Statement from the Community & Police Working Group for the City of Lancaster

Today, the Community & Police Working Group for the City of Lancaster met virtually to finalize the areas of focus around race relations, recruitment and hiring processes and community engagement for the Group’s strategic plan. The strategic plan was created based on community feedback during town hall meetings and as a response to the recent demonstrations in our City. In the coming weeks, the strategic plan will be shared on the Community & Police Working Group’s page below where community members are encouraged to review the plan and offer feedback.

When finalized, the strategic plan will guide the Community & Police Working Group in fulfilling our mission, which is a committed group of residents, organization leaders, and city and police administration advocating on behalf of our black, brown and other marginalized communities, and our vision, which is to build trust, collaboration and mutual understanding and respect among the community and police to create a just, safe, and equitable Lancaster City.

The Community & Police Working Group was formed in August 2018 following a tasing incident. The Group has been instrumental in policy changes regarding use of force, citizen complaint forms and other items highlighted below.

Delia Sanchez and Sgt. Donald Morant
Co-chairs, Community & Police Working Group
August 8, 2020

Purpose

The Community Police Working Group is made up of representatives from the City of Lancaster government, the Lancaster City Bureau of Police, the Lancaster branch of the NAACP, representatives from community benefit organizations, clergy, and city residents.

 

Since its formation in the summer of 2018, the group has made strides towards improving trust and cooperation between the Lancaster City Bureau of Police and the public it serves.

 

In addition to hosting a community meetings in August 2018 and at the beginning of 2020, the group has addressed issues such as recruitment and hiring, use of force, the civilian complaint form and a body camera policy.

 

 

Over the past two years in the City of Lancaster and Bureau of Police have:

 

– Convened a Community Police Working Group to focus on strengthening Community & Police

 

– Relationships – this group continues to guide and influence this work.

 

– Revised the Use of Force Policy and conducted further de-escalation and other training for our officers.

 

– Implemented utilization of body cameras and used footage to address training gaps individually and collectively.

 

– Adopted and continue to increase the availability and utilization of language access tools to ensure the entirety of our community is served.

 

– Partnered with NAACP in recruiting and test preparation efforts.

 

– Reorganized the Bureau of Police to include a 3-member Community Engagement department.

 

– Hired the first Police Social Worker to connect those we serve with social service agencies who are better equipped to assist.

 

– Combined various sources of data to make data-informed and more proactive decisions.

 

– Fired and or employed other corrective measures among officers that have not upheld City policy or values.

 

The group has begun working with Intersekt Alliance, a consulting firm out of Philadelphia, to create a strategic plan. The strategic plan will address the organizational structure of the group, finalize a vision and mission, and define the work of the group.

 

 

Committee Members

Chief Jarrad Berkihiser Lancaster City Police

 

Reverend Roland P. Forbes Jr. Ebenezer Baptist Church

 

Xavier Garcia-Molina – City Council Member

 

Sergeant Donald Morant – Lancaster City Police

 

Vanessa Philbert – Community Action Partnership

 

Daisy Plaza – City Resident

 

Honorable Jodie Richardson – Magisterial District Courts

 

Delia Sanchez – Domestic Violence

 

Patricia Hopson Shelton – Lancaster Branch NAACP

 

Ismail Smith-Wade-El – City Council President

 

Mayor Danene Sorace – City of Lancaster

 

Sergeant Dorsey Sumrall – Lancaster City Police

Contact Info

Jarrad Berkihiser
Chief of Police

 

Address

Lancaster Bureau of Police
39 West Chestnut Street
Lancaster, PA 17603-3510

 

Phone

(717) 735-3300

 

Tell us what changes you envision for the City of Lancaster:

 

Community & Police Working Group – Session 1

Masonic Lodge No. 43
213 W. Chestnut Street

Session 1 Community Responses Word Cloud

Community & Police Working Group – Session 2

Crispus Attucks Community Center
407 Howard Ave.

Session 2 Community Responses Word Cloud

Community & Police Working Group – Session 3

Bright Side Opportunities Center
515 Hershey Ave.

Session 3 Community Responses Word Cloud

Community Session Notes & Responses