Woods convenes Advisory Task Force to consider Police Dept. reforms

Tempe moves forward with creation of Public Safety Advisory Task Force. – City of Tempe photo

After a summer that saw the police chief resign and various groups call for defunding the Tempe Police Department after aggressive responses to several high-profile situations, new Mayor Corey Woods has made good on his promise to convene a Public Safety Advisory Task Force of community leaders to consider reforms of the department.

Woods named members to the panel and announced a schedule of meetings.

Participants include: Keisha Acton, Dr. Robbie Adler-Tapia, Arlene Chin, Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn, Melody Elkin, Hassan Ellsaad, Pam Goronkin, Dr. Raquel Gutierrez, Viri Hernandez, Patti Hibbeler, Alana Chávez Langdon, Shereen Lerner, Jacob Moore, Jon Mulford, Randy Perez, Jacob Raiford, Sue Ringler, Rabbi Dean Shapiro, Michael Soto, Roy Tatem, Jr., Genevieve Vega and Janelle Wood.

Retired Tempe Police Department Commander Jeff Glover named interim chief of the department.

Participants were selected because of their contributions to Tempe or regional organizations, businesses or affiliations, according to the mayor. They represent diverse values and opinions that are reflective of our community.

Also on the panel are Vice Mayor Randy Keating, Councilmember Lauren Kuby, City Manager Andrew Ching, Interim Police Chief Jeff Glover, Asst. Chief Michael Pooley, Tempe Officers Association President Rob Ferraro and city staff.

“I believe that the best way to make progress is to bring people together for thoughtful conversation,” Woods said. “The task force will assist in formulating and recommending policies and procedures to reflect our shared values.”

Task force participants will focus on policies, hiring, use of technologies, training, data and how the city engages with people who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, people experiencing homelessness and those with mental health challenges.

New Tempe Mayor Corey Woods wants reforms in Police Department.

Among goals will be to continue to build upon the trust, accountability and dialogue between the community and the Tempe Police Department.

The task force will meet virtually 4-7 p.m. twice a month through December: on Oct. 13, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 10, Dec. 2 and Dec. 21. Meetings will not be open to the public, but video recordings will be broadcast after each meeting on Tempe 11 and at tempe.gov/PublicSafetyAdvisoryTaskForce.

The task force will discuss the future of policing in Tempe. Completion of a strategic plan is expected in January 2021.

Community members may comment on the draft plan created by the task force during public meetings in early 2021. Community members also may provide ideas and ask questions by emailing PublicSafetyAdvisoryTaskForce@tempe.gov or by calling mayoral aide Brianne Fisher at 480-350-8959.

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