Columbus City Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, Police Chief Thomas Quinlan, City Attorney Zach Klein and City Council President Shannon G. Hardin have announced the Chief’s Advisory Panel designed to allow community stakeholders to have a meaningful way to provide input into strategies, development of community policing practices, and increasing community transparency into police operations.
“Community leaders, like those on this advisory panel, keep public officials accountable,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin.
“That accountability and transparency is critical not just for Council, but for all officials who serve the people of our city. This advisory group has an important role to help reform public safety through new institutions and practices such as a civilian review board, independent investigations, and much more.”
“This is not just a commission or committee that will sit idly by,” said Mayor Ginther.
“The Chief’s panel will weigh in and provide feedback on changes we are making – such as significantly limiting the use of tear gas and pepper spray by the Columbus Division of Police.”
A panel of 14 members was selected by Mayor Ginther and Columbus City Council:
- Aba Azeem, Vice Chair of the Create Columbus Commission
- Lourdes Barosso de Padilla, Director of the Latina Mentoring Academy
- Love Benton, Vice Chair, Black, Out and Proud
- James Burke IV, President Columbus National Pan Hellenic Council
- LaShaun Carter, Chief Diversity Officer at Franklin County Children Services and Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commissioner
- Stefanie Coe, Commissioner, Civil Service Commission
- Yaves Ellis, Pastor and Director of Community Affairs at Urban 1
- Tammy Fournier, Founder and Organizing Director, Peoples Justice Project and Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commissioner
- Florence Latham, Human Resources Consultant and Executive Coach
- Kristy McCray, Associate Professor, Otterbein University
- Diane Menashe, partner at Ice Miller
- Andrew B. Pierce II, Undergraduate Student, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University
- Randall Sistrunk, Director of Development, Orange Barrel Media
- Erin Upchurch, Executive Director, Kaleidoscope Youth Center
“The panel will act as a sounding board for me regarding community needs, concerns, and expectations, as well as provide community feedback to current and proposed police programs and priorities,” said Chief Quinlan.
Mayor Ginther also issued the directive prohibiting the use of tear gas and pepper spray to clear streets and disperse peaceful protests today, and additional policy changes in how chemical agents are used will be drafted in consultation with the City Attorney to assure clear, consistent guidance to police.
“This new policy will stop unnecessary confrontations between police officers and peaceful protestors exercising their First Amendment rights,” said City Attorney Zach Klein. “This important change reflects our City’s and my own personal commitment to meaningful reforms and balances public safety and protected speech.”