Special to The Truth
“Ever since the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer late last month, there has been a renewed discussion about the need to reform policing policies and improve relations between police and the citizens they serve. This conversation has been taking place all over the country, including here in Toledo,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said this week.
“This moment in our history provides us the opportunity to fix what we may be doing wrong, and to build upon what we are doing right. In just the last month alone, a number of important steps have been taken to improve accountability and transparency in our local police operations. This new group is excited to work to bring about positive change during this crucial time in our city’s history.”
The co-chairs of the committee will be Anita Madison, a former Toledo Police officer and current executive committee member of the NAACP Toledo; David Fleetwood, business manager for Laborers Local 500 union and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board member; and Peter Silverman, former Toledo Board of Education member, former Toledo City Council member, and a partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.
The members of the committee are the Rev. Donald Perryman, the Rev. Willie Perryman, Ray Wood, Judd Silverman, Jayla Few, Ruth Leonard, Dr. Patrice McClellan, RaShya Ghee, Charles Allen, Tonya Rider, Reggie Williams, Imam Ahmad Deeb, Joaquin Cintrón Vega, the Rev. Otis Gordon, Avis Files, Jose Rosales, Dr. Hope Bland, Carnel Smith, Tawann Gaston, the Rev. Randall Parker III, Lisa McDuffie, Marvin Whitfield, Albert Earl, David Ross, Erin Baker, Sarah Skow, Diana Patton, Jim O’Brien, Brittany Ford, Pastor Cedric Brock, Rita Mansour, Toledo Police Chief George Kral, Toledo Police Deputy Chief Michael Troendle, Toledo Police Officer Dan Raab, and Toledo Police Officer Gregory Zattau.
The support staff for the committee will be Chief of Staff Catherine Crosby, Deputy Chief of Staff Karen Poore, Legislative Director Gretchen DeBacker, Diversity and Inclusion Director Matt Boaz, and Toledo City Council Manager of Legislative Operations Kim Baker.
The managers/moderators are Jason Daniels and Kelli Daniels.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz has previously ordered that the police internal affairs division be re-located from the Safety Building to a neutral site, a move that will be completed by Aug. 3. He also banned safety forces from wearing military-style camouflage and made available to the public the trainings offered to our officers in areas such as de-escalation techniques, use of force, and implicit bias.
Police policies and procedures, as well as national grade cards on how TPD scores on various metrics of community engagement, have all been made available over the last month. Toledo City Council has also taken strong action to meet the challenges we face. In the last month, ordinances have been passed that codified the city’s long-held policy of banning chokeholds; compelled officers to intervene if they believe a fellow officer is engaged in an unlawful use of force; and required all officers to distribute business cards with pertinent information about how to report potential police wrongdoing.
“While a number of reforms have already been implemented, there is more work to be done,” the mayor said.