‘We want every community member to have a say’: Orlando residents invited to participate in virtual meeting on police, community interactions

After a summer of demonstrations across the country and in Orlando in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the city of Orlando created the community trust and equity initiative.

In October, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer made an announcement that the city council approved nearly $800,000 to bring in The Bowman Group, a police consulting company run by former Texas police chief Theron Bowman.

READ: Orlando hires third-party groups to ‘deep dive’ into police department, assess reform needs

“We want to find ways to really enhance the trust and improve relations with the police,” Bowman said.

The Bowman Group will review everything from how the department hires and trains officers to how officers are disciplined and held accountable.

Police Chief Orlando Rolon welcomed the review.

READ: Group highlights police violence while calling for focus on community healing

“The feedback we will get back will not only tell us the things we are doing right, it will actually give us an opportunity to look at things we can change moving forward,” he said.

Orlando police held virtual meetings of its own in the past to better understand the community’s needs.

The Bowman Group will host virtual meetings Monday and Wednesday night, but the police department isn’t invited so residents can feel free to talk about whatever’s on their mind.

READ: Orlando to spend more than $850K to review police policy, improve community relations

“We want every community member to have a say, to give us feedback so we can take this make a complete report,” Bowman said.

Everyone is invited to attend the virtual meetings, both of which start at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

Click here to register for Monday’s meeting.

Click here to register for Wednesday’s meeting.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.