The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Ferguson’s Police Department has pledged to spend more time walking around neighborhoods and speaking with residents. Its goal is to reduce tension within a community that is now infamous for police brutality and violence.
At a local church, Greater Grace Church, about 130 people gathered for the premiere of a new neighborhood policing plan according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The presentation is the first in a series addressing the new plan that is aimed at restoring relations between locals and police, particularly in the wake of Michael Brown’s murder by Officer Darren Wilson in August last year.
The new plan mandates that officers will be assigned to particular parts of the neighborhood to get to know the residents and businesses in those areas.
Interim Police Chief Andre Anderson spoke at the gathering saying:
“We want to get the community more involved in our efforts to develop a better relationship. We know we can’t do it without the community.”
Anderson stresses that he wants Ferguson to have an old style of policing in which officers talk to locals regularly and walk the streets like everyone else.
“I think we are on the right track,” Anderson said. “The reality is that the police department can’t do it alone.”
The audience had an equal number of Black and White attendees. During the question-and-answer session, some noticed their concerns over whether the department had a large enough staff to address the needs and the crime in the St. Louis suburb. Others spoke out about how officers continued to use excessive force on residents after Michael Brown’s death.
Some were hopeful about the program, however. Deborah Carter, a longtime resident, said she was behind Anderson’s efforts.
“I also want police to be held accountable for what they do. I don’t want anything to be swept under the rug.”
Volunteers were selected from the first meeting to create a steering community that would coordinate additional community programing to put Anderson’s policing plan into place.
[SOURCE: AP, Huffington Post]
Photographic Proof Not Much Has Changed In Ferguson Since Michael Brown’s Death
1. 2014: Michael Brown’s lifeless body was left in the streets of Ferguson for more than four hours after he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9.1 of 14
2. 2015: Tyrone Harris, 18, was shot in Ferguson Sunday night by police for allegedly attacking them with a firearm. He remains in critical condition and is facing four charges of first-degree assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of discharging a firearm at a motor vehicle.2 of 14
3. 2014: Unrest in Ferguson plagued the city after police officers clashed with protesters.3 of 14
4. 2015: Police stand to maintain the crowd after shots rang out on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.4 of 14
5. 2014: An unarmed protester was approached by police during protests in Ferguson. The image became one of the most memorable of the city’s uprising.5 of 14
6. 2015: A woman stands before police with her hands up in the air.6 of 14
7. 2014: After the shooting of Mike Brown and the death of Eric Garner, unrest continued to rise in Ferguson. After it was determined that Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of the teen, protesters took to the streets.7 of 14
8. 2015: Since the death of Brown, over 100 men, women, and children of color have been killed by police. Worldwide protests have continued advocating for better training for police officers.8 of 14
9. 2014: A woman hit with pepper spray is doused with milk. Ferguson police issued curfews for protesters after incidents of arson and looting occurred during peaceful protests in the city.9 of 14
10. 2015: A year later, protesters say they too were hit with tear gas while protesting in the streets.10 of 14
11. 2014: The National Guard was called into Ferguson to “control” protests.11 of 14
12. 2015: A teen is caught in the crossfire during a shooting that took place in Ferguson on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.12 of 14
13. 2014: Army tanks filled the streets of Ferguson after protests turned violent in the city.13 of 14
14. 2015: St. Louis police with army gear arrive in Ferguson Sunday night.14 of 14
Ferguson Police Aim To Regain Public Trust In New Community Program was originally published on hellobeautiful.com