TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The first Black Mayor of Tempe Corey Woods is forming a public safety task force that he will lead himself. Woods said the task force is about bringing people of all backgrounds into one room or Zoom call with the police department. He hopes it'll lead to positive change and possibly policy moving forward.
"The reality is we are going to have people from a bunch of different backgrounds," said Mayor Woods. "And I'm going to ask them to provide their honest, candid perspective on things."
Woods hopes this new task force breaks barriers between the public and police.
"What better way to talk best practices and kind of how we all want to move forward than bringing in everyone together to have this conversation on a task force," said Woods.
The badge has been under a microscope since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. The mayor said this task force will identify or create proactive policies to build trust, accountability and dialogue.
"That George Floyd situation did spark a larger conversation that's being had all through our communities," said Mayor Woods. "And so I think it's important that we have this discussion."
The advisory group will also focus on data, training, hiring and how the city treats people of color and those with mental illness. Mayor Woods wants you to know the department receives high marks from its citizens.
"Police department actually scores very highly among our residents in terms of their ability to provide public safety for all of our members of the community," said Woods.
Arizona's Family reached out to the Tempe Police Department for comment. A spokesman sent us this statement:
"The Tempe Police Department strongly supports Mayor Woods' public safety task force. We are wholly committed to examining our police department and the way we engage with our community including acknowledging and replicating the areas where we continue to excel. Additionally, this process will address several societal issues of policing including how we interact with minority members of the community and those struggling with mental health. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with all members of our community and continuing our mission of reducing harm while fostering trust within our city."