Texas

Fort Worth Police Surveillance Monitors Focus on Reaching Communities in the First Year

The City of Fort Worth hired Kim Neil to lead the Police Surveillance Monitor (OPOM) office in March 2020 after the Fort Worth Task Force on Race and Culture. I recommend it in 2018..The· Atatiana Jefferson’s murder In 2019, police officers in the city again raised concerns about police policies and practices.

In his first year, Neil worked with community groups, police stations, and the Texas A & M Law School in Fort Worth to build OPOM.

Neil arrived in Fort Worth and prepared to reach out to the community on police civil surveillance, but was thwarted by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, she found a way to host a virtual community collaboration session with groups around the city. These meetings lead to additional meetings as attendees recommended other groups that Neil could attend.

The meeting explained her vision of strengthening civilian surveillance and civilian-police relations, and asked the group to consider “what can be done to help strengthen these relations.” Neil says he has held nearly 200 of these community meetings and plans to hold more this summer.

Both police and community investigations were also conducted last summer. More than 3,000 community members participated in the survey, with 62% showing a positive view of Fort Worth Police Station (FWPD) performance. In addition, the majority of respondents said they felt that local police surveillance was very important.

The majority of police responding to the survey believe that continuous deescalation training is needed.

One of the most popular aspects of some community meetings was the opportunity for police and civilians to work together through proposed issues or scenarios. Neil said he would suggest a series of questions or have the group rank key initiatives, in order of importance for improving community-police relations.

She said she had a good relationship with Fort Worth’s new police chief, Neil Noakes.

“We meet regularly to discuss how to deal with complaints,” Neil said. Texan.

According to Neil, the Texas A & M Law School internship program has been successful. The student intern has been working at OPOM since last fall.

“Students did research and spent hours that staff couldn’t,” Neil pointed out. They have been researching possible mediation programs to address some of the complaints the office receives.

“The internship will also help future recruitment pools,” Neil pointed out.

In december Mutual Accountability Working Group Starts Meeting To determine what the Fort Worth Private Oversight Board should look like. This spring, we met every two weeks to discuss the name of the supervisory board that appoints members of the board, the process of appointment, and the training that board members receive.

Neil told the Accountability Working Group that some more items need to be completed before presenting plans to the city council for approval sometime this summer.

The future program that Neil wants to implement is the “Know Your Rights” program. In it, students and community members perform some scenarios with police officers to help them understand how to interact in different situations.

In addition, OPOM oversees the oral review committee for new employees of FWPD. Neil explained that the board of directors consisted of “questions to enable recruits to become police officers and to do so fairly and impartially.”

OPOM personnel can listen to new employee answers as well as questions asked by the board and follow up with FWPD if they have any concerns.

Neil said he plans to submit an annual report of OPOM activities to the city council this summer after the new mayor and city council members are seated.



Fort Worth Police Surveillance Monitors Focus on Reaching Communities in the First Year

Source link Fort Worth Police Surveillance Monitors Focus on Reaching Communities in the First Year

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