Home Antioch Antioch City Council Set to Receive Final Report for Bridging The Gap Series

Antioch City Council Set to Receive Final Report for Bridging The Gap Series

by ECT

On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council will receive its final report for the Bridging the Gap Virtual Roundtable Discussions. The goal was to increase understanding of how to address racial injustice and improve police-community relations.

The Roundtable discussions came about in the police reform movement in the wake of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis where some Antioch residents voiced concerns.  The city, via way of a 3-2 council vote, hired the firm CNA to facilitate three community meetings to organize and facilitate the discussions and to make recommendations for the city of Antioch and Antioch Police Department.

The three forums included:

  • Dialogue 1: Police Oversight, Accountability, and Transparency
  • Dialogue 2: Racial Disparities in Policing
  • Dialogue 3: Police-Community Engagement

The forums were to be used to assist the city council in police reform policies the community desired. However, none of the forums were a deep dive into the Antioch Police Department and neither the police department nor city council could participate, only observe.

(Editors note – to date, the city council has not been provided a deep dive into the Antioch Police Department or the community been allowed to receive a formal report from the police chief regarding police reform)

According to the CNA Report, just 114 people attended between all three forums (less than 1/10 of 1% of residents within the City of Antioch). It should be noted, of the 114 attendees, some attended multiple forums so it’s unclear how many “different” people actually attended—just 63 surveys returned.

Of the 63 surveys returned, results were mixed with most respondents indicating they were either in favor of police reform or felt that no reform was necessary.

Here are the summarized recommendations:

Community Input & Outreach

  • Increase opportunities for a diverse range of community members to review and provide input on new and revised policies, procedures, and training programs, and consider leveraging the Police Crime Prevention Commission for this purpose.
  • Conduct greater outreach to marginalized groups in the community including Latinos, non-English speakers, and residents of North Antioch, and establish permanent communication processes to ensure the entire Antioch community is consulted regularly on policing issues.
  • Hold listening sessions for youth and their parents to learn more about their perceptions of the police so that youth engagement can be tailored to their issues and needs.
  • Hold additional, regular public dialogues where community members can more directly discuss policing issues with City and police leaders and can hear each others perspectives


Police Oversight, Accountability & Transparency

  • Move forward with obtaining body worn camera (BWC) technology and create a community advisory committee to gather input and feedback on BWC policy issues
  • Research, seek community input, and develop and implement a civilian oversight program.
  • Increase community engagement and share more information publicly, such as crime and arrests, police use of force, complaint outcomes, officer discipline, and community engagement actions and activities.
  • Embrace a culture of transparency when serious incidents occur involving alleged police misconduct or in-custody deaths, informing citizens swiftly and openly about the incident.


Racial Disparities in Policing

  • Provide enhanced implicit bias training to all sworn personnel to help address disparities in police outcomes
  • Enhance training of sworn personnel with additional focus on cultural awareness and sensitive for racial and ethnic groupings residing in Antioch
  • Engage an outside part to conduct a racial bias audit of APD police practices and recommend solutions based on audit findings.
  • Place greater emphasis on community policing practices with more officers involved on foot and bike patrols and seeking other ways to expand community contacts, especially with young people.
  • Develop and updated recruitment strategy that specifically addresses the need to hire more African Americans, and officers that speak Spanish to better connect with diverse community members.


Community Engagement

  • Create a community engagement strategy for each police district that requires patrol officers to regularly interact with neighborhood residents, faith leaders, youth and other key stakeholders and tailor strategies to the issues and needs of community members in the District.
  • Include the building of skills necessary to support community engagement such as procedural justice, implicit bias, social interaction and communication, conflict resolution, and appropriate engagement with youth based on the science of adolescent brain development as part of police training.
  • Track and document each officer’s non-enforcement contacts with the community and use this information as part of their performance evaluation considerations and increase buy-in from officers about this patrol activity to ensure that officers are interacting with the community in a positive way.
  • Build trust between youth and police by creating programs and projects for positive, consistent, and persistent interaction between youth and police with specific emphasis on at-risk youth engagement.
  • Research and consider different types of models for responding to people in crisis and implement the most appropriate model that includes collaboration with community organizations and service agencies, recognize that when community non-profits proliferate, that community is generally safer.
  • Gather community input on a regular basis, seek community input on new policies and producers such as the implementation of body worn cameras; and consider leveraging Police Crime Prevention Commission for this purpose.


