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  • Cydney Thompson, Northeast Arkansas News

Jonesboro Police Chief, Meets with Community leaders on Bridging the gap with the Black Community

Future for Felons groups met with the Chief today and discussed several solutions to bridge the gap of the black community and law enforcement. And both sides agree that increasing community engagement is a step.

“Those of us who live in the community are going to try and get information out to the community and to enable people to have an improved opinion of police work. Too many people now distrust the police from things they have seen on television and we want to make sure we have the best relationship we can” Board member, Norman Stafford.

Issues discussed were from racial profiling, issues of training and lack of communication to creating a safe environment.

“It was a step in the right direction. The chief was very forthcoming and Officer Waterworth was extremely helpful with the information she gave,” Stafford said.

The department have held numerous activities within the community to bring people out but from a lack of communications, created missed chances to grow together.

“Do you have a use of contingency, yes we do, required comprehensive recording, yes we do, so things that law enforcement is trying to reform to make sure these policies in place, they should have had this year ago.”

They also believe letting city officials know more about the problems being encountered is an important step in building a stronger relationship—leading to insight on how to send in a report

“They literally said, you can call the police station and all you need is the time and the place, if you got a badge number great, but they have a group that regularly views body camera footage that views any instance of police interaction if they are made aware of it,” Treasurer, Leonardo Glover said.

Glover feels a better job of communicating with one another, support, and not associate things from the past on the future will lead to something greater.

“He is coming out doing thing like this to let us know, that we can trust in him in a certain way and also he willing and ready to create relationships with us and so, we need to take advantage of that,” Glover said.

The Chief says he is working on creating a video to answer many of the questions he has been asked to share on social media for everyone.


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