Durham police board seeks public input on trust and confidence action plan

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DURHAM: Durham Regional Police are looking for the public’s input in their upcoming “Action Plan to Enhance Trust and Confidence in Policing in Durham Region.”

“Throughout 2020, events across North America have led to substantial public dialogue about the effects of systemic racism, and how these effects can be addressed and eliminated. Trust and confidence in policing institutions have been challenged over this period. We have also witnessed a heightened awareness of the importance of a more effective response to mental health calls, including the significance of de-escalation,” read a press release from the Durham Regional Police services board.

Residents will be able to provide their input in a virtual meeting of the police services board, on Tuesday, January 26th. The meeting will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. with a recording available after, on the Durham police’s website, at www.drps.ca. The deadline for applying for a virtual deputation at this meeting has already passed, but those who wish to provide a written comment to the meeting can email alongo@drps.ca, by January 25th.

The services board stated, this plan includes strategies “for greater transparency, improved practices and services in the areas of diversity and inclusion” and improving their “response to mental health calls.”

Some of the recommendations in the draft plan include: adopting body-worn cameras; ensuring “processes for recruitment, selection, promotion, and performance management of members [involve] and emphasize equity and inclusion”; looking into the “potential for call diversion, in instances where a police response may not be necessary”; and prioritizing mental health training for members.

Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper