PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) – A national conversation on race relations continues after protests in 2020. The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) last July drew up a list of recommendations to improve law enforcement relationships with the city of Pittsburgh.
“We go through every commitment we make and assess where we are in terms of implementations. Commitments without implementation mean something, but not much, ”said Tim Stevens, Chairman of B-PEP.
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Stevens meets with city officials and police every six weeks. Recommendations he follows include better background checks for officers, recruiting from historically black colleges, and more training.
This includes an updated booklet on how to deal with situations on the road. The officers must pass a test for this material.
“Our goal is for the students on the street and the officers on the street to work with the same Bible on what to do when the police stop them. It’s a big deal, ”said Stevens.
Some other recommendations are already displayed digitally.
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“They have started using social media more to show the community what they are doing and positive things that we believe will improve positive community relationships, a get-to-know feature,” said Stevens.
In a national panel discussion on race relations on Monday morning, Scott Schubert, Pittsburgh police chief, emphasized the importance of community police. It is a passion for him how he keeps pace every day.
“The work has to be done every day on the street, in the cellars of churches, in community centers, universities and companies,” said Schubert.
It’s clear this is not an overnight project, but Stevens would like to see more implementation sooner.
“It is not something on paper, this paper or this paper, but measures that have been committed and implemented, and I think that hopefully in the next year the public in Pittsburgh will see and hear that there is movement, that there is progress there, “said Stevens.
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Stevens believes that these recommendations, once complete, will minimize negative engagements between citizens and police. His next meeting with the boss is Thursday, April 8th.