Second citywide forum planned to address community-police relations

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

PELHAM – A follow-up event to the Standing United for Progress citywide forum addressing relationships between law enforcement and Pelham residents is planned for July 26.

The first forum sought to discuss what issues existed between law enforcement and citizens, particularly from minority communities, and what changes could be made on each level to address them. Through the “Be the Change” survey a list of possible solutions was created and presented to Pelham City Council by Alabama Family Rights Association State President Kenneth Paschal.

“The reason for this second forum is to continue the conversation from the first forum and what we are doing with the results of the survey,” Paschal said. “The survey identified five things that the respondents felt were important to alleviate potentially deadly encounters but also to enhance the relationship between citizens and the law enforcement.”

Paschal stressed that Pelham is not experiencing the same issues that are being displayed on a national front. However, he said it is important to do “preventative maintenance checks and services” (PMCS), or routinely making sure to continue the conversation and moving forward with action steps.

Like the previous event, this forum will feature a diverse panel of community members as well as law enforcement officials and city leaders. This time the forum will also feature a clergy panel, and Paschal will update the community on the results of actions taken since the first meeting.

Paschal said that his desired end result of this is to enhance the community’s relationship with law enforcement and public officials, create a community relations committee and implement education programs on how to interact with law enforcement in city schools.

The “Standing United for Progress Citywide Informational Forum 2” will be live-streamed on YouTube for those who can not attend. Seating for the event will be limited due to social distancing, so Paschal is asking those interested to RSVP.

More information can be found by visiting Eventbrite.com/e/standing-united-for-progress2-tickets-113543036278.