Thursday, November 15, 2001

Opinion gatherers go to final groups


Jews, gays, ethnics get turn today

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Hispanics, Appalachians, Jews, gays and lesbians will represent some of Cincinnati's diverse residents today in a discussion about improving police-community relations.

GOALS TO BE RANKED
    Below is a list of goals developed from survey answers from 187 members of minority communities on how to improve police-community relations. Today, a small group will discuss and rank the goals.
    1. Enhance trust, respect and communication between police and minority communities.
    2. Ensure equal treatment under the law for everyone.
    3. Foster more positive interaction and cooperation between the community and police.
    4. Improve accountability and responsibility of police officers.
    5. Improve respect for and understanding of the law by citizens in general and youth in particular.
    6. Increase involvement of community in contributing to neighborhood safety.
        A dozen or so people will gather at Christ Church Cathedral downtown as part of a process to mediate a racial profiling lawsuit filed against the city.

        “We thought it was important to get as diverse a sample as possible for this group, whether it was meeting with them in their churches or private homes,” said Brooke Hill, a spokeswoman for the mediation process.

        The American Civil Liberties Union and local black activists sued the city in March alleging decades of discrimination. U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott suggested the parties try mediation first. Jay Rothman, president of Aria Group, a Yellow Springs-based conflict resolution firm, was designated the court's “special master.”

        Since then, Aria Group has been soliciting ideas on how the make police-community relations better. The firm targeted eight specific groups and held feedback sessions.

        Today's eighth and final session is being held for a group that Aria calls “other minorities.” Previous meetings have been held for African-Americans,

        Ross Compton, of East Walnut Hills, is Hispanic. His general impression of the Cincinnati Police Division is is favorable, but he thinks that a move toward more community-oriented policing would help the city.

       



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