SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield chapter of NAACP says it was a positive step forward when city manager Jason Gage proposed changes to the city council on Monday, Oct. 19.
The city is directly addressing the three requests made by the NAACP; those requests are:
- Banning vascular neck restraints
- Reducing the traffic stop disparity index
- Reforms to the police civilian review board
“After reviewing it very, very closely, we agreed that we could do that. It doesn’t affect our policing effectiveness,” said Gage.
Toni Robinson, with NAACP, says the group is happy about the ban on vascular neck restraints.
“I think everyone’s excited,” said Robinson. “We’re able to share that with our members yesterday on our call. Everyone was just elated. It was a long-fought victory.”
Gage says he also talked about the proposed changes to the review board with the city council. Robinson says NAACP wants it to be more reflective of the community.
“So Jason presented a series of changes that will be making in terms of making it more equitable and fairer to all people,” said Robinson.
“In every job I’ve had, never thought city manager needs to be recommending the boards, just doesn’t make sense, so that was pretty easy for me to throw away, and say ‘I don’t need to do that,'” said Gage. “So that means all of that goes to the council. They can choose all the members.”
The city council will also be hosting listening sessions called “tough talks” on Oct. 22, 26 and Nov. 9.