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Community Initiative Wants To Reimagine Policing In Dayton Area

Police Dayton Protest May 30 2020
Leila Goldstein
Officers from area police departments biked around residents at Dayton's May 30 protest against police violence.

A community initiative called Reimagining America: Dayton, Ohio has launched a new project focused on policing and public safety in Montgomery, Green, Miami and Preble Counties.

Following the killing of George Floyd, some local governments have been considering police reform measures, including in Cincinnati and Dayton. Peter Benkendorf, founder of the nonprofit The Collaboratory and co-creator of this new initiative, says the focus of their project is not to reform but to reimagine policing.

“We're not necessarily concerned right now with how you're going to implement it,” he said. “Let's design the ideal department of well-being and public safety, and then we can figure out who is interested in looking at our recommendations.”

The group has created a draft proposal for the project, and is collecting feedback on the document. They have also created a policing survey to get input from residents through the end of August. The initiative plans to hold virtual town hall meetings and ultimately produce recommendations that will be shared with the public, police departments and elected officials in the Dayton region.

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.