Naperville Police Department Chief Bob Marshall joins Regina Brent, the Founder and President of Unity Partnership, along with hosts Dana Davenport and Rebecca Malotke-Meslin to discuss pending police reform and what the future might look like for policing.
The discussion began with a police reform bill democrats are proposing. The bill would put more limits on legal protections for police, creates a national database of excessive force, bans chokeholds, and limits qualified immunity.
“We know that there is a great deal of overly excessive force that takes place in the black community,” says Brent. “We have to come to a conclusion and something has to be done about it. So, that’s what the legislators are doing now. They’re saying we need to come up with some low hanging fruit.”
“It’s great to have policies and legislation,” added Marshall, “but unless you train your officers to those policies, those legislations, they’re just words on a piece of paper.”
The group also discussed the “Defund the Police” movement and what that could mean for Naperville.
“Well, you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” says Brent, “and I don’t ever want to fathom not having the police departments around. I think you can reallocate funds and channel those funds to community programs.”
Marshall agreed with the idea of reallocating funds to different organizations or programs to keep officers out of certain situations.
“A perfect example is landlord/tenant disputes,” says Marshall. “It’s a civil situation.”
The conversation ended with Chief Marshall acknowledging that racism is very real in this country and that working together is the way forward.
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Finding Common Ground is focused on important current events and how they impact our diverse population. We are many voices of one community, often with strong opinions on every side of an issue. Here, through courageous conversation in the interest of discovering collaborative solutions, we hope to find out common ground.
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