Conclusion (per the report on Page 765 of Staff Report)

The Bridging the Gap sessions were an admirable first step, but only a first step, towards greater community participation in determining what policing in Antioch looks like. The Antioch City council is moving quickly, holding a seven hour meeting on February 26, 2021 with community participation in which proposed reforms were discussed. The report provides a thorough accounting of diverse perceptions regarding police and police reform in Antioch, based on three purposefully planned and executed community listening sessions. It provides a guidepost to policymakers in Antioch, by identifying a number of significant reforms in policing that the community identified as important and that have firm basis in research and practice.

Generally speaking, Chief Brooks is well liked by community members and is seen as progressive and professional. It is also true that some people do not believe any police reform is necessary in Antioch while others feel there is need for significant change. The bottom line is participants enjoyed and took advantage of that experience by voicing their perspectives on important community issues and influencing city discussion. The community wants to have a dialogue with police and city leaders, regardless of their orientation to reform. Antioch should move quickly with police reform efforts, taking into consideration the recommendations in this report as well as other efforts, and continue to engage the community in public and significant ways such as Bridging the Gap dialogues.


Editors Notes

Prior to the completion of the Bridging the Gap Series and the report out, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe released his own police reform plan and several actions have already occurred:

At no point, has the Antioch Police Department been provided an opportunity to provide an overview of the department to the public–Chief Tammany Brooks and staff have only answered questions by the council. Meanwhile the city has been provided feedback of just just 0.00054% of residents (115,000) with only 63 survey’s completed–of that, we do not know if there are any duplicates by attendees or who participated in multiple sessions.

Much like a Grand Jury Report, it would be prudent for the Mayor and City Council to let the Police Department respond to each recommendation provided by CNA to help educate the community of what is already being done and how it can be better improved through more discussions and greater participation/understanding. Remember, the police department has been muzzled in this entire process. I am sure many would like to hear what they have to say on the recommendations.

After the police department provides a report, get more community feedback and from there, implement desired changes. Police reform is not bad and we should have an open mind because some of these recommendations are good, however, getting policy right from the start is more important than the speed in which it is done.

Antioch City Council Meeting

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Ben Mar 21, 2021 - 7:29 am

Antioch continues to fail at everything it does. 299 possible spots and 114 participate which some are duplicates. How is that for getting community feedback? Did council stack the deck in participants? Why could the police not participate? Mayor releases his agenda prior to release of this report. You know the saying, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck.

Robert C. Mar 21, 2021 - 7:45 am

It is sad that the City Council, by its usual 3-2 vote, plows ahead with its version of “police reform” prior to even getting the results of this report – which IT commissioned with taxpayer dollars. Apparently there is a desire for the appearance of community feedback but little appetite for the real thing. What’s even sadder is that a majority of the council thinks that “police reform” (as it defines it) is central to Antioch’s problems.

Why is it only one sided? Mar 21, 2021 - 9:23 am

When do we start putting any responsibility for behavior back on the groups committing the majority of the crimes?

Rich Mar 21, 2021 - 10:04 am

ECT is right. Slow this down and follow a grand jury process where PD can respond. Where the heck is the Antioch Police Department in this process? Are they supposed to bend over and take this nonsense? Have the actual discussion and hash it out. I foresee many unintended consequences here if this goes through in record speed.

Thorpe and his cronies are ramming this through so there can be no discussion. Anyone questioning this is bad mouthed and criticized. Chief Brooks, former Antioch POA president Steve Aiello, former Chief Cantando, to now ECT and many others have become victims by these radicals.

I hope residents see what is going on here in an attempt to silence those who disagree with them.

The Truth Mar 21, 2021 - 1:01 pm

The smoke and mirrors Mayor Thorpe
is trying is hilarious. Funny thing is I bet the bridging the gap report says what we all know. AOD needs body cams and APD is doing a great job.

Mayor Thorpe won’t let the PD have a say because then he can’t grandstand and get all his constituents to think he is actually doing something. Mayor Thorpe is a weak leader with no vision that is his own. Without his 3-2 vote he is nothing. With that said recall Tamisha and his weakness will be exposed 10 fold.

