of the discussion as we move along. chief. >> well, there is introduction, that's not my strong point, so i'll do my best. one thing i would suggest is we
need to approach the issue of school safety from the stand point of problem solving process. i had an opportunity to do that when i was assistant police chief in since nat he where there was concern about a school that ws over the ryan and superintendent expressed concern that the educational quality that students were experiencing was affected by the external environment. neighborhood had a high level of crime. i knew the area very, very well. but i did something probably unusual. i said we really need to ask the kids. so we partnered up with the university of cincinnati and early childhood development professors and designed a survive to survey the children and ask them about their perception of safety. not about what we thought about their certificatety. also did data analysis, because 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? so literally certain streets and
lengths of streets that had no event at all fort entire school year. so it wasn't necessarily external issue. but the biggest a-ha, if you will, when we ask 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 where it was in school and internally. so really the school culture and environment needed to be addressed not more cops in the neighborhood. that's the direction we would have went if we did not do the analysis. fast forward to date, we had a rather significant fight on a school bus back in 2010, 2011, involving one of our high schools on east side of dayton. we appreciated that as a problem solving process also. we got all of our partners to the table, neighborhood association, juvenile probation, our police officers, we
developed, it was called high school disorderly rejection project. not particularly a great fancy name. but that initiative garnered us basicallily received the aicp policing award in 2011. and that was a collective problem solving process. so there were issues around yeah we needed additional patrol or presence, that was part of t but really needed to do something about the internal school environment, and that was something that the school owned f you will, had the ability to influence. in fact, they had basicallily a lot of the conflict that occurred during class exchange. after class got out they had to go another school. it was in close proximity they would bump into oueach other, ty would see other afterschool. that was people poorly matched and placed in better environments. bottom line if we had 80% reduction insults during the year and academic performance
vanlsed that year and each subsequent year. so we need to approach these in comprehensive way getting our partners into the table and problem solving process. my recommendation. >> thank you, chief. >> good afternoon. 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 a couple areas, number one selection of the officer. and number two training of the officer. number 3 clear roles of the school as defined by the community policing model. but the community policing model. and as long as the selection and the training fall under the community policing model, what we have found is that incidents that were likely to occur or were planned to occur within the school, students were getting 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 in 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 and not police department solely. but if it stays within the confines of the community policing model then they can embrace them as member of fact ulgt and students can look at the officer as faculty who happens to be a member of the police department. i believe you don't have that problem with more officers and increasing arrests. we have seen decreases in arrests but we have 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. we did learn the importance of collaboration, acting, doing something, and not waiting. and then sharing information. there is some incredible best practices that i think some of us learned about here today, sharing that information. i do want to make sure we don't get out of here about by tomorrow and not really discuss preemption as well. the mayor mentioned incredible challenges they faced in florida, but not unique in florida. but across the entire country. you look around 2007, but shortly before then, and since then, we have had incredibly honor es laws that are preempted local policy makers and law enforcements and peace officers from protecting our community. and no longer playing checkers while others play chest, we have
to give them offense and start putting ideas and policies on the table for our state legislatures to actually say no to. to say no to. then they own some of these major challenges as we expect that they should. our chief sent a letter to our state legislators clear issues they ought to act on if they want to make columbia and ts rest of our state safetier. we have to get on offense and deal with preemption. thank you so much. i'm going to pass it back to mayor cranley. thank you for all your presentations. >> to stay on time, we'll keep moving. and we are 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'll turn the floor back over again to mayor freeman wilson who has been a leader in this area. mayor freeman wilson. >> thank you, may or cranley.
and at this time we are going talk about strengthening police and community relations. a subject that has been at the forth front of the media and many of our communities, of course, in many more than others, as there has been police involved shootings and other forms of violence that has involved the community and the police. everybody understands the importance of having an effective and responsive police force. i think likewise people understand the desire of the 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 community trust. we actually beat chuck ramsey to the gun. because he chaired a task force, cochaired a task force for president obama that was called the 21st century policing task 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 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 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 discipline or those issues after a police officer wa hired, but how do you determine whoak 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 there is a police involved shooting. how do you communicate to the community? who does the communication to 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 stre strengthing trust. and how do we as police chiefs a national dialogue understanding that this area is probably one of the most important areas where local sentiments, local communication, the demographics,
and the tenure of your community are so, so important. we presented the findings from our joint task force, and many of you, may or stotle, chief buckner, mel andrew, commissioner ramsey, many of you were on that joint task force that came up with the strengthening police community relationships or relations in america's cities. 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 cochairs of the task force, and that is our very own chuck ramsey who, as you know, was the commissioner police in washington d.c. and philadelphia but now serving as special adviser to the u.s. conference of mayor's. following commissioner ramsey's remarks, we'll hear from baton rouge mayor, shawn ruston broome, and police chief murphy paul, about their efforts to strengthen relationships between the police and the community. and we know that they have been they thoughtful about this issue as they have been at the forefront of what is going on at a national level. we'll then go to clark'sville,
tennessee, where mayor kim, mcmillan and police chief alonzo will bring us up to date on some of the cutting edge things in their city. and after that we'll open it up for what we know will be a lively discussion between our mayor's and police chiefs, and certainly questions. i want to close with something that i saw friday. i know that none of you have a whole lot of time to watch television. but i'll 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 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 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 sensitivity from so many perspectives 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 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 bill
bradley who is going to be our dinner speaker tonight. and thank you bill for agreeing to be with us here today. i'm going to be brief, because i really want to hear from baton rouge and and clargs ville. i think it's important we save time for questions afterwards. so i'll try to be as brief as possible. as mayor mentioned i had the honor of serving as cochair president obama task force on 21st century policing. and we were given very specific instructions and given a very tight time line. 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, many issues. for example, i think it was mentioned by the mayor, one area that we in hindsight i wish we had time to cover would have been recruitment, hiring, and
retngs, for example, very important in our business. but we chose six specific areas. they were in no particular area 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 slight up tick in some cities in crime, we are historically low levels of crime in this country. i was around in the '70s, 80s, 90s, crack epidemic. so why is it then with these
