Mayor & police chief working to reconsider policing in Tuscaloosa

Building trust between police and community

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The push continues to build a better bridge between law enforcement and the community in Tuscaloosa.

“I think until you have trust in the community, you don’t have anything,” Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said.

One of the goals of Tuscaloosa’s new police chief is to have a more meaningful relationship with the community.

Chief Blankley spoke about that in a recent virtual town hall with Mayor Walt Maddox.

“We definitely want to get in the community. We want to get involved with kids. We want to build the trust to realize hey we’re here to help,” Blankley said.

Listening is also a big part of that. That’s why over the next few weeks, Mayor Maddox, Chief Blankley, officers and its senior leadership team will meet with community leaders, pastors, educators and residents to come up with a plan to reimagine policing in the city.

Maddox plans to unveil his community engagement and protection initiative by mid-August.

“Between Elevate Tuscaloosa’s educational investments and a reinvigorated partnership between TPD and our community, we can strengthen trust and accountability while bringing the divides of racial, social and economic injustices,” Mayor Maddox said.

Chief Blankley says more training will take place with officers. He says the department trains more than the state’s standards and adds you can’t do enough of it.

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