The Stockton Police Department has become a prime example nationally of how a police department changed to prevent bias, de-escalate violence and expand relationships with the community.
Now comes a step to further community trust and police accountability: the creation of a review board under the direction of Stockton City Manager Harry Black that will examine police department policies and practices.
Black wants to have a board that looks at citizens’ complaints, police calls for service, officer-involved shootings and use of force. He said such a body would make for a better police force and build a partnership of trust between the police and the community.
The board will have 25 members, including a “diverse cross section” of community members and leaders, city officials and members of the police department, according to a press release.
Police Chief Eric Jones said the board will help the police department to evolve. He added that the public and police want two things: a safer community and fewer police encounters that end in negative outcomes.
“If we all want those two things, why can’t we work together?” he said. “Why can’t we have more individuals sitting at the table moving the trust-building work together? And I know that’s going to happen.”
The City Manager’s Review Board will meet quarterly and make public its findings, but its recommendations will only be advisory in nature.
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