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Hello All, 

 

I am a 20 year old young citizen of Toledo, Ohio. I am studying Business Management at the University of Toledo. I live in a community that is less than a mile away from the in progressively developing downtown and a mile from the educational anchor institution to which I attend. Our community is one that is plagued with governmental financial disinvestment but more importantly a community that suffers not in silence but through a lack of local support and understanding (cultural competence). 

 

 I am writing due to the increased police presence within our community of Junction and Dorr. I am thankful to have officers that want to protect and serve however I don't understand why the officers that patrol our community don't know us or attempt to build relationships with us (community members who live in the area). On Friday, April 6, 2018 when returning home after work I was stopped in my driveway. The officer approached my car and informed me that I had driven left-to-center on Junction and ask for my ID. This time there was another car of police officers that joined him they asked the officer "if he was good".  I provided my id to the officer and wondered why the officer was not concern about the increase activity of illegal drugs being sold in our community. This is not the first time this has happen in the past four months. My brother was stopped while pulling into our driveway after returning from work in January and in February one of our community members was stopped on Indiana and told that the officers could not read the license plate and asked if anyone in the car had a warrant. This was after a monthly community meeting and Restorative Justice class for youth held at the Frederick Douglass Center. 

 

I placed a call to our Chief Kral because I believe he cares for our community but understanding that he can't answer all calls therefore I am reaching our via email as it is vitally important to improve community and police interaction during a time where most young African-American communities and youth fear our public service Officers. I asked my mother to send this email in order to keep her informed as the Junction Coalition, Community lead (Alicia Smith) but I wanted to reach out as a former employee of the City of Toledo and strong supporter of the Toledo Police and the former Summer Funfest Coordinator and Brains and Bodies. 

 

If at all possible I would like to work with our community officers and a team of young men in our community to ensure that there isn't lack of knowledge regarding who we are and how we live and survive in our communities. There needs to be more conversations that help to protect communities from racism, disinvestment and fear. Thank you, for your commitment to excellence and protecting our families from harm. Please feel free to reach to to me via cell, which is provided below. I have asked my mother to provide this email to any and all leaders that are willing to support the growth and well being of our community. As a voter and law abiding citizen, I only want what is humane and fair for ALL of us. 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Joseph Smith 

 

 

Joe,

 

Thank you for taking the time to draft your email. Regarding your comments about officers knowing the community they police, I agree wholeheartedly. This is referred to as “Beat Integrity” and it is a concept I am committed to as Chief of Police. Thanks to Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s  commitment to hire forty new officers a year I will now be able to keep officers assigned to a specific area much easier than it is now. Once this occurs, neighborhood residents will see the same officer’s faces at the same time in the same locations.

 

As for you, and your brother, being pulled over, clearly I wasn’t there, and can look into it further if you feel the stop was inappropriate.  You mentioned you wondered why the officers were not more concerned about the increase in illegal drugs being sold in your neighborhood. I assure you they are. Drug trafficking and reducing shooting incidents are one of our main focuses to help keep all Toledoans safe. Traffic enforcement is a strategy used when addressing these issues.

 

I have an incredibly busy week and will be off on vacation next week. But, I would like to sit down with you once I return. As you know, I am very interested in, and encourage constantly, collaborations between TPD and the community we serve. If I can be a conduit to conversations between our Operations Division, Community Services Section officers, and the community I would jump at the opportunity.  I truly value your support to TPD and the Brains and Body Program. I am confident we can improve the relationships we all so badly want.

 

Again, thanks for reaching out and I’ll be in touch soon.

 

Chief Kral

   
   


Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/12/18 11:51:51 -0700.


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