Community Policing in New London
The New London Public Safety Policy Review Committee has suggested the formation of a civilian police review board and the creation of a police commission, The Day reports.
The committee, which released a 17-page report with a list of recommendations aimed at providing more community oversight and police accountability, was spearheaded by New London Mayor Michael Passero ’79 and John McKnight, Connecticut College’s dean of institutional equity and inclusion, who served as the group’s facilitator.
McKnight, the founder of Conn’s Agnes Gund ’60 Dialogue Project, said that the committee was formed in June following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.
“The request from the Mayor Passero to join this committee was timely as we were already having conversations on campus about the urgent need for new approaches to policing and public safety on local and national scales,” said McKnight.
“The College representatives were honored to be able to work alongside our New London neighbors to determine what could be done to improve policing in our region. This is one of the most important social justice issues of our time,” added McKnight, who organized Elevate, the Inaugural Social Justice Conference at Connecticut College.
Passero said an important part of the report is that some of the ideas, such as the creation of a civilian review board, could be started almost immediately, according to The Day.
“There are practical steps we can take quickly to try to reinforce the confidence of the community in our policing efforts,” Passero told The Day.
The report will be discussed at “Conversations on Race: Policing in the U.S. and New London,” a virtual event at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 27. Conversations on Race is a series launched in 2019 in collaboration with Conn, The Day and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
This event will feature opening remarks from Debo Adegbile ’91, a partner at WilmerHale Law, and vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees; and Ronald Davis, former director of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services under the Obama administration. Adegbile and Davis worked together with the U.S. Mayors Conference to produce an extensive report on police reform and racial justice. Their remarks will be followed by a panel discussion about police reform in New London.
Registration for the event is available at elevate.conncoll.edu/events.