In response to the national dialogue around policing and equity, City of Bexley leadership has listened intently to calls for action and engaged in continuing community dialogue on these topics. Even as we’ve put in place reforms and action items over the past several years in this space, this week we’ve announced additional initiatives intended to provide increasing transparency and accountability to policing in Bexley. We know and acknowledge that the steps outlined below are part of an ongoing effort to listen, learn, adjust, and grow.
Announced on Tuesday, June 9th, and effective immediately:
Bexley Citizens Review Advisory Board
The Bexley Citizen Review Advisory Board, formed on June 9th by Executive Order, provides citizen review and input into unsatisfied inquiries and complaints of unlawful discrimination or bias directed at City employees, in order to ensure full transparency and accountability of the City’s responsiveness to such complaints. It is the first such board in Central Ohio. For more information, please click here.
“8 Can’t Wait” / Use of Force Policy report and update
The City has reviewed our policies relative to the “8 Can’t Wait” / Use of Force Project recommendations. Our policies were in keeping with seven of the eight policy recommendations. The non-conforming policy involved authorizing a Carotid Hold in situations where officers were current on training and where all others available routes had been exhausted. It is of note that we don’t have any past instances of the use of this hold by BPD. As of June 9, 2020, this has been removed from our policy as a conditionally appropriate use of force, and we believe the Bexley Police Department to be in compliance with all eight recommendations.
Coming in the next couple of months:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Amendment to Bexley’s Strategic Plan
Bexley City Council is in the process of considering Resolution 06-20, to incorporate a variety of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals into the City’s adopted Strategic Plan. Council next discusses this resolution on June 23rd and is expected to consider amendments to the current draft at this meeting as well as the meeting on August 11th.
Complaint Liaison Program
Reforms to the City’s citizen complaint process include the Mayor’s creation of a Complaint Liaison program to serve as a resource in answering questions and assisting citizens in navigating the complaint process. This third party independent consultant will be selected in the coming weeks by the City Attorney and the City’s Public Defender.
Policing Reporting Updates
The development of a community policing report has been underway and is expected to be published in the next six to eight weeks. The Community policing reports will include detailed policing statistics for 2018 and 2019, including traffic stop demographics, use of force statistics, officer diversity, officer training, and more, and are planned to continue into future years.
We want to thank the Bexley community for your input, passion, and advocacy on topics of equity and justice. As we work with advocacy groups to plan and participate in future events, conversations, and initiatives, we’ll keep you informed via the Blast and our communication channels. To connect to grassroots organization in Bexley, visit the Bexley Minority Parents Alliance (BMPA), the LGBTQIA Task Force, or the Bexley Anti-Racism Project pages.