TEMPLE, TX — Many have called for change within the Temple Police Department since the death of Michael Dean, a young father and husband fatally shot by a then-Temple police officer one year ago.
“What it shed a light on was a lack of a good communication tool,” said Temple Mayor Tim Davis. “We didn’t have a way, and we haven’t built the relationships into the effect of the community that we needed.”
Now, the City is taking a step forward to make that change happen.
On Thursday, Temple City Council approved a citizen’s police advisory commission to bridge the gap between police and the community.
“They’ll be able to make some recommendations. They'll be able to review some policies,” said Davis.
The mayor says the commission will also review critical policing incidents.
“Heaven forbid, if there’s another major incident, even some of the minor incidents, we'll be able to pull that group in and tell them what happened, the circumstances of what happened and then what the plan is going forward,” said Davis.
He says they're also working on a diversity committee to make sure every single voice is heard.
“Be sure that there is a diversity of races,” said Davis. “That there is a diversity of sexual orientation. Basically, it’s a committee the people of those marginalized communities are, those that don’t have a voice. They’ll be able to come and know that the City of Temple is listening to them.”
That’ll also include hiring a diversity manager to improve inclusion and cultural awareness, part of an effort to push the City into 2021 and beyond.
Davis said the City is hoping to fill at least half of the positions on the commissions by March.