City Manager Wants To Improve Public Trust Of The Durham Police Department

Jun 18, 2014

Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield is reviewing recommendations to improve relations between the city's Police Department and the public.
Credit City of Durham

Spurred by complaints about racial bias in the Durham Police Department, City Manager Tom Bonfield said he'll review recommendations to improve relations with the community.

“I recognize the critical importance of a trusting relationship between a community police department and the community. And I also recognize that and the end of the day, I'm responsible for the actions of the department and how that plays out in terms of the relationship.”

Durham's Human Resources Commission and the Civilian Police Review Board have presented a total of 44 recommendations to the City Council. They suggested adjustments to police policy and training, and improved public access to police data.

Bonfield says he'll reach out to community advocacy groups, including FADE and the Durham NAACP. He wants them to weigh in on the priority of the recommendations. Then, Bonfield said, he'll consult the other side.

“I want to understand from the police department if there are operational issues or issues around the work that they do that they feel would be impacted in one way or the other by the recommendations. I want to understand that.”

Bonfield said he'll implement any appropriate recommendations that are within his authority, and refer the rest to the City Council.