historically low numbers are we seeing the kind of tension that we have seen between police and community, particularly challenged communities and communities of color? and that's because there has never really been trust in many of these communities with police. and what trust was established was very fragile. and i think we under estimate just how fragile that is. a in many of our communities. now, we reach these low levels, and there were a lot of things that played a role, but i'll use one thing that i think played a significant role, that helped us focus more strategically on crime, get crime down to the levels where we see it today. and it started in new york with bill and late jack maple with come stack. now, everyone tried to copy it and we all got our different variations of it, right. 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 said. right. also, one of the things that bill is noted for, 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 worked in, here in 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 every dot represents a human being, a person whose life has been 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 fishing with a spear as opposed to a net. that we didn't think of the collateral damage that's sometimes caused in these communities when we go into strategies to address a specific crime and dis order problem, but what happens in that community that is left behind. you know, it's 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 very violent, 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 that 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 one of the biggest complaints that i got as applies chiapplies -- police chief, it wasn't how they got stopped it was how they were treated during the stop. officers being rude, not explaining why they are doing it and that sort of thing. so we kind of lost touch in that regard. and, again, the trust in many communities is 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 happened in your own backyard. after ferguson i had protests in philadelphia. i used to go to slut. louis because i grew up in chaug and had relatives in st. louis. i didn't know where the held ferguson was, never heard of it. who would have believed that a police force about 50 officers
50,000 residents would change 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. it as a profession it's in our collective best interests to build that trust, to build that 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 said, boy, that's terrible, burr our cops would never do anything like that. now, we have a long way to go probably before that kind of conversation takes place in a lot of those cities but why that can't be a goal. because that's strong our relationships need to be because we are going to be challenged constantly, whether it happens in my backyard or somewhere els, i guarantee you'll be challenged. that's why happening relationships, building trust,
legitimacy, we talk a lot about procedural justice and things tliek that. but we also have to look at internal procedures, how do we treat our own people. you know, we are very punishment driven as police organizations. we have our rules and regulation. you do that, you get that much time off. you get fired if you do so and so. i'm not saying that's all bad. but i'm saying like we were talking alternatives to incarceration of juveniles there is diversion that can be done. so we have to look at this in a very holistic way if we want to have the same mindset for our officers as they get out on the street and interact and deal with the public. the other area we used as 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. they have 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 homicides scenes i've been to in my career, but it's 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 killed? what's the psychological impact that has over time? it's the mental health of our police officers is very, very important. and we need to start paying attention to t because we wonder why sometimes they are rude, use of force, all these kinds of things, shootings where they shoot a little too quick. many of them are hyper vigilant.
they are in these areas on a daily basis you listen to the radio, man shot, robbery in progress, all these kinds of things going on, now you are in a dark alley somewhere behind a suspect that someone might have said might have had a gun and make a wrong move and boom all of a sudden you have a shooting. i'm not trying to make excuses but what i am age is we need to think about mental health and police trauma that they get exposed to, and you wonder why we have high rate of suicide, domestic violence, all those kinds of things, alcoholism, and we don't talk a lot about, but i guarantee we probably have higher percentage in policing than 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 afghanistan. it can happen anywhere. how do we identify it? deal with it? keep them safe and healthy so
they can enjoy a 20, 30 year career without all these things. and our profession can move forward and not looking at some of these viral videos that we see and make you scratch your head and say why. and, again, not to make executions, it's to deal with some of the real issues. so those are the kinds of things we try to tackle in the report. and i this i it has a direct bearing on building strong relationships because how you interact then with your community matters. and 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 with another. and the last thing i'll 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. one story, the current commissioner of philadelphia, richard ross tells a story when we put all of our rookie cops on
foot pa patrol first six, nine months in some of our challenged neighborhoods that have crime occurring in open space. does two things. one, its 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 hopefully that will stay with them throughout the careers. in the most challenged neighborhood we have in the story, more decent law-abiding people living there than criminals. you don't know that going through 40 miles an hour, you learn it on foot in the communities. and he was out one day and sees a rookie, smart phone and little girl standing next to him. and he assumed right away that the kid standing there ignoring the kid on the smart phone. so he 1207d and said hey officer what are you doing. 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. 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'll have enough negative ones that we have to deal with just by virtue of what we do. so let's build as 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. before we hear from mayor broome and chief paul, i want to yield to our chair who has a comment heed like to make. >> commissioner, thank you so much. i want to, there is a theme that 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 that commissioner ramsey made we are out of order and 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 on tough on crime. and of course everybody here knows it. in order to be tough on crime you have to be smart on crime. and we have been trying to figure that out. and ta couple of brief comments because i know mayor broome and chief paul have some compelling information to give us. but i just would like to state simply some things that should be obvious to 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. and some of the examples today we'll have where we have gotten opposed to each other where people think it's a zero sum gain. either on law enforcement or community side. all of us know we can't win the fight against the small number of individuals that are causing havoc in our neighborhood fs 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 indicated, we are not as highest level of crime. and that there have been other times in the united states of america when we had problems that were actually more difficult. so even though this is hard, i just want everyone to stay focused on the notion this is a very solvable problem. 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 foe uscuse what to do it, how is it going to get done and when it's going to get done by. and i think the worst thing we can do in this country is something we are doing right now is actually trying to make the answers simple and the fix easy. when we know that it's not. and 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 good job in finding it in our communities as well. and as hard as the discussion we'll get into 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. because the community runs away from the police when they are afraid. and i just think that finally we can be in favor of better community police relations and
they same time support our law enforcement officers. chief ramsey just gave us an example about the wellness and 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 under three years old, and killed them and then killed herself. and the police officers attended to that scene, and i've been to a lt of difficult scenes, but that's the one that broke our officers down to their knees where it became so immediately a parent to me the incredible continued devastation that our officers see. and that sometimes the officers don't are comfortable seeking the kind of need they help. and 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 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 spreads itself out like a virus in our community, and then folds back in on itself. so we really are on the same side. and i 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 found out how to be one, and we can do that. so i commend that to you. because sometimes it goes without saying clearly, and it's critical that we stay on the same side relating to that. so with that. >> i just want to add to may or landrieu, i also found chief ramsey's comments resonate with our experience in cincinnati and i'm sure every other city, 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? i remember after we went through unrest in the early 2,000s, cops would routinely say, you know, red tapes, 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 and david kennedy and a whole bunch of others helped train officers what they can do. they can told all the time what they can't do, what they can't do. they are desperate, in my opinion, to be told what they can do. and i think that's a real break through and something that would be of real value if this fast can force could help communities that haven't been through that or are going through that transition to talk about how we really treat police officers as humans and tell them not just what they can't do, but what
