COLUMBUS (WCMH) – As the last four candidates for the next Columbus Police Chief put their cases out on why they want the job, many residents watched from their homes to hear what they had to say.
Executives from the BREAD Organization, Public Faith and Black Liberation Movement in central Ohio shared their thoughts on what they saw during the meeting and felt that town hall felt more like a job interview than a meeting in the community felt.
However, some of them narrowed down their two best candidates.
“I’d really like to see the two women,” said Noel Williams, a member of the BREAD Organization’s police reform committee.
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“I would, too, and not just because they are women,” added Rev. Susan Smith, founder of Crazy Faith Ministries. “Because they seem to have a different spirit, yes.”
The two finalists are Elaine Bryant from Detroit and Ivonne Roman from Newark. The last four candidates are joined by Derrick Diggs from Fort Myers and Avery Moore from Dallas.
DaVante Goins, vice president of the Black Liberation Movement in central Ohio, said Bryant spoke to him.
“If she’s named boss, she has to come in and go to the Linden wards, go to the Hilltop wards, and talk to pastors like Bishop Washington and others – sit with the FOP – sit with all of these wards together and bridge the gap, ”he said.
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Williams wants to hear more from Ivonne Roman.
“When she talked about it, it made sense to me because that said, for me, she’ll do the research,” she said. “She will look at the evidence. For them it is important that there are more minorities and more people of color. “
Overall, the group felt that the town hall lacked interaction with the community.
“It was a top-line interview at best,” said BREAD Co-President James Wynn. “It wasn’t really about the meat, the meat, ‘if this is the problem, how would you specifically deal with it?'”
Everyone had questions that were still open after the town hall.
“How would you deal with black communities, especially all these murders?” Ask Bishop Donald Washington with Mount Herman Baptist Church. “That’s what I want to know.”
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“Dealing with the problems of this police department,” said Smith. “They didn’t even get involved and that disappointed me.
One thing that everyone also agreed on was that the questions could have been more specific, hoping for a more intimate gathering to be able to ask the candidate questions in real time.