COLUMBUS, Ohio — Members of the community were able to bring their frustrations to the Columbus Chief of Police on Tuesday night. It was a part of a forum led by faith leaders held at the Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church.
Chief of Police Elaine Bryant and Assistant Chief of Police Lashanna Potts heard from dozens of people in the community about negative experiences they had with officers in the past.
Many of the situations that were brought up happened before Bryant stepped into the leadership role. But many people said it was still necessary that she heard the concerns.
"It's going to take time to change some of these things that are occurring,” Chief Bryant said. “We're going to work toward the things that you're talking about, but we can see already the changes that have occurred just within the short time of us being here."
Community member Nakea Hughes said that having Bryant there made her feel like what she had to say was finally heard.
"Chief Bryant is actually going to be effective,” she said. “She is actually trying to combat it which is why she's trying to have these forums.”
10TV spoke with Senior Minister Vince Ford of Church of Christ. Ford said he believes that conversations like these are important and helpful.
Ford said the next step after this forum is to continue to grow the connections that were made on Tuesday.
"The longer that we continue to do that, I believe, the better we'll have the opportunity to make some change happen in our city. Homicide is a problem, gun violence is a problem, and if we're not going to do what we say we're going to do, then it's just going to get progressively worse,” Ford said.
Hughes has faith that this conversation is a good step to help more people in Columbus gain trust in law enforcement.
"It's like picking at a scab, [you have] to let it heal, and she will. I believe we'll make some effective changes,” Hughes said.