Update on Dover police reform goals
DOVER, Del. – In recent months, the Dover Police Department has gotten valuable feedback from the community about what they could be doing better. It’s all thanks to the Chief’s new Advisory Committee.
“We’re trying to evolve into an organization that better serves the community that supports it,” says Chief of Dover Police, Tom Johnson.
A board member with the advisory committee, and owner and operator of the Westside Car Wash in Dover, Victor Giangrant says “I think every large city should have that, it can only help you know.”
The Dover Police Chief’s advisory committee was implemented back in September. In just a few short months, the group, made up of nine community members, has already helped police to better understand problems within the community, such as gang violence and ways police could handle them.
“I don’t think my profession was as prepared to be collaborative in the last century as it appears to be in this century, and that’s a good thing,” says Chief Johnson.
Chief Johnson also says, 2020 has introduced issues that are changing the whole process of how they handle situations. So looking towards the future, the committee and Chief Johnson say they’re going to focus on how officers can build a better relationship with the young people in their community.
“Being human, you need that human factor to deal with humans. It just can’t all be strictly business, and I think that’s the key,” says Giangrant.
Chief Johnson adds, he hopes to learn exactly what the community needs moving forward, so he can make Dover a better city and place.
Chief Johnson also says, “best pieces of the 21st century model and start to inspire other professionals in other roles around me to be bold in their plans, to take Dover to a higher level then that’s going to be my measure of success.”
We’re told the Dover police department is also taking what they’ve learned from the advisory committee, and using it to re-establish their police academy. They say they’re going to infuse the idea of community policing, which involves training officers how to think, act, and look in order to better serve their community.
The Dover Police Department hopes the idea of community involvement, will have a ripple affect in surrounding communities. Another advisory committee meeting is set to take place Thursday, December 10th.