Law Enforcement Town Hall

Law Enforcement Town Hall
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Chandra Bryant-Haliburton’s son, Jahki, doesn’t always feel safe around police

“So I wanted him to hear it from other people, and most definitely from the police officer that were here, how to conduct his self,” Bryant-Haliburton said. “But in the same way how the officer can conduct themselves as well.”

It’s the reason the single, Joplin mother of three brought her family to speak directly to law enforcement.

“Honestly nowadays I feel kind of nervous because of all the things that have been going on,” 14-year old Jahki Bryant said.

The family is a sample of the 60 community members talking to representatives from 8 police and sheriffs departments.

Discussing national controversies and local concerns, Southwest Missouri law enforcement invite the public to a town hall meeting Tuesday to answer questions and inform citizens.

The town hall starts with questions about use of force and police accountability, even how to talk to or approach an officer.

Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser says becoming an officer changes a persons world view, which can lead to bias.

“They become cynical because the only people they ever deal with are people committing crimes,” Kaiser said. “And we have to be cautious about that. We have to be cautious about what that does to us.”

Sheriffs and police chiefs give an insight to policing practices. The audience tells what they want to see improve.

“We have to see each other as people first and foremost,” Kaiser said. “I think when we get together like this and we exchange concerns and exchange perspectives, I think we have a better understanding of the community we serve. And the community has a better understanding of us and our law enforcement roles.”

“I think my son has taken away a little more trust, a little more of the trust that has been lost due to the things we’ve seen on TV, Facebook, and all that good stuff,” Bryant-Haliburton said. “I think he has been a little more educated today. And I have as well.”

The Joplin branch NAACP organized the event at the Boys and Girls Club and hope to hold another one in the future.