Mayor of Antioch lays out police reform framework

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) – In the East Bay, the mayor of Antioch announced plans to reform the police department. He is calling the changes “common-sense solutions.”

“I’m announcing a series of police reform measures as a major first step towards building a police department that every segment of our community can trust,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. 

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe is ready to make good on his campaign promises.

On Monday, he announced a long list of police reform measures he says will give the department tools to do their job safely and respectfully.

Thorpe and Vice Mayor Monica Wilson say mental health will be the focal point of reforms.

“As our community demands racial justice, it’s clear a new first responder system that sends help instead of handcuffs is needed and desired,” Wilson said.

Building a mental health crisis response team is the number one goal.

Thorpe also wants officers and dispatchers to go through mental health assessments annually to ensure their wellbeing.

Other reforms include a new training paradigm and increased police accountability, which would mean body cameras, and ensuring officers give their name and badge numbers during all traffic stops.

Stricter hiring practices within the department are also on the list.

Mayor Thorpe says Antioch PD is no place for officers with a troubled past.

“If you have a sustained excessive use of force complaint or misconduct complaint on your records, you will be disqualified from our process,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe also plans to place an immediate ban on the department accepting military equipment from the federal government.

“I believe policing is the community and the community is policing and if we stick to that principle, having militarized equipment like tanks on our street do not jive with that principle,” Thorpe said. 

The long list of proposals is a framework that Thorpe says needs city council approval.

Meetings are set to begin in March.