City Looking Into Dash Cams For Police Cruisers
Akron, Ohio, July 18, 2022 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and City Council President Margo Sommerville announced during a press briefing that the city intends to implement a citizen review board. The board will provide an independent community voice to the Mayor, City Council and the Chief of Police in reviewing citizen complaints of Akron police officers, analyzing public safety patterns and trends related to those complaints, and regularly engaging with the community.
Oversight, review and engagement models of citizen review boards have been implemented in many other communities in Ohio, including Toledo, Dayton and Columbus. Additionally, the Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce recommended implementation of a citizen review board between 2023-2025 which is described in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee Quarter Three Report.
“The idea of a citizen review board is one that we have been discussing in our community for several years,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “These types of boards exist across the nation and provide communities with more direct connection to their police forces. I strongly believe this is the right direction for Akron to take and I am committed to implementing an independent board here in an expeditious and timely manner.”
“The incorporation of a citizen review board is the logical next step as we reimagine public safety and community policing in Akron,” said Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement are hallmarks in our city’s efforts to safeguard our communities and all of our residents.”
Additionally, yesterday, Mayor Horrigan and Chief Mylett met with the Black Elected Officials of Summit County to begin a dialogue on important issues in the community including the citizen review board. One topic of discussion was reinstituting dash cams in Akron police cruisers. Both Mayor Horrigan and Chief Mylett support the measure and are committed to determining cost and supply chain developments in order to provide a timeline for implementation.
“I want to thank the Black Elected Officials of Summit County for agreeing to come to the table and start to have these necessary conversations,” said Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett. “The city administration is supportive of adding dash cams to our cruisers. I also want to thank our local delegation from the Black Elected Officials of Summit County including State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, State Rep. Tavia Galonski, and State Senator Vernon Sykes for submitting a letter to Governor DeWine asking him to help provide funding for us to be able to buy and install dash cams.”
The Reimagining Public Safety Committee has been reinstated by Akron City Council and the first items on the agenda will be the citizen review board and dash cams.
The city plans to allow for discussions and feedback internally and with the community before finalizing a plan for the citizen review board which would be presented to Akron City Council for approval. The city aims to propose a plan by the end of 2022.