KGAN-TV CBS 2 – Iowa City Diversity Recommendations

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) — Kingsley Botchway says they’re attempting to turn anger into solutions

“People were getting upset…and the council did something about it,” Botchway said.

His diversity committee was tasked with exploring issues facing minority populations.

The first target – public transit.

“People feeling that they couldn’t get from point A to point B on the weekends,” Botchway said.

Among the recommendations of the committee:
Provide additional service options, especially on weekends.
Provide Education on how to use public transit
Increase number of bus shelters and seats at downtown interchange
Improve communication between other area transit service
Public Transit wasn’t the only thing the report addressed. The committee also addressed the “mutual feelings of distrust” between citizens and the police department.

“Intimidation, people were scared, people wanted to see consistency,” Botchway said.

He said the department could use a shift in philosophy.

“Its not about serving, its about protecting, that’s one of the things we talked about.”

Among the recommendations for law enforcement:
Increase awareness of citizen review board and complaint process
Provide more education for officers
Provide education to he community on their rights
Embracing a ‘Protect AND Serve’ approach
“Once they know you, and you know them, then there’s a mutual respect,” Botchway said.

Public transit is already putting together a survey to gather suggestions. An update on the progress of the recommendations for both departments is expected by early June.

Neither the police department nor public transit officials were available for comment on Wednesday.

[Source: “Iowa City Diversity Recommendations,” KGAN-TV CBS 2, Wednesday, April 10 2013, 11:07 PM CDT]

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