IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa City released a preliminary plan to restructure the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) to adopt community policing.
Last June, the City Council passed Resolution 20-159 that required the city to develop the preliminary plan by Tuesday, December 15, 2020. City Manager Geoff Fruin outlined the plan before the City Council’s work session on Tuesday.
The plan was to include, but not be limited to, “the reduction of the public’s reliance on police in non-violent situations through the use of unarmed professionals and to consider community policing initiatives in other cities.”
The City Council’s actions were in response to Black Lives Matter protests in Iowa City and elsewhere in the state and nation, sparked by the death of George Floyd by the actions of a Minneapolis, Minn. police officer.
The plan includes background on the Iowa City Police Department and recent community policing initiatives, a statistical overview, and 36 recommendations to address public health, community safety, and systemic racism.
The recommendations reflect three outcomes:
- A continuum of responses to crisis calls.
- A commitment to unbiased policing.
- An effort to “police forward,” or use unconventional and innovative solutions for common problems.
Some of the recommendations include:
- Creating a half-time permanent civilian Community Outreach Assistant position focusing solely on outreach and engagement with Iowa City’s growing immigrant and refugee population.
- Take an active role in marketing local crisis services to the public, including 24/7/365 Mobile Crisis unit to increase diversion of calls from ICPD to trained mental health counselors.
- Develop and implement a co-response team that pairs a specially trained Police Officer with a CommUnity Mobile Crisis mental health professional.
- Ensuring ICPD officers receive initial Crisis Intervention Training and continuing education in de-escalation techniques.
- Partner with the Iowa Department of Public Health to have ICPD officers carry Narcan to assistant people having an opioid overdose when no medical professional is present.
- Have ICPD conduct a comprehensive review of Field Training program for Probationary Officers and partner with the community to expand training “on the history of policing, past and ongoing disproportionate impacts on minority communities, steps Officers can take in their daily duties to be unbiased and anti-racist, crisis intervention, de-escalation, and awareness of existing prevention and diversion resources in the community.”
- Review ICPD 36 general orders, including Search and Seizure, Off-Duty Conduct: Powers of Arrest, Firearms, and Less Lethal Weapons. ICPD reviewed their Use of Force, Body Cams and In-Car Recorders, and Juvenile Procedures general orders in 2020.
- Have the ICPD permanently prohibit indiscriminate license plate checking and traffic stop initiation based on non-public safety secondary violations after considering modifications during the 60-day initial review period.
- Explore the creation of a county-wide Community Police Review Board.
- Explore a pilot program that requires ICPD officers to spend a portion of shift time volunteering with an Iowa City-based non-profit or working towards a community service project.
- ICPD should hold quarterly townhall listening posts.
They seek input from Iowa City residents by emailing PolicePlan@iowa-city.org or take a survey to provide feedback on specific recommendations.
Read the entire preliminary plan below:Preliminary Plan to Restructure the Police