they can do. >> thank you. mayor broome. >> thank you very much. and i'll 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 public service is not for the faint of heart. and i would say coming up with the solution to what we are 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 ingrate 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 on january 1st, 2017, those issues didn't stay in 2016. they came right with me as mayor. and so my platform in running for mayor and talking about public safety was integrating the pilla of the 21st century policing plan as an excellent
model for what we could do as a city and as a community to 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 tangible that shows this community that we are 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 involving members of our 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 have a very different process in baton rouge of selecting a police chief involving civil service, that's
a whole another conversation for another day and time. but anyway, we had an open and transparent process of selecting a new police chief. and i believe those initiatives have helped us turn the page, although we are still working on the healing process of our community. and 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'll let him take it from here, but i'll tell you that right now he's probably more popular than the mayor of baton rouge in that every where 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 emails 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 brad. i don't know if i want an auto graph and take pictures right now. but, you know, we are at a unique place 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 that we are working on within the department. but you know one of the reasons that i'm excited is because when i went around to the districts, at the baton rouge police department and talked to the men and women, boots on the ground, that's where i heard a lot of solutions from. the men and women of the baton uge police department. so i'm excited to see the energy that i believe we have in the police department and this thirst for change by many of our police officers who really
recognize that we can become better at our craft. and sometimes when we set the bar high, we achieve those goals. and what we have in the police department right now, 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 be afforded the opportunity to have direct, meaningful, and constructive voice in aspects of the way their neighborhoods are being policed. that's what we are doing right now. we are meeting with nick. we want to talk to fsh. and we are listening to learn. and through our partnership with the department of justice, as part of the national public safety partnership, we have
police experts that will come and help put a strategy in place long-term for the baton rouge police department. and we are excited about that as well. but, you know, the leadership in the police department, you know, they buyin pretty fast. but it's the boots on the ground that we have to get. we have to make sure they understand the importance of community policing and that starts in the academy. and that starts with a box to say you've met a certain block of community policing. it doesn't. it doesn't mean you have one or 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 commission ramsey talks about in the 21st policing model that we are guardians of the community first. and atman 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. we are excited about t i wanted to talk a little bit about what we talked about in 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 environment as leaders where our police officers feel safe to say i need a break. where they feel safe to say they know something is going on. and you know historically we have not done that in leaders in law enforcement. a lot of our police officers we have pride and 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. and it starts from the top.
it really does. to make sure we create an environment where our officers feel safe. and i want to touch on one more thing chlgt the media's responsibility and community police relations. 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 the relationship with your local media. because the good deeds, all the great things that we do every day, that doesn't make headlines. we don't they're 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 men and women who wear the uniform, they understand those values of loyalty, dutdy, respect, integrity, personal coverage and they do it every day. but when we have a few that don't deserve to wear the badge, sometimes we get painted with
the 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 can do to our african-american males. so let's be careful with that. thank you. >> thank you, mayor. and chief, mayor mcmillan and chief ainsley. >> 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 it. and i think that all of us strive to present the best case that we can. we in clark'sville, fifth largest city in the state, but we have the sometimes we call tt fortune and misfortune of being 49 miles from the largest city in tennessee, whichs nashlle.
so we have a large population in our community. we are also home to the 7th largest military installation in the nation in fort campbell which sits right in the middle of our community and has approximately 25 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 clark'sville, i was extremely fortunate because the man sitting next to me, chief ainsley 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 clark'sville. 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. and i sat down with chief ainsley 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 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. you know, 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 called of the mayor summer night programs where we actually went into all of the areas of our city and allowed the police department to interact with 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. and i think that has been so helpful to our community and to these relationships. i'm going to let the chief tell u about all of the great things that weave been doing
in o 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 it 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 have seen in 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. and i think it's because people know that we are 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 are just not going to stand for that in our community. and i think it works so well. and 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 any one realizes that, but we have guns in bars, guns in church, guns in park, 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 every where else, the state legislature continues to overrule our ability to control the guns.
so our police department is under some serious strains sometimes to deal with these guns that are every where and prevalent throughout our community. but they are 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 police chief in america. now, i don't mean to say that, i know there are a lot of police chiefs in here but that's what i think about my chief. and he's 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 team work and coupes
between the mayors and their police chiefs and police departments to make our communities work. and chief i'm going to turn it over to you and let you brag on everything that you are doing in the police department. >> well, thank you, mayor. my you, mayor. >> my name is chief alonzo ainsley. i'm a lifer with the police department. i'm going to keep this brief because i think we're a little over, but we are -- i've been chief of police for 11 years, and we're famous for stealing. i suspect we've stolen some 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 on. the mayor mentioned something about our reputation and building that trust that we had to build. 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 -- not just had discrimination lawsuits, we lost them, and that
can cause quite a bit of damage to your police department. >> she was not the mayor then, chief. >> she was not the mayor. i had the privilege of sitting. i had an invite from the nashville chief of police chief anderson to sit on the major cities roundtable and chief commissioner reams 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. so as i mentioned before some of the things we have done of recent program was -- a recent program we started was -- we call it cut and a chat. we walked into a local barber shop and tore that from north carolina, by the way. we walk no a local barber shop and sit down and have a
conversation. supposed to last 30 minute but it lasts an hour and a half and we answer the tough questions. they ask us tough questions. 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 that we have done to change our reputation, rebasically went back to the basic principles of positive relationships. people do not want to see the cruiser going down the street. people want to see the officer out in their neighborhoods talking to them, and 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've noticed what the public expect, at least the public forums that i have attended, is they expect accountability, and that is one thing that we have -- i have embraced is accountability.
