Texas leaders discuss ways to stop violence to or by officers

The memorial for fallen officers has grown outside of Dallas Police headquarters Sunday, July 10, 2016. (KXAN Photo/Arezow Doost)
The memorial for fallen officers has grown outside of Dallas Police headquarters Sunday, July 10, 2016. (KXAN Photo/Arezow Doost)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas leaders are meeting Tuesday to discuss ways to reduce the number of injuries and deaths to or by law enforcement officers.

The Senate Committee on Criminal Justice is reviewing law enforcement efforts to engage community leaders as well as how dangers to officers are assessed.

Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston says he plans to file legislation that will require schools to educate children on how to interact with law enforcement during a traffic stop. Whitemire says the bill is part of an effort to combat escalated situations between officers and civilians.

“There is no home team or visiting team. We must all come together to develop the best strategies to improve relations and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” stated Senator Whitmire in a statement. “Increased training and education for both peace officers and our students will help foster positive relations and interactions.”

Austin police and the Texas Department of Public Safety said at the meeting they plan to start including information about how you can file a complaint against an officer, right on the citation they hand you.

Police Chief Art Acevedo and DPS Director Steve McCraw agreed to provide the information on tickets. McCraw said politeness is essential to securing consent and cooperation in the field. “[If] you don’t treat people with respect, you get nothing. It’s unproductive to be rude,” McCraw said.

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