UH impanels advisory committee on policing policies

University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan and Council Member Saundra Berry have appointed the following residents to the city’s Citizen Advisory Committee on Policing Policies:

O’Dasha Blue, Patti Carlyle, Ronald Collier, Indira Gatlin, C.P. “Neil” Gould III, Adrian Hardin, Kate Holzheimer, Joanna Homann, Sheila Hubman, Joshua Hunt, Constance Jefferson, Tyler “Aliah” Lawson, Thekla Long, Paul Miller, Roger Osgood, Crystal Pickus, Sheri Sax, Mike Sears, Vincent Stokes, Priscilla Tate, and Sean Weiss.

Brennan, Berry, UH Police Department Chief Dustin Rogers, UHPD Lt. Mark McArtor, City Prosecutor Stephanie Scalise, and all UH City Council members will serve as ex officio members.

The committee will collect public input and review the UHPD’s use of force policies. The committee will meet this summer, make a report of its findings, and suggest reforms.

“Council Member Berry and I thank the committee members for stepping forward to volunteer to serve,” Brennan said. “We value resident involvement in our city, and it speaks to the strength of our community that we have a diverse cross section of people representing our community willing to serve.”

Last month, Brennan signed the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance mayor’s pledge, committing to review use of force, engage the community, report findings, and make needed reforms.

Berry chairs city council’s Safety Committee. In June, she signed a letter, with 24 other African-American council members from across Northeast Ohio, calling for reforms.

“I have discussed this with our police chief, Chief Dustin Rogers, who is understanding of the appropriateness of this review,” Brennan said. “We need not wait for a tragic incident to occur to review our policies and make improvements.”

The committee’s organizational meeting will be via Zoom on Wednesday, July 22 at 6 p.m. At the meeting, the committee will discuss:

  • How the committee should go about reviewing the UHPD’s Use of Force policy;
  • How the committee should go about collecting additional public input;
  • How the committee wants future meetings to be run (chaired by mayor/council member, chaired by a citizen, etc.);
  • What kind of schedule should be created that results in written recommendations by early September;
  • What other matters might this committee (or another citizens committee like it) consider after it reviews the Use of Force policy.

“Our goal is to spend the summer working on this, and report back at the end of summer, presumably at one of the two regular council meetings [in] September,” Brennan said.

Mike Cook

Mike Cook is the communications and civic engagement coordinator for University Heights.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 2:39 PM, 07.20.2020