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Local leaders discuss solutions on building citizen trust in law enforcement

Posted at 11:10 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 23:10:07-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tallahassee Police and Leon County Sheriff Office looked beyond the badge in the "Bridging the Gap" conversation on Tuesday night.

"Everything we do is about relationships," said Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell.

A discussion with the Greater Works Network and the Tallahassee Barristers took place in an effort to strengthen law enforcement bonds in the community, sharing views on how to effectively hold authorities accountable.

"When we talk about community policing we look at it in one direction. Another aspect of that is knowing exactly what your police department your sheriff's office is doing," said Leon County Sheriff McNeil.

The concept gained a lot of attention in 2020 after the deaths of Tony McDade, Mychael Johnson, and Wilbon Woodard.

Three lives lost in officer-involved shootings deemed justified by the law.

One reason Chief Revell says is, "De-escalation is so incredibly important especially in this day and time and our policies have been written to specifically not just encourage it but demand it."

Chief Revell says changes like the new Citizens Advisory Committee could help identify problems from within the department.

Another part of the solution is to, "Make sure we look like the community that we look like in terms of our ethnicity, our backgrounds our race our gender," said McNeil.

Mayor John Dailey recommending the first step for police and citizens alike.

"We expect the police to be in our neighborhoods but I also think that we have a responsibility to get to know the great men and women that work in law enforcement that work every day to keep us safe," said Mayor Dailey.

As they all work together to make the Big Bend area a better place to live.