Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police
We have been interested in the City’s response to the Reynolds/Crampsie Smith Use of Force Directives and Community Engagement Initiative memo to Chief DiLuzio.
The Mayor’s response last night was very positive. The City’s response memo to City Council along with many department policies will be available today on the City website, and Gadfly will alert you when that happens.
The Mayor also reported on a meeting with the NAACP in which it was decided to establish a Citizen Advisory Committee comprised of community leaders to discuss community issues. Look for a press release on that next week. Gadfly is not sure how this CAC meshes with the R/CS proposal for a Community Engagement Initiative.
- Bethlehem Police Department is a highly trained, very professional department.
- The Hirko case [see the previous Bethlehem Moment post] was a turning point in Bethlehem’s history with the police department. It made the Bethlehem Police Department evaluate itself, and many of the recommendations that came from that event have been incorporated along with state and national accreditation.
- But we do not intend this as a statement that there are no deficiencies, that every officer performs at all times with perfection.
- You can always get better, and we’re trying to strive to get better.
- Many of the elements we are talking about we have incorporated because of that event [the Hirko case].
- I have issued a directive . . . to review all the policies and to make as much public as possible [including the use of force policy].
- We are trying to put as much information as we can on the web site.
- We certainly want to work with City Council as we move forward, having a dialogue.
There’s a lot going on in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, so look for further posts on last night’s City Council meeting shortly.