Cedar Rapids leaders work to create trust between police and peo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids leaders work to create trust between police and people they serve

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Tensions between police and those they serve have been mounting in the wake of the events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York.

In response, Cedar Rapids city and community leaders held a law enforcement and community relations forum Saturday to create transparency and trust between police and those they swore to protect. 

Panel members included: Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman, Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner, Linn County Assistant District Attorney Monica Slaughter, Chad Simmons, Director of Diversity Focus and Dr. Carlos Grant, Principal of Metro High School.

Discussion topics ranged from law enforcement's use of force policies, to how law enforcement officers can create better relationships with the people they serve.

Corbett said it's important to have these types of discussions.

"By having community dialogue where you can meet face to face and visit with them and a very civil discussion and debate helps build that trust. And that's good for a community," Corbett said.

"It's when you work together, versus pointing fingers at each other, you can make progress on issues," he added.

George Ramsey was the moderator of the event, and also worked to put it on. 

"One of the things we wanted to do was be proactive in allowing the law enforcement agencies to be able to answer specific questions about philosophies for their departments and then questions about diversity in their departments as well," he said.

He said this is hopefully just the first of many similar discussions and forums.

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