City opens public dialogue on policing

A Cordova Police Department vehicle (August 2018) Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times

City officials have asked the public to share their views on policing in Cordova. A five-question online survey asks respondents to rate their satisfaction with the Cordova Police Department and to explain what activities they believe should be highest-priority for police. The survey will close Aug. 21.

The city will spend the next several weeks getting input from the community about the role of the Cordova Police Department. Changes of leadership in the department, as well as the renewal of a national dialogue on policing, provide an opportunity to discuss these issues, officials said.

Members of the public have raised questions about local policing methods and priorities that have yet to be answered, City Manager Helen Howarth said.

“This is a great opportunity to have a conversation around, ‘What do we want, what do we need, and how do we shape our police to respond to that?’” Howarth said. “I don’t want anyone to believe we’re attacking our police department — that’s not it at all… But I hope the community will feel comfortable and freely volunteer their thinking around policing.”

Public input will be used to inform an upcoming public discussion and Q&A with Mayor Clay Koplin and interim Police Chief Nate Taylor, according to a city release.