TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A round table discussion on community policing in Tuscaloosa brought several groups from the area together Wednesday.
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama organized the event. Most of the recent online discussions organized by the Chamber discussions revolved around coronavirus and how it effected local businesses.
The death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota police last week placed policing and community relations on the minds of many people.
The online discussion lasted about an hour.
Tuscaloosa’s Chief of Police and Tuscaloosa County’s Sheriff shared their thoughts along with business people in the chambers Diverse Business Council and several elected leaders.
Organizers said they wanted law enforcement to explain their goals, how they recruit officers and even describe what should happen during traffic stops.
Law enforcement explained their role in the community and how they want to serve the public in a fair equitable way.
“Many people share the same experience that George Floyd went through. The only difference is they lived to tell the story afterwards. I myself have been pulled over on several occasions for minor offenses and ended up face down on the concrete with a gun in my face," State Representative Chris England told the round table.
“We have to start programs and mentoring in that community because the trust isn’t there. I’ve only been police chief for 90 days,” Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley expressed.
This is just the first community policing round table that the Diverse Business Council has organized. The group’s chairperson said they look forward to doing more in the future.