chief 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 is in check i will fire you, and what frustrates me the most, and this may not be popular, is i have fired people from our department and i've seen them end up elsewhere, and that does frustrate me. i've seen it o many occasions because in mypinion we do not as a police culture do a good enough job to -- to check people's backgrounds. if you're going to hire a police officer that i fire for lying which is his ability to testify as a witness in open court has been compromised for the rest of his career, then i've got a problem with it. but this -- once again, it's my honor to be here, it's a
learning experience for me, and it's a pleasure meeting all of you. thank you very much. >> thank you, mayor mcmillan and chief ainsley. 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 the conclusions that come from boots on the ground. we are a 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're a very diverse community. 30% black, 30% hispanic, 30% white and 10% mixed. we have no unrest at all, and i attribute it to a couple of things. one, that our police department starts at the age of about 9 years old in the fourth grade. we have a program where it's called adopt a corporation and all the police officers go to a fourth grade class all year long and start that relationship young with the children, so at 4 years old the children, each have a police officer there.
every month comes in. at the end. year they have a big party and give out pizzas and bring in the police, the horses, the scuba teams, the helicopters and really keep them trying to develop a relationship at a young age. instead of waiting at 15 oar 16 when you have a problem and we're starting at 4. our chief started this many years ago and no unrest at all. we're the first police department to mandate theous of body cameras and every officer given a taser and trained how to use them so we don't have deadly force when not needed, and it's been really working fine, and e chief he put this program together. how many years have you got, that chief? >> 24 years. >> and it's a great program. fourth graders. expanding it to the sixth and eighth grade, and they are there every month. these boston police officers come in on their day off. they may be doing a 7:00 to 7:00 and come in the next day at 11:00 just to see the class and
go with the children. i think it's really proven to be successful. five and six years down the line. some child will back up and say i remember you. you were my adopt a cop. >> go ahead. >> 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, and so it works out great, and if i'm in a store they will come up to me and say, chief, do you remember me? of course i'll say yes, do i, and we'll have a conversation about what happened in the school that day or their home and that's really how you build legitimacy and that's how you 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 but, and those questions change, and they will remind you. chief, i remember when i met you five years ago or ten years ago or when i just hired last week 15 years ago who said you made a
difference when you came into my class rom 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, and 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, a very famous gospel reverend donny clark invited me to his church, and he had about 800 parishioners there that day, and he was there to sipping the praise of thee partment. we may disagree with what happens in other parts of the country, but we support our freeport police officers because they are there, and they are part of the community and we're all a team. without peace in our community, there's peace nowhere, and
that's why the community trust that we receive. in fact, i'm sure commissioner bratton will speak about it tonight, the nine rules of appealing reform. you get your legitimacy and you get your mother from the community and it goes a long, long way to making the and the police department department. >> mayor broom and then mayor budajuj. >> i just wanted to add something that's really prevalent on my mind and it's 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 does not mean police rejection. it just means that we all, whether we're the mayor, whether we're the chief of police, we all have room for improvement, and everyone should want a stellar police department that serves their community 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 budajuj. >> thank you. so i come to a gathering on this theme, and i think like i'm always alternating between feeling very good and feeling dispond ent. feeling good seems like there doesn't seek to be a fierce controversy over what steps should be taken or some big idea that we've totally missed and all of us are doing the things and yet we're talking about the issue which means it hasn't been solved. in south bend the chief and his command stef staff have done a terrific job doing all the things we're supposed to be doing, introducing body cameras,
going to community events and lots of foot patrols and 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 that doesn't count as a civilian review board because they are all appointed by the mayor. we're doing the group violence intervention work with to me is valuable not only because of the actual impact it has on gun violence but just because you can't do it unless you pull together a community coalition to make it happen which moans all these folks have each other on speed dial from when something else goes on and we have a clear procedure for what to do when there's 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 is that a witness from the neighborhood really was one of the oned who established that the officer did the right thing. but the other part of me is -- 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, and so it tells us that even though the chief and his team are doing all these really great things, we're still not where we need to be. the question i was hoping to put to the group is do we have any concrete actionable ways of just measuring where police community relations stand. we thought of one which was to take shots spotted data and compare them to 911. when there's a shooting what time do they actually talk about it? our theory is the more confident
they are in the police department the greater they will be willing to share what time it happens. 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 of the anecdotes and good stories and bad stories we'll get how we're actually doing on the question of legitimacy in ways that we can track and follow and act on. >> chief harrison. >> yeah. >> i want to address mayor broome's point but to his point there are citizen satisfaction surveys that we used to do twice a year that we now do once a year. they are put on by a commission made up of professors from local universities that do that for us, and that wil give u ans indication of how we're doing with police and community relations but how people have their perceptions of crime, their perceptions of police
community relations. those are great, great tools, but to her point about the us against them, and we talked about with the word accountability. i think the thing we left out was transparency, and a lot of times accountability doesn't really work without full transparency to the community. so accountability through like strong policy, strong training, strong supervision and management and strong discipline internally and 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 about everything we do online and make it available to the citizens. every use of force, every discipline, call for service, response times and citizen complaints. every single thing that can be measured we make available to the community. over time that -- 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 critical incident, i make it a point of meeting with the immediate family member within the first 12 hours. 12 to 13 hours i'm with them so at the first press conference or at the second press conference my opening statement is i just met with the family, and to the extent that i can i'll have them standing there with me. those -- those things help overtime, but i -- i believe we're speaking to an internal police culture whereby we only measure police chief performance and i was certainly taught this, we evaluate police chiefs and police departments by their crime-fighting strategies, the number of arrests, clearance rates, not necessarily by citizen satisfaction and the community's perception of our performance so i think the citizen satisfaction surveys will go a very long way, and it takes a little bit of work to
begin the change to 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 servicein a way we thought they should be delidr than agreeing to deliver the police community services you think you need. that's where we find of need to be. >> i've got a question. how much you have civilian review boards in your communities? by a show of hands. okay. we're going to take two more comments. we're going to go to david kennedy. i'm going to go to my chief, three comments, and then i'm going to go to our mayor here. so on my right side.
