CMPD start transparency workshop, bridge gap with community

CMPD is getting results for protesters who demanded transparency following the deadly police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

About 40 people took part in the first ever transparency workshop Wednesday where they learned what it’s like to be in a police officer’s boots.

FOX 46 Charlotte’s cameras were not allowed inside but the station spoke to several people who signed up for the class as they headed in.

CMPD came under fire from the community for the handling of the Keith Scott shooting, many pointing to the department’s lack of transparency.

“This is what we asked for. We asked for some transparency, we asked for the department and officials to make it available for us, that it’s transparent so we could see what’s going on,” Greg Jackson said, community activist.

CMPD is getting results by putting people in different scenarios from an officer’s perspective, which they hope will spark conversation.

“The police department is completely ineffective unless we have the support from our community. And I think that this will tie us closer together. I think it’s going to bridge a lot of the gaps. I think this will answer a lot of questions that go unanswered to a lot of the people in this community,” Cpt. Rob Dance said with CMPD.

Some of the things police plan to go through include a firearms training simulator where quick decision making is key and a routine traffic stop. Jeana Reynolds signed up to learn about use of force and body cameras.

“With all the issues that were going on in the town I thought it would be interesting to see more in the day-of type information,” she said.

The workshop is similar to the Citizens Academy; however it’s only three classes. There’s no screening or selection process.

“First-come, first-serve. They’re from all over Mecklenburg County from just about every neighborhood you can imagine.”

The class filled up in three days. Jackson said now that it’s available the community needs to get involved.

“It’s our job to show up. It’s our job to be active and take advantage of these workshops that are out here. So, we really can’t tell people what’s wrong with the department or see if there are faults with the department if we don’t really know the insides of the department or what goes on in details behind the scenes,” Jackson explained.

CMPD said the workshop will continue to be offered with the next class starting in February.