Village of Yellow Springs holds meeting on NYE incident

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) – For the first time Monday, Yellow Springs citizens got a chance to voice their concerns about Police relations with the community. This comes after many members of the public were outraged by the Police department’s handling of the New Year’s Eve ball drop.

The meeting started at 7 p.m. Monday night and lasted nearly 3 hours. They started the meeting by reading the 22-page report in its entirely–and then allowed citizens to offer comment.

The report was conducted by an independent law firm hired by the Village of Yellow Springs.

“Many people felt,” according to the report. “That a festive celebration had become a volatile and dangerous situation.”

“Many citizens,” the report read. “Felt mocked, violated and disrespected.” Spectators we spoke with Monday night who were there at the time of the incident say police officers drove through a large crowd of people in effort to disperse them.

Officers are criticized with breaking up the crowd early at 12:08–8 minutes after the ball drop. This eventually led to the resignation of the former Police Chief David Hale on January 3rd.

“I’m here to support the police department,” Yellow Springs citizen Karen Gardner said. “To support the village in getting this whole investigation out in the open and getting things cleared up to get this process to move on and to make our police department better than what it was been in the last several years.”

“Part of what we need to look at moving forward with our recommendation,” Village Council Member Brian Housh said. “Is operationalizing all of our officers and follow these great practices that are already instilled in our policies.”

According to the report’s findings, they’re should’ve been a supervisor present. It also recommends better training for officers on managing large groups and that the village adopt an event safety policy. No word on if they plan on implementing those recommendations anytime soon.

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