Chief George Kral and his Citizen's Advisory Board (CAB) have hosted five Town Hall Meetings (April 2015 – Scott High School; August 2015 – University of Toledo, December 2015 – Rogers High School; April 2016 – East Toledo Family Center; August 2016 - Monroe Street United Methodist Church).

The following two questions have been discussed at each meeting and the general themes that have emerged are summarized below:

What can we do to make Toledo a safer place to live?

  • Interaction with youth
    • Develop a relationship between youth and police
    • Collaborate with churches and schools to educate parents/youth children on how to interact with police
    • Stronger rules makes sneakier kids – need to lighten up on the rules
    • Youth need more things to do
    • Teenagers need protection to stay away from gangs
    • Police interactions with youth often look like harassment.  Officers should focus on helping the youth.
  • Neighborhood
  • Community Involvement
    • Have 2nd and 3rd shift interact in community activities/community engagement
    • Need to bridge the gap between citizens and police
  • Race
    • Maintain fairness across the board in charging decisions
    • Stop thinking about race as the issue.  There is often an underlying crime that leads to an interaction with the police.
    • Race is a factor.  Need better human relations and communication.
    • Profiling goes beyond color.
  • Media
    • Media needs to stop highlighting race in their news stories
    • Media needs to focus on the good police stories, not just the bad officer
  • Policing/Police Training
    • Maintain beat integrity
    • Better police recruiting to increase diversity of the force
      • Racial composition of police department is not as important as having a department with qualified officers
    • Adequate level of police
      • Increased police presence in the community, ore officers on foot patrol, officers need to utilize existing resources
      • There needs to be an increased focus on community policing
    • Slow response time – police will not come when someone needs them
      • The community perceives that police response times are slower when police are called compared to fast response times for driving issues
    • Need more training
    • Sections of the city are being treated differently
      • Need to stop racial profiling but acknowledges difference between racial profiling and criminal profiling
    • Cultural sensitivity training
      • Need to address issues of racism/implicit bias
      • Training on how to work with the community
    • Curfew laws need to be enforced
    • Respect – Officers need to respect the community
      • Community members feel that they are disrespected by police because of their race
    • Officers need to relate to the community they serve and treat them as human beings
    • Officers need to be present in the neighborhoods to facilitate relationship building
    • Police are not always helpful when they are responding to a call
    • Police are tasked with too many jobs
  • Community Issues
    • Jobs
      • More jobs are needed for the community, including ex-offenders
      • Families need to step up/parents need to take care of their kids
    • The community needs to partner with the police department in an effort to combat violence in the city
    • The mood of the city is combative
    • Need increased resources
      • Additional services for youth
      • Need more CASA volunteers
    • Respect – The community needs to respect the police
    • Fear - Have a greater fear of police than people in the city
    • Police need to live in the community that they serve
    • Officers need to interact with youth
    • Police need to stop issues such as loitering to increase the feeling of safety
    • After hour clubs/drug homes need to be addressed
    • Need to create safe places for residents/kids (cut the grass on vacant lots)
      • There is a need to clean up the Detroit Ave. corridor
    • Old West End residents are terrified of the violence
      • How do you balance protecting the community by calling the police and protecting the community by not bringing the police in (there is the belief that bringing the police in further perpetuates racial profiling)
    • The community needs guidance on how to facilitate police/community relations
    • Block Watch is a valuable resource to neighborhoods
    • Need more positivity (police and community)
    • The community needs to assist the police with ancillary issues.
  • Protect and Serve
    • Need to focus on police issues
    • Need to target the “right community”
  • Mental Health
    • Need stronger collaboration between mental health agencies and the community
    • Officers need training on mental health issues
  • Communication
    • Use of social media to help change the minds of people regarding police (police are not bad people, need to change the community’s perception of police)
    • If a person frequently calls 911, the complaints are often disregarded by the responding officer
    • Officers need to be more conversational when there is police-related encounter.
    • Need to invite kids to the conversation.  Youth/community are not involved in the discussion.
    • Media focus is on the bad police.  There are good and bad police (50/50).  The focus on bad police makes you feel uncomfortable.
    • Assumptions – when an officer stops you, you assume that you did something wrong
    • Police are reactive and not proactive
    • Need to see police doing good things.

How do we build trust between the community and the police department?

  • Community Involvement
    • Get officers into the community
    • Need involvement and community engagement
      • Need to hire a civilian community liaison to help build community relations
      • Establish a neighborhood commission to facilitate information sharing
      • The police and community need to work together
      • Increased community involvement
      • Community meetings need to occur in the neighborhoods
      • Need to report crime and suspected drug activity
    • Officers and the community need to be righteous and humble
    • Need to reestablish communities.  Neighbors need to make an effort to get to know their neighbor.
      • The community, church, and police need to work together to build better communities
      • There needs to be greater church involvement in the community
    • People need jobs.
    • Blockwatch appears to be picking on people.
  • Positive Focus
    • Need to highlight the positive aspects of the police department and its officers
  • Education
    • Education and discipline starts at home
    • Parents need to teach their kids the “dos and don’ts” of police interactions
    • Need to educate the community on how to interact with the police
  • Police/Policing
    • Undercover Boss – observe street level interactions of police and community
    • Need to do something when problems are presented
    • Hold more forums-it builds trust an opens dialogue
    • Review the psychological profile of officers
    • Need to train officers, beginning at the academy, to use common sense
      • Officers should live in the city/offer incentives
    • Need to use body cameras
    • Innocent until proven guilty
    • Increased visibility of police officers will lead to increased credibility/beat integrity
    • Officers need to respect and know the community
      • Police need to get to know the neighborhoods that they are patrolling
    • Police need to respond to calls
    • Need more traffic enforcement and SkyCops.
    • Need to address and admit police bias (reference to 2015 TPD bias report)
    • Need to create a rapport with the community
    • Need to look at underlying drug/substance abuse issues
    • Institutionalization of new policies – how will the Chief’s positive changes be institutionalized?
    • Toledo Police Department has already built trust with the community
    • Toledo police Department is doing a good job
    • If a citizen has an issue with the police, contact internal affairs
    • Need more police officers
  • Youth/Interaction with youth
    • Police need to attend youth activities
    • Parents need to hold their kids accountable
    • Parents need to be connected to TPS/schools
    • Kids need to be supported
  • Community Issues
    • Visibility – Need to see police doing positive things
      • Police need to be consistently doing good things
    • Cultural differences – how do we bridge cultural differences between community members and officers
    • Need police to stop shooting citizens – clarified that this was more of a national issue
    • What makes police afraid of the African-American communities that they serve
    • Ex-offenders struggle with reintegrating into the community
    • Need actual relationships between the police and community
    • Young black kids are shooting young black kids.  This needs to stop.
  • Procedural Justice
    • Police academy graduates should attend the town hall meetings
    • Community members deserve respect of police
  • Communication
    • Need to engage urban radio stations or alternative media to engage the community in the town hall forums
      • Need common terminology/Need to define what a safe community is
    • Need better press on the good things

TOLEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT
525 N. ERIE TOLEDO, OH 43604
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