Iowa City Releases Plan To Restructure Police Department
KCRG reports that Iowa City has released a preliminary plan to restructure its police department. The plan was released during Tuesday's city council meeting.
Changes to the police department is one of the agreements that the city made earlier this summer after protests in Iowa City over police brutality and racial issues. During those protests, the group Iowa Freedom Riders, made demands to defund the Iowa City Police Department. But, KCRG reports that the group later changed the language of the request to a restructuring of the police department.
City manager Geoff Fruin told KCRG that the department restructuring would move towards a more community policing model. The nearly 250 page plan features 36 recommendations. Some of those include officers carrying Narcan to help them respond to overdoses, integrating crisis service with the Johnson County 911 dispatch center, and requiring officers to do community service work. Another idea is to permanently ban traffic stops for low level violations like jaywalking. The department has already adopted that measure temporarily.
KCRG reports that another major focus of the plan is officer training. That includes training and perspective on how police can improve from local groups like the NAACP, Black Voice Project, University of Iowa student government, and the University of Iowa Athletic Department.
The steps outlined at the meeting Tuesday are still just preliminary recommendations. The city is looking to gain feedback from citizens via an online survey and by email.