CORAL SPRINGS, FL – A new task force has formed to look for ways to improve law enforcement in Coral Springs in the wake of police brutality protests locally and across the nation.

The group will consist of Coral Springs City Commissioner Joshua Simmons, religious leaders and residents, as well as top officials from the Coral Springs Police Department, including Police Chief Clyde Parry.

Members will meet at least several times and discuss strategies on how best to prevent African-Americans, Hispanics, and other people of color from being abused or injured at the hands of police officers during traffic stops and other law enforcement incidents, said Simmons, who is serving as City Commission liaison to the group.  

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“This will be a collaborative effort to improve the policing profession,” Simmons said.

Simmons declined to discuss the specifics of what will be on the table in the discussions, saying the changes, if any, will be made public after the meetings take place and organizers get to discuss them in private.

What is clear is that there won’t be a push to “defund” Coral Springs police, a call that has grown across the country after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and the killings of other black people by police officers.

Simmons said at this week’s City Commission meeting that the term “defund” is “bad narrative.” He said the message is more about reallocating police resources toward the community. But what, if any, resources the task force is considering asking to reallocate in Coral Springs isn’t clear yet.

Other commissioners supported the task force, including Commissioner Shawn Cerra who said he backs efforts for people to get educated and informed.

Reached Thursday, Simmons said one of the key goals of the task force is to make sure police interactions “are positive” for everyone.

“We want to bring humanity to law enforcement,” he said. “We all understand what’s at stake and what happening.”

 

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