>> 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 galled a lu cid that believes they 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, and there are cases that that's statistically meaningful and low overhead. >> it's elucd. so informational only. no interest. can't verify it, but i think things like this are coming and they may lower the cost of what
otherwise would be formal social science research. having said that, we know what the answers are, and this is to the -- the -- the us versus them question. we're administering for the justice department the national initiative for building community trust and justice, and 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, and what they found across the country was in these troubled minority crime hot spots, so these are the places where shot spotters says they don't call 911. you've 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, right? 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, when white folks talk about these issues and these incidents, they talk about the issue and the instant. when black folks talks about them, they talk about history, and we get the same sort of thing for the lbgtqi community. every people that has been oppressed internalizes and
continues as a collective narrative that oppression, and the -- 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, right? the history of the nation is that we have treated you really badly under color of law, and we 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 isap and to the policing credit he got a standing ovation when he did that. the field is ready for that and
communities want to hear, that and until we say it clearly we're just pretending. >> thank you. chief allen and then mayor munoz. >> our entire department went through proceed you'll training and we identified some of the implicit biasses we have as law enforcement officers or as human beings, and it was interesting to find out that a lot of officers didn't even realize they had those biasses based upon the environment, the history, their upbringing and the things that have occurred in their lives so it was interesting that 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 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 had the idea the public doesn't need to know what we do. we do it. we're the police and that's what we're going to do.
we have to get away from that. we have to get away from that. you can google it and know what we do as law enforcement officers. we have to get away from that. up 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 the police are just not out here doing things willy-nilly because the purpose behind what they do and they can understand us better and by doing that, that trust is incorporated into that, and we also go out to our community meetings and do all that. we're doing things in the community so that we can continue to build that trust up. i agree with the chief of baton rouge about peng our own story, and every morning i hear from my mayor, we have to get our narrative out there. we need our narrative out there. so i am listening, mayor, when you say that. >> mayor muneau, you have the
final word. >> i'll be brief. one of the things that we've noticed in west bapalm beach th as our crimes are going down services are going up and that tells us something about our trust level and being willing to call and ask for help so i think that that's important. the other thing i wanted to talk about we have the whole list of reach programs and we have the kids and cops dialogue where with you bring kids together with police officers in a facilitated discussion that occurs over multiple weeks, and that's where we start breaking down those barriers of perception where gets at some point can say, look, you know, you came -- you came in to where i was and you acted like you, you know, whatever, and cops can
say to the kids, well, look, when you call me names or spit at me, this makes me feel like this, so they have really deep and significant discussions about the relationship between their community and the police officers, and the fact that it's facilitated in a very specific mainer 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. mayor wilson has been doing an excellent job. has us within four or five minutes of time. i'm not getting in trouble with her and john by taking us off schedule. i do want to make sure, i'm not sure if you read david joy's piece in the "new york times" on gun culture. it was titled "gun culture is my culture" and i fear what it's
become. it's a really compelling piece and talks about gun culture in some 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 we act in very conclusive terms, and i use inclusion advice avi 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 -- that we understand that some of the challenges that folks are facing in appalachia are the same challenges that people are facing in an inner city in some of our greatest cities, and we've 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 they are looking forward and that our dialogue
and our discussion speaks to the more perfect union that we're trying to create. we've got to pull people in. we eve 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, bus and recognizing that all the challenges we face are not issues just of race but racial issues are really very real but that there are suffering people of every background all across the country and we have to make sure we're going to speak the issues if we have a dialogue that everyone can embrace and we can move forward together. just wanted to say that. >> 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 or nate? chances are i'll pick tom or nan, not because they are 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 very difficult for me to trust you. mr. cranley, mayor cranley, 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 marilyn drew and i are part of a continuing police community reform which is really police community relations in the time frame that we live in so that will be sort of chapter two of this discussion. i have a lot more to add, but given the time i would like to keep things moving. we are now going to move to a sectioben to run by my good friend mayor mihalik from finley, ohio, about dealing with people in crisis. i will make one personal point to everybody that i'm going to have to accept out of this session a little early because i'm having to take a call from reverend jesse jackson. the good news is he's -- 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, and in my experience it's done a lot of good things for our city and our urban core.
