Police departments learning lessons from George Floyd’s death

Police changes amid racial tensions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been three months since the death of George Floyd. This has led to protests for changes in police departments across the nation. Those protests have occurred in Birmingham and surrounding cities.

Police departments like Fultondale said they have training programs to prevent what happened to Floyd. Other departments said they have added new sensitivity programs and some police departments are now undergoing an intense review.

Days after George Floyd’s death, there was a massive protest in Linn Park that eventually lead to violence in Birmingham.

Hoover has been targeted by protesters for changes in police policies. City Administrator Allan Rice said a national accreditation agency was reviewing their policies before Floyd’s death.

“It’s a vigorous process. There is only a few police departments in Alabama that have completed it. It’s a top to bottom review of everything the police does,” Rice said.

The city has dealt with protesters and several arrests have been made. Rice says they are not restricting protests.

“These people will be protected and they will be allowed space to express their constitutional rights. What our city government and police department will not tolerate is violation of the law,” Rice said.

Over in Pleasant Grove, there hasn’t been any protests, but the police department is adding to its training program. “We took it as a reminder. We did some racial diversity and racial profiling especially in our case, we did training across the board. Officers and dispatchers who answered calls. We did racial sensitivity training,” Lt. Daniel Reid said.

Lt. Reid said the training is necessary, but he admits all of the protests sparked by Floyd’s death has affected moral. “Moral for across the country I think you can say is down for police officers. We’ve seen that in terms of recruiting and retention right now. It’s hard,” Reid said.

But Lt. Reid says it’s a mindset you have to get over.

The Hoover review from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies is ongoing and it’s expected to have a site review team to come to Hoover in the future to check to see if the department is doing what it said it’s doing.

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