Will public safety partnership make Toledo safer?

Will public safety partnership make Toledo safer?

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - We all want our neighborhoods to be safe, but "safe" can mean many different things to many different people.

A forum was held tonight at the Frederick Douglas Community Center to discuss: What is your vision for a safer Toledo?

"We want the police and the community to have a strong relationship of mutual trust," Mike Brickner, Senior Policy Director of the ACLU Ohio explained.

The U.S. Department of Justice chose Toledo for its national "Public Safety Partnership" program, aimed at fighting violent crime. The Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo (CSRN) and the ACLU of Ohio are concerned that this "Partnership" is designed to make some people safe, not all.

"We know that when you use such general terms such as violent crimes or drugs that normally turns into a 'war on' whatever it is they're trying to eradicate, and that often falls back on the lives of black men and women," said Ruth Leonard, Co-Spokesperson for CSRN of Toledo.

Small discussion groups shared ideas with one another drawn from directed questions.

A representative from the U.S. Attorney's office then spoke briefly about their relationship and what they're doing with the Public Safety Partnership.  That was then followed by a question and answer session involving Toledo Police.

"Hopefully what we can get out of tonight is that maybe we can educate some more residents, so they can understand our point of view, where we're coming from, why we think this is beneficial to the Toledo Police Department, and in turn, how it will be beneficial to them,"  Deputy Chief Mike Troendle of the Toledo Police Department said.

The ideas gathered from Wednesday's forum will be broken down and compiled into a document to be shared with city officials, Toledo Police, and the Department of Justice.

The next step is to keep you posted with how they respond.

Both this event and those to follow are free and open to the public.

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