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Durham City Council Considers Police Recommendations

Durham City Council hears recommendations from City Manager on how to improve police and community relations (photo of city council).
Jorge Valencia

  The Durham Police Department has been accused of racial profiling, which led the Human Relations Commission to recommend changes in policy and procedure in May.

Durham's City Manager, Tom Bonfield, presented his proposal to the City Council and a packed crowd of citizens that were eager to hear what he had to say.

Bonfield recommended that Durham Police Department require its officers to complete racial equality training. But, that was just one of the dozens of recommendations from a 131 page report. His suggestions included that police vehicles carry written search consent forms in English and Spanish; he wrote that cameras and microphones should be working during searches at traffic stops and Bonfield wrote that the department should make marijuana arrests a low priority and annually review misdemeanor marijuana arrests for racial bias.

He did not support the recommendation that all officers receive psychiatric evaluations every three years.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC reporter Jorge Valencia about Bonfield's recommendations and the reaction at yesterday's council meeting.

Hady Mawajdeh is a native Texan, born and raised in San Antonio. He listened to Fresh Air growing up and fell in love with public radio. He earned his B.A. in Mass Communication at Texas State University and specialized in electronic media. He worked at NPR affiliate stations KUT and KUTX in Austin, Texas as an intern, producer, social media coordinator, and a late-night deejay.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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