Tacoma is making changes to how its police department operates

The city of Tacoma is making big changes to its police department following months of research.

It's been a difficult year for community and police relations in Tacoma. High-profile incidents involving the Tacoma Police Department, like the death of Manuel Ellis and an officer driving through a crowd, have created tension between police and the residents they protect. 

City officials have said they know change needs to happen; the question was finding out exactly what and how to change.

Over the last few months, the city has worked alongside a third-party company, 21CP Solutions, to find those answers.

In March, the city released dozens of recommendations 21CP Solutions provided on how to reform the police department. 

On Tuesday, the city released its plan for moving forward with those changes.

According to a 21-page document, Tacoma Police command staff reviewed the recommendations, and now are forwarding policy projects to the Tacoma Community Police Advisory Committee.

In total, there are 64 recommendations, including clearer policies on when officer use of force is justified and not. 

According to the document, TPD is already "in progress" for making the change regarding this recommendation, as well as many others. The next step in a lot of cases is "preparing for CPAC review."

But some community leaders feel more oversight is needed.

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"I think the city council has the capacity, the legal capacity, to implement the change the city is looking for," said Will Hausa.

Hausa is the Commissioner on African American Affairs for the state of Washington.

Hausa says too much of the honest for changing police is being placed on the police.

"That alarms me," he said.

Q13 News reached out to the Tacoma Police Department to speak with Tacoma Police Chief Mike Ake about this process. He was not available for comment.

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