Roxanne Fox Mar 21, 2021 - 4:02 pm

I will consider this “racial injustice” when the criminals moving into our city from the western portion of the country, are CEREMONIOUSLY REMOVED and BANISHED forever along with their supporters, three of whom are sitting on our City Council. We never had this problem UNTIL they moved in.

Debra Welles Mar 22, 2021 - 1:19 am

I agree that Antioch needs police reform. It needs to hire more police officers and become more proactive. The police must get tougher No more pussy-footing around. No more “Mr. Nice Guy” … Do everything they can to make this city very unattractive to criminals to move in. What the trio (you know who I mean) on the City Council is doing is the opposite of what will make this city livable again.

John Davis Mar 22, 2021 - 6:00 pm

In reading the CNA report they make recommendations on a number of things, but do not say where we are lacking specifically. Example, give police officers more training on racial bias but they do not say what we are lacking compared to acknowledged best practices. No where do they indicate that they did an in-depth look at what transpires at APD. So based on what people who have no knowledge of what our police department really does or how they do it and not allowed to get that information from people who know, we get a report telling us what we should do, using them as our consultants. I say fire them for their worthless report.

Ann Mar 23, 2021 - 8:57 am

Recall city counsel!!

Kenneth Jensen Mar 23, 2021 - 10:50 pm

What a bunch of UNMITIGATED BULLSHIT! No society has ever survived when they became “diverse!” Learn history and you will see. One culture and ONE LANGUAGE will do it. Not everyone pushing their own agendas. Won’t work, as we can see. The Antioch city government idiots have no clue. But then, what’s new? There is no leadership whatsoever! Why didn’t we need this before? People got along and criminals (young and old) were not attracted to come here because they knew what would happen to them. The APD is going above and beyond the call of duty to protect us from the vermin that has infested Antioch!

Donna Salazar Mar 26, 2021 - 11:52 pm

WAIT , Bare with me Here….
1) Walker won her council position barely
2) Walker Post a 9min Verbally Abusive Live feed Attacking the Antioch Police Department. Profanities and threats to sue Antioch & take Officers Badges.
She admits her children Ran from Police
She states she doesn’t give a f__k about being on the city council. Threats to organise protests and burn the city down.
3) Walker and her minions try to control social media and the local news. To confuse and cover up the facts of the incident.
4) Publicly Walker refuses to apologize to Citizens of Antioch and the police department.
5) She continues to weigh in on important issues that involve the Antioch Police Department.
6) The investigations the she her self demanded Reveal Walker did not disclose
her conviction of felony Arson and two DUI’s with child endangerment enhancements
7) Walker’s omission of her criminal record before her running for City Council
Makes her win and occupation of the city council AGAINST THE LAW AND SUBJECT FOR IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL.
Ms. Walker-Torres as I said before I am Old Antioch your constant lack of remorse and accountability for your December live feed .
Your laughing and making cry baby signs during comments made by long time residents has made me so angry.
Downing Old time resident’s and calling us racists and hate mongers.
How dare you ! Let me say this in a form you can understand. ( Stop Reading if Profanity offends you )
Ms. Walker-Torres You enjoy your strolls in my neighborhood? Ya I saw you caught you sneaking around trying to see what Im about.
I’ll tell you Im about taking care of those I Love. Im about helping my community. Im about cleaning out all the garbage in the river and town.
Most of all
Im about Sick of You. You take your ghetto mentality grab some class and get off the Antioch City Council until you learn some manners and how to play fair. If I experience a accidental hardship or attack YOU will be the first place they’ll look.
Play Fair Keep my name out of your mouth and I’ll do the same. After you step down. ( Sike on the profanity warning) My Mother raised me better than that. Besides at 59 I know how to communicate with adult words.

Alexander Bunin Apr 10, 2021 - 3:44 pm

Torres-Walker withheld the information about being A FELON! Now, people are recognizing this! I’ve spoken to people in her district and they said they would never have voted for her if they knew this. I asked WHY did they vote for her in the first place. A few said they thought some “new blood” would revitalize the city. But now they know they made a huge mistake. They want her off the council! The City Attorney and the City Manager are NOT DOING THEIR JOBS and should be kicked out along with Torres-Walker. The woman is immature and dumb!

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