We hear a lot about what parents tell their Black children about how to interact with the police to hopefully stay safe, but I would like to hear from the police ... [Continued]

Full question: We hear a lot about what parents tell their Black children about how to interact with the police to hopefully stay safe, but I would like to hear from the police about what they want to tell all children, teens and adults about what to do and not do when interacting with the police to reduce the risk of things escalating. I think it would also be a good idea for the police to know the specific information parents are telling their children so the police are aware of those instructions and won’t be surprised or confused about someone behaving a certain way.

Answer: Our Department regularly presents this kind of information to groups throughout the City, though it has been difficult during the pandemic. Our presentations focus on what to do when questioned by the police, either as a driver of a car, a witness, or a victim. 

As an aspect of these interactions and presentations, we discuss appropriate actions when stopped by the police in a car. These appropriate actions include keeping your hands where a police officer can see them, limiting movements while in the car, especially at night and simply not running away from the police. We always talk about issues surrounding a person’s refusal to identify themselves and what to do when officers may be executing a search warrant and what it means to give consent to searches. We have had some conversations with SHHS students, residents and specific community groups to learn more about what parents are telling their children about what to do if they are stopped by police. It is incredibly helpful for us to understand this better and we appreciate this kind of dialogue. We are always open to learning more.

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1. How can you make City officials more accessible to community?
2. Can the police be more proactive? Could this presentation be done for the community more broadly? [Continued]
3. How do we create a police department that engages the community and lessens the divide? [Continued]
4. The SHDC meets regularly with the merchants in the district, I don't believe the police have acted on the recommendation made months ago to join that group.
5. We hear a lot about what parents tell their Black children about how to interact with the police to hopefully stay safe, but I would like to hear from the police ... [Continued]
6. Would it be possible for our officers to be more proactive? [Continued]
7. Could the officers share a couple of the lessons learned or insights gained, with some specificity, by their interactions with HS students.
8. How will the community be made aware of specific changes to policing policies?
9. I didn’t hear about any recruiting from Shaker Heights High School - could that be a pipeline we work with?
10. Marty and Tim and the only community engagement officers referred to and they are both black. Why?
11. We need more of this relationship-building work; could that happen? What is needed to encourage this? What barriers prevent it from happening?
12. Is there a plan to continue outreach to teens if/when schools go online only?