After the murder of Andre Hill by the hands of police brutality, the people of the city of Columbus called for reforms to be brought to the police department to ensure this event wouldn’t repeat in the future. In response, Columbus City Mayor Andrew Ginther decided the first step would be to enlist a new police chief for the city.
The previous police chief, Thomas Quinlan had stepped down after the death of Hill, and the police department soon found itself without direction when they needed it most. Out of the nine officers selected to be considered for the role, four finalists were chosen to take over as police chief: Derreck Diggs, Elaine Bryant, Avery Moore, and Ivonne Roman.
Each finalist was previously an officer from out-of-state, and this will be the first time the city of Columbus chooses to elect someone who is not an Ohioan native. The Columbus Police Department stated that they will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting for citizens to get to know their options.
It is critical that these candidates be aware of the task ahead of them. In order to provide the reforms people are asking for, the new police chief will have to be anything but passive. Fortunately, it seems as though these four finalists see the need for not only strong leadership, but also department reforms in terms of police accountability.
As Diggs stated in his resume, “trust and transparency” are essential to reconstructing the relationship between the police and minority groups. That’s what it all comes down to. The people need to be able to trust the police again, and that can’t happen until they are properly held accountable for their actions. Hopefully through this new form of leadership, the city of Columbus, and by extension the U.S., will be able to stomp out police brutality and hold those who commit it accountable.