nonetheless please forgive me for stepping out to take that call. mayor benjamin, if i'm not here to wrap up this session if you could do so i'd appreciate it. mayor my hallic. >> thank you very much, mayor cranley, and 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 that it's 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, and 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, and as a result 2 million people with mental illness are booked into our jails each other. 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 jail many individuals don't receive the treatment that 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 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 effectively 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 national public health emergency, although the national response has been plagued by inaction. the centers for it is control and prevention report that drug overdose deaths in 2016 alone totalled 64,070 individuals. a 21% increase over the year before with three-fourth of owl deaths caused by opioids. the cdc statistics indicate fentanyl is driving the sharp increases in opioid-related fatalities. while police are often the first on the scene in dealing with a drug overdose and there are measures that they can take like that will help to save lives, we
also need to examine when we as mayors and police chiefs can get people in treatment. i was fortunate to join our conference president mitch landrieu as we discussed successful community solutions for combating the opioid cries, and i'm really thankful for the leadership that mayor waley 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. montgomery county police chief tom anjer, louisville mayor jeff fisher and mayor waley and director chief beal. first, chief, we'll start with you. >> thank you, mayor. 10% of the cools that police
officers go to involve somebody dealing with a mental health issue. it may not be dispatched at a call that involves somebody with a mental health issue. maybe a trespassing at a local store but when you get there what you find out in fact the ise is y'r dling with a person who has a mental health issue so 10% of the calls that 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 beyond that to -- to demonstrate to this group just how critical our ability to deal with folks that are deal with mental health issues is. you know, 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.
we have cit and for some of us, we have, well, we've got half a dozen officers trained with cit. well, you know, we probably need 100% of our officers trained with that, and some of us are getting there, but cit typically is about 40 hours of training, and that's a pretty tall order to train every single cop, you know, with a 40-hour class, so it will likely take years to do that. i think what we can all -- i hope what we can all agree on is that as we encounter people every day that are dealing with mental health issues with addiction issues that we're all wise enough that incars nation does nothing and we need to find ways to help with the treatment as the mayor says. there's a number of initiatives nationwide and a number of local
issues -- nichetives that we've all adopted. the national council for behavioral health offers something called mental help first aid. that's not at 40-hour class. you can -- you can -- i think it may just be able to do it in one day, i think. i could be wrong, okay. thank you. so, you know, the mental health first aid is worth its weight in the gold. until you can get somebody into that 40-hour class, if we can train all of our officers with that mental health and first aid and we'll do that in the academy. i'll tell you personally one of the things i haven't added another week to my six-month recruit academy is because i think officers actually need a little bit of experien and get some seasongut on the street before you sta teaching them about, you know, giving them the crisis intervention training. it will be much more meaningful and relevant to them once they 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. we're all wearing body worn cameras in my jurisdiction, and -- and although my videos aren't very exciting. my cobs that we actually do get some pretty amazing videos, and -- and i had an officer who were dispatched to a large department star, and for an individual who was wearing a chewbacca costume and just walking around the store and he was making people uncomfortable so when my officers went there went all through the store and couldn't find him and the officer are standing out in front of the store and getting ready to leave and somebody comes running back the guy is back and is taking off his costume and is standing there in his underwear and has had a
knife with him. the officers went back in. all of this is on video and one of the officers goes down the aisle and sees the guy. it looks like a white male. probably in his early 20s, and in fact he's standing in his underwear, and he's just looking at something on a shelf, and the officer says to him drop the knife. well, the man turns towards the officer and picks the knife up, you know, in sort of an aggressive stance and starts walking, not running, walking very methodically towards the officer. the officer takes out his service weapon, says drop the knife, drop the knife, the officer, mind you, is backing up. you can tell from the video. the officer is backing up, and he's -- he's telling him to 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, and -- and he gets on his radio real quick and get it set
up with a knife and it turns around running. the officer starts running at him. the officers will catch up to him and deploys a taser and life goes sliding across the floor and gets the guy into custody. nobody is hurt and everybody is safe. that's the outcome you want. when you watch this, this officer was in a situation where he could ve cou have lawfully discharged his weapon it was a deadly force situation. ful he had just stood there, the guy would have been right up, and as soon as he got within arm's reach it would have been a deadly force situation, but because we're teaching our officers a better tactic, it's not just -- it's not just the use of deadly force lawful, was it within policy? we're all asking that third question which is the most important question. was it necessary, and in this case the officer very proud of him the way he backed up and the
way he kept talking to the guy telling him i don't have to shoot you, and maybe that clicked with the guy and he went running the other way, so -- but, again, this is all part of the -- of the training that our officers are getting in terms of dealing with folks that have mental health issues which this guy did. we -- in montgomery county we've established mental health courts and it people who who have committed lower level and we put them in treatment. people with low-level offenses, nuisance--type calls, we connect the people immediately with a social worker who is available to us and can tip clip resolve a lot of toyses that way. we have two full-time social workers that work with my cops.
when we got to an opioid overdose there's a social workers who goes with the officer who responds and when a person is revived with naloxone they say the social worker and police officer and we give them a choice. you can go with the police officer or social worker to treatment, and -- and police officers are not really going to take them out of custody. 100% of the people picked 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 -- it's a very successful program. it costs money because you've got the social workers who are deployed to the police department and signed to the police department full time, but it's really worked very well, and 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 we
have -- they elope or wander off and they are out in the community and people, you know, say, you know, you get a kid acting strangely and my cop shows us and the person could be an autistic kid or teenager who -- who then acts very aggressively or is shouting or 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 some officers and given them tips about here's what you do, what you sa don't say and in addition to all of that. this police officer works with these families, and we have something called project life saver where we can issue the family wrist band for that individual so if they do get away we're able to track them down and get them safely back home, and it's, again, once a
year we have something at our police academy called autism night out and it's grown to where we have between 400 and 500 autistic individuals, many of them kids and some of them young adults who come with their families and we've set up the -- the entire police academy area inside and out to be safe for everybody, and we have all kinds of activities, and there's a lot of care providers, you know, for the -- for the parents, and it's just been an amazing program and -- and very successful in terms of us connecting with -- with the community of folks who have those kinds of issues in their families so they really feel like they -- they have some place to go to get some help and that they can trust, you know, when the police are getting involved with their kid, that hopefully it's going to turn out where everybody is okay. >> mayor fisher.
