National Public Safety discussion takes place in Indianapolis

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Experts from across the nation met inside Indianapolis Central Library Wednesday. The discussion topics ranged from use of force, police and community challenges and how to create strong relationships.

“Indianapolis is a major city, and there is no reason we can’t be a leader in these discussions. We need to talk about this as a city and we need to talk about best practices,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Troy Riggs said. “Having citizens willing to work with police is how we solve crimes in our community and communities around the nation.”

Speakers included Dr. David Carter, a criminal justice professor at Michigan State University. Carter created an action report after the Ferguson, Missouri riots. Those series of riots started after a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer fatally shot an unarmed 19-year-old named Michael Brown. During the discussions Carter gave details on what mistakes the Ferguson Police Department made after the deadly shooting.

“Public information, public information, public information — the Ferguson Police Department was soundly criticized, adequately so, for not releasing information about the shooting,” Carter said.

Riggs led a discussion with Denver Police Department Chief R.C. White. In 2011, a series of protests began across the nation called Occupy Wall Street. The demonstrations were very controversial, but in Denver the protest ended peacefully. White, who has 40 years of police experience with five different police departments, explained what ensured the protest would stay a peaceful demonstration.

“Against the suggestion of my entire command staff, I went in the middle of one of these Wall Street demonstrations and sat down and had a conversations and invited them back to police headquarters where we sat down and had a conversation,” White said.

The forum didn’t cost tax payers a dime. The Indianapolis Public Safety Foundation, Eli Lilly and the Central Indiana Community Foundation foot the bill.

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