Mayor Taylor aims to keep strengthening police-community relations

Second meeting for police-community relations

SAN ANTONIO -- Tuesday night San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor hosted a second meeting aimed at strengthening police-community relations.

The media and the general public were kept out of the first meeting, so people wouldn’t shy away from their feelings with cameras around. It was a different story Tuesday night.

At this second meeting, the news media and the general public were allowed to attend, but only those appointed to the Mayor's Council on Police Community Relations were allowed to speak.

Everyone else with a question, or comment were given a notecard to write down their input and told they would receive a response at a later date. When a citizen in attendance asked the Mayor why that was, she said there was just not enough time to hear from everyone Tuesday and she wanted the meeting to be focused on making progress with solutions to better police-community relations.

Tuesday's meeting started with questions for SAPD Chief William McManus. The council then broke into smaller groups to come up with recommendations that might strengthen police-community relations.

Faith leader Keely Petty would like to see citizens go through parts of police training, like de-escalation tactics.

"The community doesn’t know how to act and respond to the police and that creates a lot of havoc," Petty said.

For Nehemiah O'Neal he wants more dialogue about citizen’s rights.

"My biggest concern is the community. The people. How they react to police officers and their justice, their rights, their civil rights," O'Neal said.

There's still no final plan for how to better police-community relations and almost everyone at the meeting agreed San Antonio is not immune to the tension and unrest seeing across the country, but many also believe progress is being made.

"We're getting there. I see us standing, we’re still kind of at the beginning stage, but we're beyond the beginning because this has already happened," Petty said.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7 and it's not clear if citizens will be able to have their voices heard them. The Mayor's office said it's currently exploring the idea of having a town hall on police-community relations.

(© 2016 KENS)


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