>> thank you, i'm greg fisher, the mayor of louisville. i'll talk about this issue from first an identifying of challenged 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 police officers, 1,300 officers trained in crisis intervention and here with body cameras, tried to de-escalate the situation and it wound up in a shooting and i regret that. we talked about the identification process. the chief i think covered that quite thoroughly. that's very important for all of our officers, and as i mentioned 98% have been trained. likewise what, we try to do is divert as many of these individuals so that they don't enter the criminal justice
system and begin that whole spiral. we're implementing the law enforcement assisted diversion techniques that we learn 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 program and this is staffed 24/7 with case workers, social service workers so for low-level issues where a police officer has a discretion to -- to arrest someone that is a problem. they can take them to the living room. they drop them off and it's a 24 hour facility where then that person can stay for 24 hours. they are surrounded by case workers to identify what these issues can be, and they can be everything from homelessness, food insecurity, mental illness or whatever we can do to give them help and we're doing that, and 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 an out of your jails very frequently and they used to be called frequent flyers and we put a more friendly name on it called familiar faces, and there's 50 folks that have had more than eight incarcerations and more than eight emergency room utilizations that drive a tremendous amount of activity and cost in our system as well. so we've developed a homeless management information system that basically touches our police department, our jail, our emergency room, our homeless coalition, so we now, you know, know these folks really well. we know where they are 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 ers and homeless coalitions and hospitals and that's one of the better things of that so we can understand what those individual people need and we can give them what 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 illness problem, and in our homeless community it's four to five times that rate, so while the public wants to tell us how easy it is to take care of this homelessness problem we know how difficult it 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 cleanneliness issues, how we establish a protocol around that where all the service providers are present. we give a 21-day notice to the camps. the police officers obviously are the initial group that are interacting with the police officers so that we can get the social service workers around the camps, provide the case work that's 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 community awareness of how difficult this issue is, and it's provided some community resources for us as well. like you all, i assume your homeless are like ours. so many don't want to be homeless and they are there because of economic reasons. others that is -- we try to house them and they choose not to be housed, and people have a
really hard time understanding, that so they tend to be chronic, and they are the most difficult runs 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, but for those that are most chronic that is a the a of the population, we do not have a satisfactory solution for them, and we're working on that. i don't think you can talk about this issue without talking about 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 which is really helping to keep people alive. we're using a software solution to map where overdoses are taking place in our communities
so we can flood those areas with resources and try to interrupt the overdoses that are taking place in our community, and then we implement a quick response team that -- that takes an initiative in our hospital emergency rooms, and it's a police initiative that consists of a police officer and an emt and addiction counsellor so that 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 and a buddy system, you know, 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 the power of addiction and how hard it is to work through this, 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. >> thank you very much.
mayor fisher. mayor waley. >> thank you, mayor mihalik and thanks to all of you for the work that you do. we were asked about the opioid epidemic and seems the topic of conversation that the city of dayton talks the most about. when i was elected mayor in 2014, it wasn't something i was really excited or even knew would be the highest priority on our community, but it spends our time every single day and more and more of our time for police and fire and every single part of the city of dayton. as mentioned at the beginning of this task force last year, we saw a record high of accidental overdose dust and the county of around 560,000 people had 560,000 deaths of accidentally overdoses. mostly because of fentanyl that's coming your way. if it hasn't reached your community, i'm sorry to say it doesn't stop at the city limits of dayton, ohio.
so we can talk about different pieces that i would like to particularly turn it over to chief beat. chief beal has been the police chief for the city of dayton for a decade, so 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 and that's the same in the city of dayton, but for us the toll on our police and fire responders has been enormous. what we call compassion fatigue has been something that has affect 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 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 -- this hateful epidemic. lastly i'll say there's a lot of discussion and fair discussion about the change in policing between the crack epidemic to the opioid epidemic and it's fa and true that i have a majority/minority city commission and that was one of the first things they said to me. why would we be doing this? we haven't done this in our communities in the '90s and i said i completely agree. i wasn't mayor in the '90s so i think 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've done in the past moving forward. also, the issue with the opioid epidemic and heroin and fentanyl and particularly fentanyl and
carfentanyl is how deadly it is. we have people who 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 tale because of fentanyl's entrance into it and that means we need to be very aggressive at getting people into treatment as quickly and as often as possible. unfortunately, this is something that has hit our city very, very aggressively and i appreciate chief beal's leadership on using his really limited resources to become social workers as well on 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. board or underchallenged. so we're going to talk about those challenges just for a few
movements i do have a bit of a formal presentation, a little information that i'll provide you, so i would like to go forward with that. so this is about responding to people in crisis with care. and this is about -- what i'm going to describe to you is an evolution over about a four or five-year period here. so we had initial success with a downtown initiative which citywide later became the city crisis response team. initially it was to engage individuals in a downtown area for which a survey used a scriptor of persons without purpose. often the source of disorder complaints, panhandling, intoxication, et cetera, and so what we realized that 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
project was that initiative a we received a community policing award in 2015 for this initiative. we needed to prioritize the response to 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 and followed up with needed agencies to link individuals to services. you might see a familiar individual here and from afar, and in a recent photo from a tour in our city last week with mayor waley and marilyn drew. the team now does recently consist of three officers. one also dayton fire department, paramedic and mental health crisis workers and also peer-to-peer mentors has needed. there's monthly roundtable meetings with all the stakeholders with the idea that
we need to troubleshoot when we have someone in crisis and how to we best get them connected to services. who is the service provider and how do we get about getting that done so the monthly meetings with basically problem solving sessions and community policing is needed to help 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 kind of a formalized focus on those. we had opioid overdose incidents. this is 2017 data, so we had contact with 439 victims. 96 of those were taken directly to treatment and we had a 22% of the individuals actually getting access to treatment. educational support was also provided to 290 family members. this is a recent, very recent news story regarding this initiative, so i'll play that
for you. >> for signs of progress in the opioid epidemic here in the miami valley. >> emergency responders say overdose numbers are slowly going down as community support goes up. to the reporter ethan fitzgerald digging deeper into what that means. >> emergency responders, treatment experts ander addicts over the last year 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. >> we're not used to the police showing up to offer help. >> it's dayton police officers like jason olson that check on past overdose victims and try to connect them to the resources that they need. >> means we're knocking on doors of individuals and talking to individuals themselves or their family members and giving them treatment options, education for resources, for the 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 conversations for change come into place. >> we take a person-centered approach. we don't tell you how to approach your recovery process. we say hey, we're here, we can educate you what's out there but you have to do what's right for you because recovery is a personal decision. >> the stigma of not wanting to get help because the whole community with the conversation for change and with dayton fire and police you can get assistance for everything. >> duncan lost her brother and the success stories mean the world to her. >> part what have we do is 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 happened at lyndon baptist church at 5:00 p.m. this thursday. >> again, emergency responders telling me those numbers or overdoses 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. using community services. 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 that tivational 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 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. 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. to get you caught up on the trend. just a couple quick stories, and i'll stop. this is from one our success stories. the individual is michael. my first encounter with him i 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 who needed help.
