NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– After activists, police, and clergy spent 16 months analyzing New Haven’s community policing. They found use of force and traffic stops are big concerns.
The Mayor’s Community and Police Task Force was formed two months after video surfaced of an officer slamming a teenage girl last year at the Saint Patrick’s Day parade.
“Common sense would tell you this was a young girl in handcuffs,” said task force member Ann Boyd.
New Haven police say the officer said he saw a steak knife in her purse. Police and the task force condemned the action, but he was not reprimanded as he was trained at a different academy in the state. He was not trained at the New Haven academy.Web Extra: Community and Police Relations Task Force Report – July 2016
“Everybody now in New Haven is trained in New Haven standards and New Haven standards are a lot higher than some other cities,” said Co-Chair of the Task Force Dr. Leroy Williams.
The other co-chair, Rabbi Eliezer Greer said traffic stops are a big concern as well.
“There is a card that is state issued that is supposed to be given so that they can call if they feel if they’ve been racially profiled when they’ve been pulled over,” said Greer.Related: New Haven officials hold discussion on community
Police Chief Dean Esserman said, “Everyone likes to know why they’re being pulled over. I think that’s more than reasonable whether we do it in writing or we do it orally. I think that’s more than reasonable.”
The task force also says to improve transparency they want an online database of all protocols and orders for the department. For everything including use of force, body cameras, and a citizens right to record police.
Greer said, “We need to put this online. We need to modernize the information of the police department.”
Esserman said, “The openness that this department believes in needs to only be redoubled.”
It’s all in effort to open up communication between police and the communities they serve and protect.
Ann Boyd said, “We need to be able to reach out to our officers and say this is what’s happening.”
Greer said many of the recommendations are already being implemented. This was just phase one. They say phase two will be released early next year.