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Arizona Police Association admits reforms would improve community trust in police

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Posted at 9:57 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 13:28:25-05

After watching protests for months and listening to community concerns, the Arizona Police Association announced on Facebook Tuesday that it supports certain police reforms.

The association, which serves officers unions across the state, offered nine principles for further discussion.

These are the APA’s suggestions for improving transparency and public safety:

Independent Statewide officer-involved shooting investigative team
-Independently chosen, free of political agendas and conflicts of interest

Statewide ombudsmen
-To assist citizens with police concerns

Body cameras
-For all officers dealing with the public

Evidence-based de-escalation training
-Ongoing and frequent training that emphasizes a reverence for life, a duty to intercede, proportional responses to dangerous incidents, and a strong accountability provision.

Mental health calls:
-Identify non-violent mental health-related calls and leveraging existing non-profits and community health profession partners to effectively handle those instances.
-Urge our legislators to conduct a review of mental health transport laws which create non-therapeutic interactions with consumers and law enforcement.

Homeless calls
-Identifying non-criminal calls related to persons experiencing homelessness and leveraging existing social service programs that are better equipped to interact with this vulnerable population and have successful outcomes.
-It is not appropriate or moral to criminalize an individual based upon socio-economic status.

-More expeditious delivery of public records requests.

-Direct communication with community leaders ASAP after an officer-involved shooting, custody death, or critical incident.

Database of officer serious misconduct
-Sustained allegations of civil rights violations, excessive force, or discrimination.

“We think these are meaningful - potential meaningful - solutions to address the issue of trust and confidence,” said Joe Clure, the executive director of the Arizona Police Association.

“They want to be on the right side of history, and I can’t blame them for getting started now,” said Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a Valley civil rights activist.

The Black Phoenix Organizing Collective, which had been active in this summer’s police protests, called the APA’s proposal “weak,” “broad,” and “not enough.“

Some APA-supported reforms would be local police policies while others would need the approval of the Arizona Legislature.