DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Monday night's study session was mostly a conversation between the Police Chief James Getz and the Decatur city council.
While the method of policing in Decatur is under scrutiny, so is the recent increase of violent crime in the city. In a previous interview with Getz, he told WAND News 17 people were shot in August.
"There's a lot of people in this community that don't want shootings in their neighborhoods," Getz said. "I know we're not perfect and there's things we can improve in."
Getz told city leaders they're tied up dealing with the number of shootings. The study session included topics about police training, recruitment and transparency. The police chief admits he would like to see stronger consequences for violent offenders. Despite the desire to improve as a police department, it was met with sharp criticism from the public.
One person stood up the podium and told city leaders "I don't think the Black community is willing to trust the police overnight." He suggested defunding the police department and invest in social workers. Jacob Jenkins, an outspoken activist, said he commends Getz and his integrity.
"But there are a lot more people in his police department that need to have that same philosophy and that same ethos," Jenkins added.
Another person inquired about creating an elected citizen police review board. Getz, however, did say he is open to implementing new strategies to improve community-police relations.