Mayor Sylvester Turner appointed 45 members to his Task Force on Policing Reform to explore best practices and procedures in operating the Houston Police Department.
The task force will make recommendations in training, use of force, police oversight, and interactions with the community. The official charge of the Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform is to:
- Review HPD policies and practices relating to the use of force.
- Review the operation of the IPOB, its effectiveness and recommend what changes, if any, should be made.
- Body cameras: assess when video footage should or should not be released to the general public; ie: criteria
- Best practices (model) for crisis diversion (e.g. substance abuse, mental/behavioral issues, homelessness) - evaluate HPD Crisis Intervention Team
- Assess how well HPD is doing with community policing and what more should be done to build the bond between police and community.
- How to decrease the "overt" presence of law enforcement without adversely affecting safety.
"It's a tall order. It's certainly important that people get an opportunity to express their thoughts, provide their opinions, and I know that we will get many. I think, in the end, this will help our city move forward in a very productive fashion," said Mayor Turner. "Over the past several weeks, we have all listened to a call for police reform and the demand for change. People in our community want good policing, accountability, and transparency within the Houston Police Department."
Laurence "Larry" Payne will chair the 45-member Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform.
Currently, Mr. Payne is the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Civic Engagement, and Critical Conversations for the Houston Public Library.
The other 44 members represent the business community, community activists/organizers to faith leaders to advocates. Mayor Turner also named five special advisors to the task force.
The Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform will meet for the first time during the week of July 6 and have up to 90 days to submit its recommendations.