Mayor Hart hopes to 'move forward' after Des Moines editorial
WATERLOO (KWWL) -
The biggest news paper in the state called on the Federal Government, Sunday September 11, to revamp Waterloo's Police Department.
The reason? They were asking for help with situations where Waterloo police were being violent.
Mayor of Waterloo Quentin Hart says now is a great opportunity to learn from the mistakes that have been made, mistakes that started long before he became mayor.
The Des Moines Register writes that the black community has lost trust in the Waterloo Police Department, using an incident of a teenager being thrown to the ground and later paid by the city to keep quiet about the arrest, as an example.
KWWL asked Mayor Hart if he thought there was mistrust between law enforcement and the black community, he responded, "Well, I think that the relationship needs to be improved," said Mayor Hart. "Situations that have happened from what has been reported, the excessive force cases, those not only have an impact on the black community, but that has an impact on the entire community as well and situations like that obviously they will have an impact and create an environment for lack of trust."
The register says the feds need to step in, but Mayor Hart has his own plan.
"I think we need an aggressive approach to dealing with those situations and that's why you see some of the changes already taking place in the trainings and all those things happening, even prior to The Des Moines Register article, but we are going to move forward, we are going to handle these situations," said Mayor Hart.
Mayor Hart is hoping to move forward from this publicity.
"It is something that is not a good look for the city right now," said Mayor Hart. "It's tough, but that's what I was elected to do, that's why people have me here and we are going to address the situation and other situations and we are going to move forward. I am absolutely positive that we have the tools in place to make the type of change that needs to be made."
Chief Dan Trelka tells KWWL shortly after this editorial was published, these problems aren't just happening here, but across the country. He says there is a plan in place to deal with these problems here in Waterloo.
Mayor Hart says he has made a pledge to the community of Waterloo and he will bring everyone back together.