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POLICE POLICY CHANGES: Local organization is looking for community help

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) -- The outcry to defund police departments following the death of George Floyd is being heard across the country.

In Rochester, the conversation isn't about defunding, but making policy changes that the community can get behind.

Five years ago, the Rochester City Council approved an ordinance that created the city's first Police Policy Oversight Commission.

The five member commission is now looking at three policies within the police department. Those policies are use of force, handcuffing and restraints, and standards of conduct.

In an effort to gather community response, the Diversity Council, an independent organization, is hosting a virtual listening session Wednesday with the commission. It's the first collaboration between the two entities.

"We've heard from communities for years that they want to become more engaged they want to understand how things happen and when they happen," Diversity Council Executive Director Dee Sabol stated.

Community members can participate through the Diversity Council Facebook Page. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m.

"I think this is the beginning of a lot of discussions and dialogue a lot of community conversation done jointly with our agencies and systems. This is definitely the beginning," Sabol said. Adding, that she wants everyone to know that their life matters.

"Every single human life has equal value, every voice is important," Sabol added.

The commission will use the public comments to help formulate the final decisions on any policy changes.

Ubah Ali

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