/Tempe turning community public safety recommendations into action

Tempe turning community public safety recommendations into action

The City of Tempe is providing the next steps for an array of public safety reform measures suggested by community members, building a comprehensive Community Safety Strategic Plan to increase trust between the Police Department and the community it serves.   

The recommendations were made by the Tempe Public Safety Advisory Task Force, a group of 22 community members appointed by Mayor Corey Woods, who have met seven times since October 2020. Mayor Woods, Vice Mayor Randy Keating and Councilmember Lauren Kuby also serve on the task force.

On June 9 at 4:30 p.m., the task force will convene for its last session. Staff members from the City Manager’s Office, Strategic Management and Diversity Office, Human Services Department and Police Department have been working together to organize and detail the task force’s recommendations. In order to merge the ideas into a strategic plan, staff will seek clarification about some of the recommendations at the meeting.  

The Public Safety Advisory Task Force organized its input into five thematic pillars: Police Model and Accountability; Human and Social Services; Data and Transparency; Community Engagement; and Workforce Culture and Wellness. Some examples of the task force’s recommendations include: developing an unarmed unit for non-violent situations; tracking additional data to gauge interactions with marginalized communities; developing a more diverse police workforce; and creating additional mental health support and evaluation for officers.

These and other recommendations will be evaluated in light of existing policies, then incorporated or instituted where appropriate. The overall effort to integrate the task force recommendations within a larger Community Safety Strategic Plan will be led by Deputy City Manager Rosa Inchausti and a multi-departmental committee. The internal committee will collaborate with subject matter experts and city employees while reporting on progress through a public dashboard.  

Since Tempe Police Chief Jeff Glover assumed interim duties to lead the department in October 2020, the city has made progress on several aspects of police reform and trust-building with the community:

Additionally, the city is advancing equity-related programs through the Strategic Management and Diversity Office. These include Equity in Action, which aims to foster greater community engagement in the city’s decision-making process, as well as The Right to Breathe initiative, which encourages collaboration among city departments and stakeholders to increase opportunities to proactively reach vulnerable youth in Tempe.    

For the June 9 meeting agenda and directions to joining the meeting virtually, visit tempe.gov/PublicSafetyAdvisoryTaskForce or call Tempe 311 at 480-350-4311. The meeting also will be broadcast live on Tempe 11, which is viewable on Cox Channel 11 or through online streaming at tempe.gov/tempe11.