i was still scared. 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 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 considerations. 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 rht. 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. 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 impact or to mitigate the 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 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 methamphetamine and cocaine. the market s shifted once again. we jt 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. we need to respond to that. i said, we better be looking more broadly because it's not going to stay that way. clearly we're seeing that shift in dayton. one of them is get your data from being siloed to being integrated. the other big thing, a partnership with treatment providers. find out what they're seeing and remove barriers to treatment. treatment really is the answer. getting ahead of it. >> 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. 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 t 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. 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 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 ip -- 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. in the framework that what my good buddy here asked, if we're doing these things and everyone consistently says we subscribe to the meat and potatoes of this 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 and 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 the users as victims and we need to get them services. the perception in the community 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. we say we do a lot of great things. the perceptions in these communities, though, is we're selective about where we apply it. i meant to make you uncomfortable. >> yeah. >> is that it? do you have another uncomfortable question, chief? mayor, i'm going to come back to that. mayor karen freedman-wilson. thank you. >> 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 opioid 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 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
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 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 al wh 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 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 opioid 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 street safer and the people safer. there are many uncomfortable questions that have been raised today, and chief, i want to thank you for bringing those up at the last minute. i do want to make the point because i had the opportunity to spend the day with lydia and nan in dayton. the opioid epidemic is not going away. it's going to get worse before it gets better, and of course, it's coursing through every neighborhood in america. if it hasn't come to your neighborhood, it is. but it's not a problem with just opioids. 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 biehl told us about and i would commend this to all of you. i think you see this in your homeland security response, you'll see it in your police response, you'll see it in your opioid addiction response. one of the things that continues to get in the way is the silos between and amongst the agencies on a federal, state and local levels, horizontally and vertically. and one of the best ways to get out of it is to break down those silos, share responsibility, share information, and have everybody at the table trying to get the best information that we can so we can target our response to the people that we need so we don't waste resources and put ourselves at risk.
and finally just to remember, prevention, treatment, and intervention are the immediate things that need to get done, but that's after you get it the fact there's a problem to begin with, which gets back to what the mayor talked about about thinking about what are the things causing us to be in a position where we actually have to respond. all of us know that prevention and getting way in front of 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 see the good things and you see the bad things. just to end up, i would hope that 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 almost 80% of the 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're having the acutest, most difficult problems. so when we heard today from chief paul and mayor sharon weston broome about the difficulty they had, they had three police officers who were ambushed and murdered, almost in the same space of having a police-involved shooting from the other side that tore their community apart. and what they learned and how they went through that i think is instructive to us. 566 deaths from opioid overdoses and addiction in just a recent period of time. and each and every one of you has these things. we are the places where it's happening and we're the ones who because fate has put it upon our shoulders, are responsible for finding the very complicated answers. and then chief garner speaks truth to power in the legislatures and congress about what specific things each of us has to do in order to make our community safe, and then take a back seat to nobody in terms of the commitment that we have to
make our neighborhoods safe and our communities safe because it's on our shoulders. i commend that to you all to think about tonight. i know we'll hear from chief bratton. we're really thrilled you're here and thank you for your presence. we'll continue on tomorrow and hopefully walk out of this thing with a really significant strategy towards the next meeting and having a plan as mayor cranially has asked us to do. we'll reconvene at about 6:00 for dinner. in the ellington room tonight, 6:00 for dinner. all right, thank you all so much. >> later today, a forum on the future of race relations in america. that's at 6:30 p.m. eastern, live on c-span. and then at 8:00 p.m. eastern,
from the u.s. senate race in utah, two republicans, mitt romney and mike kennedy, will debate each other ahead of the june 26th primary for the seat being vacated by senator orrin hatch. that begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch it live on c-span. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> tonight, here on c-span3, american history tv in primetime will look at political satire throughout u.s. history, beginning with a discussion about the landmark supreme court
decision in hustler magazine v. smallwell. in that decision, the high court found that a vulgar parody of jerry falwell was protected by the first amendment because reverend falwell was a public figure and no reasonable person would believe the satire was true. >> join us live sunday at noon eastern for our year long special, in depth fiction edition. featuring best-selling fiction writers, contemporary novelist gish jen will be our guest. >> if we're talking about creativity, and i know many writers and so on, that people who have a lot to say are not -- are completely undaunted by being told the rules of story telling. the whole idea that there is, you know, a story telling, you know, there's a triangle that you must learn to do this, if you're going to go on to be a
fiction writer, it's necessary but not sufficient. you're learning to do this, it's not going to make you a great writer. but then you sit down with faulkner and you discover that actually, they could all do it. and i think there's nothing about learning to do those things that impedes creativity. >> her books include typical american, mona and the promise land, and who's irish. watch our special series in depth fiction edition with author gish jen sunday, live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span2. >> the house appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch held a hearing on the budget for the u.s. congress office of compliance. kansas congressman kevin yoder chaired the hearing. >> meeting will c