DENVER (CBS4) – Leaders from several Denver metro area law enforcement agencies joined state lawmakers and others for a discussion on improving community relations on Monday.
Following the Ferguson, Missouri, situation, lawmakers in Colorado say they’ve seen a movement across the country in there being a gap in people’s trust with law enforcement and police.
Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Sen. Michael Johnston, D-Denver, held a roundtable discussion with community leaders, lawmakers, district attorneys, sheriffs and police chiefs from across the state. The conversation mostly focused on race relations.
Lawmakers say they’ve already heard from the community, students and activists about the kind of public policy needed so there isn’t a situation like Ferguson in Colorado.
Some of the feedback from the groups included body cameras for police, special prosecutors when an officer-involved shooting happens, and having better data collection.
There was a general consensus among Monday’s group that issues won’t be solved alone inside a police department, but with the community’s help as well.
“The two have to become one,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said. “The community has to become the police, and the police have to become the community. That can never happen if there is so much distain.”
The goal coming out of the meeting is to eventually create legislation or public policy based on the feedback from the meeting in the 2015 legislative session.