ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) – City leaders in Antioch are eyeing police reform. This after the mayor announced last month that eight patrol officers are the focus of an investigation led by the FBI and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
While eight Antioch patrol officers under federal investigation remain on administrative leave, city leaders are turning their focus to curbing excessive use of force. Councilmember Tamisha Torres Walker tells KRON4, “the reforms that we are introducing today are critical, because without them, we are at risk of losing trust in our community.”
During a news conference at City Hall Tuesday council members Monica Wilson and Tamisha Torres-Walker joined Interim Police Chief Dr. Steven Ford to announce three reforms the council intends to discuss and develop during upcoming police oversight subcommittee meetings. The policies would then be put to a vote.
Chief Ford said in the news conference Tuesday, “with our use of force policy, we’re currently evaluating an intervention system to better track and monitor the deployment of force when circumstances dictate.”
Wilson stated during a press conference, “how can we expect our community to work with us to both prevent and solve crimes if we aren’t holding ourselves accountable.”
Chief Ford stated during the Tuesday afternoon press conference, “to begin with, we’ll conduct a top down assessment of our K9 policy. This resource serves great utility for the organization. However, we’ll take a closer look at how we deploy our k9’s with emphasis on mitigating unnecessary harm and liability.”
Among the allegations eight patrol officers are facing in the FBI and Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office investigation into their conduct is disproportionate use of K-9’s on criminal suspects compared to other bay area police departments. The abuse of city-issued cell phones while on duty is also being investigated.
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Chief Ford stated in the press conference, “the current circumstances do not in any way represent the entire organization as a whole, remaining mindful that the majority of our men and women who protect and serve this city, do so in a very meaningful way.”