City of Aurora Announces C.H.A.N.G.E. Law-Enforcement Reform Initiative

City of Aurora Announces C.H.A.N.G.E. Law-Enforcement Reform Initiative

Aurora officials announced a new reform initiative Wednesday with the acronym CHANGE that will focus on strengthening police and community relations and accountability.

The Community Helping Aurora’s Necessary Growth and Empowerment Reform initiative was presented Tuesday night (June 9, 2020) to the Aurora City Council after a review of activities of the past week in Aurora, which included multiple protests with calls for racial justice, accountability and substantive change in the community.

Officials say the CHANGE Reform Initiative initiative will take a multi-phased approach to law-enforcement reform, with the first phase targeted for completion in 60 days.

During those first 60 days, the focus is on four key areas of policing in Aurora: a review of use-of-force policies, a review of police training policies, an audit of body cameras and exploring the creation of a civilian review board.

“Aurora is taking it a step beyond the national call to review use-of-force policies,” Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said. “We will also conduct a community-based review of the police department’s training policies.”

According to a city of Aurora news release, residents will join city and police officials to review the training policies, learn about the current training process and give recommendations for improvements.

A series of “review and recommendation” sessions for each of the first two key areas will be planned through June and July. Community members can register online at www.aurora-il.org/CHANGE when the dates are announced next week.

City officials have been assessing the use of body cameras for officers since last year. The CHANGE reform initiative will assist the process through the release of a Request for Information for body cameras.

The RFI, which will be released by the end of June, will give companies 30 days to respond with information regarding the successful deployment and operation of body cameras.

City officials will use the information to discuss local budgetary impact and implementation.

The final part of the plan will explore the implementation of a new independent civilian review board to address misconduct complaints. The city will research best practices through interviews with municipalities where such boards are active and productive.

Reports on all four key areas will be presented to the Aurora City Council at its Aug. 11 meeting, the news release said.

For more information on the CHANGE reform initiative, visit www.aurora-il.org/CHANGE.

SOURCE: city of Aurora news release