Toledo launches Community-Police Relations and Reform Committee to respond to policing concerns

Toledo police officers line up facing protesters outside the Safety Building on May 30, 2020. Credit: Elise Hannah

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced the creation of a new Community-Police Relations and Reform Committee on Monday. The committee is the latest in a series of efforts put forth by city leaders in an attempt to respond to growing concerns over policing practices nationwide.

“While a number of reforms have already been implemented, there is more work to be done,” the mayor said during a press conference on Monday, in which he reiterated his belief that the Toledo Police Department gets it right most of the time while admitting that there is always room for improvement.

During that press conference, the mayor said the committee came out of a "consensus that we would benefit from a full, thoughtful, and serious process" in regards to continued reform efforts. The committee itself will be made up of 35 members of the community, including representatives from the Toledo Police Department, legal experts, faith leaders, and civil rights activists. No elected officials will serve on the committee.

The committee will be co-chaired by Anita Madison, a former Toledo police officer and current chair of the NAACP Toledo; David Fleetwood, business manager for Laborers Local 500 union and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board member; and Peter Silverman, former Toledo Board of Education member, former Toledo City Council member, and a partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

Other members of the committee include: Rev. Donald Perryman, the Rev. Willie Perryman, Ray Wood, Judd Silverman, Jayla Few, Ruth Leonard, Dr. Patrice McClellan, RaShya Ghee, Charles Allen, Tonya Rider, Reggie Williams, Imam Ahmad Deeb, Joaquin Cintrón Vega, the Rev. Otis Gordon, Avis Files, Jose Rosales, Dr. Hope Bland, Carnel Smith, Tawann Gaston, the Rev. Randall Parker III, Lisa McDuffie, Marvin Whitfield, Albert Earl, David Ross, Erin Baker, Sarah Skow, Diana Patton, Jim O’Brien, Brittany Ford, Pastor Cedric Brock, Rita Mansour, Toledo Police Chief George Kral, Toledo Police Deputy Chief Michael Troendle, Toledo Police Officer Dan Raab, and Toledo Police Officer Gregory Zattau.

The committee will meet to discuss ways to improve the relationship between the local community and the city police department starting in July and will submit a report to the city on their recommendations.

This newest effort comes after a series of other reforms were announced previously, following protests throughout the area and the nation in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. Among those reforms are the relocation of the TPD internal affairs division to a neutral location outside the Safety Building (which will be complete by August 3rd); the banning of military-style camouflage; the passage of a number of ordinances to codify certain police practices, including the banning of chokeholds; compelling officers to intervene if they believe a fellow officer is engaged in unlawful use of force; a requirement that all officers hand out business cards with pertinent information of reporting potential police wrongdoing; and an increase in transparency between the department and the public, including publishing the TPD manual and national grade cards, along with a plan to make TPD training available for public viewing when the next Police Academy class begins.