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Panel to continue police reform discussion

Eleanor Revelle.

Evanston’s Human Services Committee, chaired by Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, is scheduled to continue discussions today about restructuring city services that were sparked by defund police protests.

At its 5 p.m. online meeting the committee is scheduled to hear details from Health and Human Services Director Ike Ogbo about how the city partners with various agencies in the community to provide services to people facing crisis situations.

A memo Ogbo provided to the committee ahead of the meeting offered no details about those programs but suggested the need to assess the short- and long-term outcomes the programs are able to achieve for residents who come in contact with them.

Last Thursday the United States Conference of Mayors released a report on Police Reform and Racial Justice from a panel chaired by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

That report rejected calls to defund police. Instead it calls for putting more money into social services, empowering police chiefs to hold officers accountable and creating policies that requires officer to intervene when they see another officer using excessive force.

The Human Services Committee two weeks ago started its review with a look at how some emergency tasks might be shifted away from the police department.

The committee is scheduled to continue its meetings weekly now through early September in hopes of having specific recommendations for change ready in time to incorporate into the city’s 2021 budget. The proposed budget is scheduled to be released in early October.

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