Winchester Community Forum talks about law enforcement and racial tensions

Virginia

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — City of Winchester leaders held a community forum this weekend to discuss the relationship between law enforcement and residents, as well as racial tensions.

“I want action to come out of this. I don’t just want conversations, but we’ve got to have the conversations first,” said Mayor John David Smith.

The forum lasted for over two hours at Shenandoah University with an in-person crowd as well as an online audience. A panel made up of local law enforcement and city officials aided in the community discussion by answering questions from the public.

The Winchester Chief of Police mentioned being more transparent with “use of force” data.

“We’re going to strive to get that information uploaded on our website, on social media, so people can understand the frequency in which we use, use of force… who we use it on,” said Winchester Chief of Police John Piper.

A committee will now decide what steps to take following the recent public discussion.

The City of Winchester plans to hold more community forums regarding law enforcement and racial tensions in the city. No dates have been set yet for when those will occur.

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