Deltas In Search of Change
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority of Chattanooga intended to bridge the gap between minorities and law enforcement through a virtual panel discussion with Sheriff Jim Hammond and other officials Wednesday.
“To engage in this much needed conversation on policing the black community and law enforcement efforts in community relations” said Vernisha Savoy of Delta Sigma Theta.
With Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond and other officials in attendance, the topic of deescalation came about.
“We now have over 400 officers who received training on deescalation to lower that temperature when we get out on scene” said Sheriff Hammond.
The sheriff’s office faced controversy in recent history, where deputies have been accused of using excessive force.
“I never totally go on what video shows. The worst you can do as a nation is part of what we’re doing now which is sentencing people based on a video” said Sheriff Hammond.
Sheriff Hammond says the best way for the black community and other minority groups to build a positive relationship with law enforcement is to step into the roles of authority.
“I’m 50 officers short in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. I think the African American community has a golden opportunity.”
“Change starts from the inside -out” said owner of the Parlor Boys barbershop on Brainerd road Arius Davis.
The sheriff’s office says they are looking forward to sitting down with black religious and business leaders like Davis.
“In order for anything productive to happened there has to be communication and there has to be a bridge to come across the gap between the community and law enforcement” said Davis. “As well as legislation, congress and things of that nature.”