Urban Affair's college hosts NACOLE conference

Dec. 10, 2018

By Matthew Johns

The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) held the final event of its 2018 Regional Training Series, the first of its kind in Cleveland, at Cleveland State Nov. 30 to discuss civilian oversight, bias and engaging youth and law enforcement.

The event was co-hosted by NACOLE and the Cleveland Community Police Commission, and supported by various sponsors.

Through panels and discussions, attendees asked questions and connected with other people from different locations with similar issues, according to Yvonne Conner, co-chair of the Cleveland Community Police Commission.

“This is a conference structured for those with professional careers in the field of civilian oversight seeking community members seeking to understand civilian oversight and their own role in that oversight,” Conner said.

The conference attracted people from all over the United States. While it mainly draws from Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana, those from other states, such as Florida, California and Louisiana, also attended.

Conner said the training helps both community members and professionals.

“It will help change the narrative, moving it from hopelessness to hopefulness,” Conner said. “We want citizens to recognize their critical role in police reform and how to move into that role with credibility and a purpose.”

Since police brutality is an ever-present issue, this conference aimed to change the narrative and inspire those who attend to feel hopeful that change will occur.

“We are slowly learning to rotate the obvious and see it from angles to give ourselves a glimpse toward a path that improves trust,” Conner said.

The conference was the first of its kind in Cleveland. Because of the deaths of Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson and others, Conner said the issue is at the forefront of the community’s mind.

Conner said that in a recent survey, community members responded that they would be interested in shaping policy of a 21st century policing methodology. It is believed that this will improve policing and ensure a safer community.

“Community members indicated a desire to participate in shaping policy,” she said, “and an [overwhelming majority] consider having strong partnerships with community organizations like their own law enforcement workforce an effective component of community policing.”


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