DENVER -- A conversation about reimagining police and public safety took place just days before the year anniversary of George Floyd's death.
"I think that really caused everyone to gasp and say, 'wow, we’ve got to do something about this,'" said Dr. Robert Davis, the project coordinator for a task force that recently unveiled a list of recommendations for reform.
The Task Force to Reimagine Policing and Public Safety recently released a 53-page report listing 112 recommendations that cover comprehensive issues related to public safety.
Several events were planned to coincide with the release of the report, including a virtual town hall that was held on Sunday.
"That’s important to know we’ve got all age ranges looking at these recommendations. They’re not stand alone each one. They really come as a comprehensive, this is a comprehensive report. We really can’t piecemeal this," said one of the town hall participants.
The group wants Denver City Council to review and ultimately work towards implementing the recommendations.
The recommendations were broken up into five parts
- Empowering the community with more resources
- Minimizing unnecessary interactions with law enforcement
- Helping people transition back into society after being incarcerated
- Addressing and healing the harm caused by current policing practices
- Expanding community involvement and oversight in policing
"But to bring all of these ideas together and all these community organizations together in one place and to develop one comprehensive set of recommendations is what makes this so unique," said Davis.
Under the first bucket of reforms, the task force recommended creating an autonomous, community-led, non-law enforcement public safety institution, expanding mental health services, ending cleanups or sweeps of homeless encampments on public property, offering more affordable housing and more.
Other recommendations include the decriminalization of sex workers who are victims of human trafficking, decriminalizing quality of life offenses and other petty infractions, decriminalizing traffic offenses, prohibiting police from conducting searches during traffic violations, removing police traffic stops and crash reports, taking officers out of schools, ending cash bail and permitting safe injection sites, among other things.
The task force is holding a number of community events over the next several days. On Monday, there will be a protest rally at the Denver City and County Building at 4:00 p.m. followed by a prayer vigil at Shorter AME Church at 8:00 p.m. Denver's former Independent Monitor will also be part of a discussion on Tuesday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.