Since George Floyd's death in May, city councils throughout the Triad have reflected on their current police policies. In Greensboro, the city manager and council members recently outlined three ways in which they and the public will be monitoring how police handle encounters with citizens moving forward. Citizens review board members will regularly study police interactions with citizens involving traffic stops, complaints, and searches. Officials will set up an online dashboard of police encounter data from routine citations to use of force.
Councilman Justin Outling says the city will also open an online portal allowing people to more easily share their impressions of police action without having to file a formal complaint.
“This is a really welcome change and improvement with how the city gets information from the public,” says Outling. “Because the reality is, oftentimes people — for a whole host of reasons — do not file official complaints.”
The online submissions will be linked to a mapping system allowing the public to see where these incidents occur in the city. Outling says the Greensboro police will learn from all of the new data collected as well.
“I think the benefits are really twofold,” he says. “In one regard, to provide additional transparency and information to the public which hopefully will increase people's confidence in the city, including the police department. The second primary benefit is for the police department and the city to receive information from the public which it can use better its processes and policies and do things better as a city and live up to our community's ideals.”