Resolution Affirming and Strengthening Community Policing
Whereas, 1,000 and more persons in Morgantown demonstrated to express concern with millions of others in the nation and the world about the violent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis due to deadly policing practices, and
Whereas, the City of Morgantown has endeavored to operate its policing according to a Community Policing philosophy which stresses community partnerships and strategies for redirecting crime and disorder, an approach to public safety which provides citizens with more control over the quality of life in our community, and
Whereas, Community Policing respects the rights of individual citizens and residents to express First Amendments rights non-violently, and
Whereas, the City of Morgantown has made important progress in making Community Policing its mode of public safety under the able leadership of Chief Edward Preston now retired:
NOW BE IT RESOLVED, the City of Morgantown affirms its progress in Community Policing and resolves to provide continued improvements in its future public safety as follows:
1. Reaffirm and augment the mission and operations of the police department.
2. Add enough racially and ethnically diverse officers to the police department to be at least proportional to the Morgantown population.
3. Continue to review the background of officer candidates to confirm that any previous experience as an officer was free of improper behaviors and/or excessive use of force.
4. Establish an arrangement with a community agency that enables that agency to assist the police promptly when needed for follow-up on crisis situations, de-escalations, behavioral and mental health problems, and intoxication with information/referral and other evidence-based problem-solving. (Refer to an established mobile mental health crisis intervention team unarmed and without police back-up in Eugene, Oregon.)
5. Assist officers in becoming more knowledgeable in coping with mental illness and drug related situations and, when possible, allow civilian mental health workers and homeless-service workers to take the lead in crisis situations with communications, containment, and coordination with appropriate care-giving.
6. Divert persons with mental illness from jail custody to specialized courts or care systems as opportunities permit.
7. Expand relationships with neighborhoods, commercial establishments, Monongalia County and West Virginia University and other constituents and partners for the purpose on making public safety more public and more effective.
8. Continue to protect the rights of protesters to exercise their First Amendment Rights non-violently and to emphasize that violations of property are not to be equated with the violation of human life and that deadly force is not be used on protestors.
9. Continue the use of body-worn cameras and other means of enhancing transparency, accountability and accessibility by uniformed police in providing public safety services.
10. Continue to require marked police vehicles to be equipped with dashboard cameras.
11. Improve police personnel training by emphasizing best practice anti-racism training and implicit bias orientation and by stressing the use of evidence-based preventive and de-escalation intervention skills as well as modes of intervention if they see another officer use excessive force.
12. Re-emphasize in training the use of deadly force only as a last resort when necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury and establish a clear Morgantown Police prohibition on the use of the chokehold or other carotid artery holds in restraining or subduing a resistant individual or in bringing an unlawful situation under control.
13. Restrict participation in the Federal 1033 program which provides military equipment to local and state police and end participation in tactical military training for use in community policing.
14. Establish race and LGBTQ liaisons to the Police department as resources to assist with plans for training and with the review of cases as needed.
15. Establish a diverse volunteer Community Police Review Board 1) to review community complaints about alleged police misconduct to assure that investigations have been judged to be fair, accurate and equitable, 2) to assist the Police Chief, City Manager and City Council in evaluating overall policies and performance of the Police Department, and 3) to increase transparency on policing performance for the community at large. (Recommended guidelines to follow for City Council review.)
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the City Council of Morgantown as of this day adopts the recommendations in this Resolution and authorizes the City Manager to proceed toward their implementation.
Date: The ________day of ________ 2020.
Draft IV – June 25, 2020
References for Resolution on Affirming and Strengthening Community Policing and for the Community Police Review Board Guidelines:
Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission. “Civilian Police Review: Recommendations for Strengthening Police-Community Relations in Ann Arbor”. November 4, 2015. http://www.icpj.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Recommendations-for-Strengthening-Police-Community-Relations.pdf
“Civilian Police Oversight Agency”. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_police_oversight_agency#:~:text=A%20civilian%20police%20oversight%20agency,an%20implementation%20of%20citizen%20oversight.
Essay in Criminology, (Author Unidentified). “Advantages and Disadvantages of Community Policing”. February 2, 2018. https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/criminology/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-community-policing.php
Eugene, Oregon. “Eugene Civilian Review Board: Policies and Procedures Manual”. Website. https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/580
Finn, Peter. Citizen Review of Police: Approaches and Implementation. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. 2001. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/184430.pdf
Gardner, Gary. Community Policing: Principles and Elements. University of Kentucky, 1996. (Supported by a grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice.) http://www.ncdsv.org/images/communitypolicingprincipleselements.pdf
Iowa City, IA. “Community Police Review Board (CPRB)” and “Community Police Review Board Information”. https://www.icgov.org/city-government/boards/community-police-review-board-cprb
Morgantown Police Department Guidelines for Discipline: General Order(s) 103 – Code of Conduct; 104 -Rules and Regs.; 105 – Improper Conduct; 106 – Response to Resistive Aggression;107 – Use of Less Lethal Force; and 311 – Mobile and Officer Worn Recording Equipment. National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. Website. https://www.nacole.org
Poor People’s Campaign – Action Network. “Our Demands”. June 20, 2020. https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/about/our-demands/
U.S. Congress (Current Legislation). “Justice in Policing Act of 2020”. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_in_Policing_Act_of_2020
Vitale, Alex S. The End of Policing. Verso, New York, 2018.
Yes! Magazine. Turnbull, Lornet. “Cities Reimagine Public Safety Amid Calls to #Defund Police”. June 13, 2020. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/13/cities-reimagine-public-safety-amid-calls-defundpolice PARTICIPATING IN A CITY COUNCIL MEETING: “When it is time, the public may participate in the public portion by videoconference at the following link: https://cityofmorgantown.my.webex.com/meet/cityofmorgantown with meeting number (access code) 793 734 477, or by calling in at the following number 408-418-9388 and using the access code 793 734 477.
“All members of the public may view the meeting on Channel 15 and by streaming hosted on the City’s website at www.morgantownwv.gov. If you do not wish to speak at the meeting, please view it by these methods to conserve capacity on the videoconference.
“Any person who wishes to speak at the meeting may complete the form at http://morgantownwv.gov/FormCenter/Public-Comment-Sign-Up-Sheet-14/Public-Comment-Committee-of-theWhole-fo-72 or provide their name, phone number they will use to participate, and the topic on which they would like to speak by texting 304-288-0847 or texting 304-288-7072. You may sign up to speak at any time until the meeting begins.
“Additionally, the public may submit written comments for the public portion of the meeting by sending written comments via email to the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, please use the subject line "Public Comment 06/30/2020" and indicate in the body of the email if you would like your comment read aloud during the public portion of the meeting.”
Back to Local News