OXFORD — According to Oxford Police Community Relations and Review Commission Chair Pat Meade, in the commission’s first year of existence there has not been one official complaint to review.
There have, however, been issues which have been brought to the group’s attention in private, but nothing which needed investigation or an official report.
Meade presented his report during the Oxford City Council meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 5. He opened his presentation by thanking council for establishing the commission. He also thanked City Manager Doug Elliott and Oxford Police Division Chief John Jones for their assistance and cooperation.
“We think the commission has gotten off to a good start in its first year and met our goals,” he said. “We have not yet had a complaint be appealed to us, though I think because of the year we met, the work the commission has done to understand police work, and also because of the integrity of the people in the commission, I think if a complaint comes our way we will be able to deal with it.”
He added, since the commission moved the meetings to the council room in the courthouse, there has been more public participation. They also hope to reach out to the public who cannot make the meetings. The commission has created a summary of all their meetings and hopes to have it online soon so residents can be in the know about the commission’s efforts.
“I think the only issue we had that was more contentious and had healthy tension between the commission and police force had to do with STOP Data,” Meade said. “The commission is really interested in obtaining STOP Data that does not result in arrests or citation. I think Chief Jones has been explaining that at this point the department does not have the means to collect that data.”
“I think the commission has been pushing to see how we can develop the means to collect that data,” he said. “We feel STOP Data to be important to ensure we are getting quality and fair police protection in Oxford.”
Chief Jones added, “I think there are successes, because there have been instances where some folks have contacted members of the commission on what the police department are trained in. That helps facilitate that. I don’t think some of these people would ever reach out to us, but they will reach out to the commission. I think that is the purpose of the commission.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH