Columbia’s local NAACP chapter wants community input on how the city can improve policing.
The organization is holding a community event to craft recommendations around five topics: racial profiling, economic opportunities, civility and accountability, mental health and community engagement.
Columbia NAACP chapter President Mary Ratliff says she wants to present around 25 recommendations related to policing and economic disparities to the city of Columbia.
Ratliff says she is encouraged by the Columbia Police Department’s involvement in the event.
“We have to...be able to talk about those biases and work through those biases to get where we want to go and they’ve shown a willingness to do that as have the community so we feel positive that we can make some things happen,” Ratliff says.
Ratliff says tomorrow’s event is the result of more than a year of working with the police department.
Ratliff previously organized a forum on community policing in August that was attended by the mayor, the Columbia chief of police and the city manager. This upcoming event is intended to build off of the ideas generated at the event.
“We find it very valuable and important to engage with our community... and to hear firsthand from them,” Brian Adkisson, communications and marketing manager for the city of Columbia says.
The event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Second Missionary Baptist Church.