CHICAGO (CBS)– New recommendations on police reform nationwide come as Mayor Lori Lightfoot leads a group of mayor and police chiefs to help departments across the country better serve and protect.
Back in June, the group launched a new police reform initiative in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Thursday morning, the group put out a report explaining what those changes will look like.
The goal is to make it clear that reform works and makes communities safer.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot says there are systematic problems that need to be addressed and that’s what this report aims to do.
“We acknowledge the failures in our current system and that the status quo has failed far too many, including dealing with head on our country’s history of racism,” Lightfoot said.
The working group on police reform and racial justice says there is a sense of urgency surrounding reform, especially in the wake of George Flyod’s death.
So the bi-partisan group of mayors from Chicago to Tampa as well as police chiefs of cities like Phoenix and Baltimore worked together on the report.
From the get go, they made it clear that they oppose efforts to defund the police. They said money is needed to help fund services with police departments like social services and mental health expertise.
They argue officers are often called to deal with mental health related issues. The group recommends having people who are trained on these issues to accompany officers on such calls.
They also talked about the need for community trust. They want to build trust and repair trust where it was broken.
One way of doing that is through transparency and accountability. In other words, building a system where officers who engage in serious misconduct are not allowed to return to duty.
“The keys among them are deadly force is a last resort and that includes any use of choke holds or other neck restraints,” Lightfoot said. “If force is necessary, it must be the minimum force necessary. ”
So what comes next?
They say this is just the start. Three panels to discuss this report are planned for later Thursday afternoon.