Public Forum in South Windsor To Discuss Police and Community Relationships

On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the South Windsor Police Department in cooperation with the South Windsor Human Relations Commission will host a community forum.  The event will take place from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the Friends Room at the South Windsor Public Library, 1550 Sullivan Ave., South Windsor.

The topic for the evening will be police relations with the community in the post-Ferguson era.  The subject refers to the tragic events of August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, MO when a black male was shot and killed by a police officer.  A grand jury later determined that it would not charge the police officer.  The decision set off protests from members of the community and around the nation.

Our featured guest is Tanya Hughes, Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  Following Ms. Hughes’s presentation we will have a panel discussion.  Panelists will share their experiences and offer their insights with regards to police interaction with the minority community.

The South Windsor Police Department is interested in opening a dialogue with the community about how the actions of local police officers are perceived by the public.  A 2014 analysis of traffic stop statistics revealed that 17.22% of the drivers stopped for motor vehicle violations in South Windsor were black.  This number exceeds the 14.07% statewide percentage of black drivers stopped.  We are exploring what these stop statistics truly mean and examining our enforcement practices to ensure that our policy on fair and impartial policing is being properly upheld by our officers and supervisors.

In preparation for the forum, South Windsor officials including Mayor Saud Anwar, Charles Margolis, Chairman of the South Windsor Human Relations Commission, and Police Chief Matthew Reed, met with representatives of the state’s African-American Affairs Commission.  On Friday, February 13, 2015, African-American Affairs Commission Chairman Alfonse Write along with Executive Director Glenn Cassis came to South Windsor to meet with town officials to discuss the forum and the soon-to-be released report on police traffic stops.