Dayton leaders work to improve community-police relations following St. Louis protests

Dayton Police-Community Relations (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Human Relations Council Community-Police Relations Coordinator has been trying to bridge gaps between both groups since taking over the position eleven months ago.

Dayton Community-Police Relations Coordinator Jared Grandy says what happens nationally has an impact locally in Dayton. After seeing protests erupt in St. Louis after a former white police officer was acquitted for the death of a black man, he says he understands the frustration.

“Historically, yes. There’s an issue of racism in high places within police departments and other agencies, government, but here we’re working to eliminate those issues if we find them. I can see how these national incidents paint local perceptions. I can see how people feel fearful and scared but to our citizens come to the table, let’s talk about it,” said Grandy.

Click here to read an excerpt of the survey

The city conducted a recent survey regarding several issues including community-police relations. The survey was conducted from May 17-June 25th of 2017. City leaders say it was a random sample survey and results were concluded from 1,481 responses from residents, collected both online and through mail (English and Spanish).

According to the principles of random sampling, results are accurate within a range of ±2.5% at the 95% confidence level.

Hilary Browning was the survey’s Project Manager for the City of Dayton. Technical aspects of the survey were administered by OpinionWorks LLC, an independent research organization.

“A recent survey shows that community police relations have an improved. Particularly in the inner west, west side neighborhoods. So, I think we’re making some good progress, said Grandy.”

Overall, relations have improved compared to a 2016 version of the survey.

“It’s not all good news compared to white communities the trust is still lower, way lower but there has been some improvement,” said Grandy.

The survey shows a 14% percent gap between black and white residents over whether people are targeted based on race or ethnicity by police.

“That continues to be a problem in our nation and here in Dayton we’re working to get ahead of that to make sure there’s a relationship of trust between officers and the community and making sure our officers are operating under the best standards,” said Grandy.

For a list of events held by the Human Relations Council in an effort to bridge the gap, click here.

 

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