The Mayor's Committee on Police Community Relations, which has been working since last year to prevent the sorts of problems which caused trouble in Ferguson Missouri and Tulsa, released the first of several recommendations Monday night, News Radio 1200 WOAI's Morgan Montalvo reports.
"When would we not need a focus on police-community relations?" Committee chair Michael Gilbert, a criminal justice professor at UTSA, said. "The simple answer to when this ends is never."
Among the recommendations...creating mentoring programs for teenagers interested in police careers...offering interactive training involving officers and citizens, and improving police public dialogue.
Gilbert says he has polled 'hundreds of households and consulted numerous experts,' but he says public meetings will be held in the coming weeks to gauge additional community opinions on the issue.
Mayor Taylor says residents of the East Side have been intensely surveyed on their relationship with police.
She said a key to better community relations is for new peace officers to start their careers with 'enlightened views of their roles.'
She suggested the phrase, 'comply now, complain later' to describe how interactions between cities and police should happen. She says an ad campaign with that language may be developed.
"I thought that was one tangible thing that we could carry forward, as far as people feeling empowered," she said.
The next step is to poll citizens in higher crime areas on the city's west side.The plan is for a preliminary report to be presented to City Hall by early next month.