When push comes to shove planning and preparedness can only go so far. In these instances, building and fostering relationships has been proven to be effective in getting the resources needed in critical situations. The City of Dayton didn’t have the most ideal 2019 – incidents happen one after another before the city’s first responders even had the chance to take a breather. At this time when the community’s resilience was tested, inadvertent heroes rose to extend a helping hand where it counts.
This session’s speaker is Wendy Stiver, the former Commander of the Central Patrol Operations Division under the Dayton Police Department, which she’s served for more than two decades. She’s a proponent of Evidence-Based Policing and served as a Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholar with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). She is currently the Director of Research and Procedural Justice for the Charleston Police Department in South Carolina.
Wendy’s discussion revolved around Dayton’s hectic 2019. Specifics include:
- A recap of the tumultuous year – preparing for foreseeable events, responding to unpredictable ones, and overcoming each of it.
- The Oregon District Shooting.
- An overview of the district, the feel of the town, and the level of engagement of the community with its law enforcement as demonstrated with the community bartenders’ Facebook group that shares information with Dayton PD.
- A detailed timeline of the events that transpired and dealing with the immediate moments after the shooting.
- The hectic aftermath of the shooting incident.
- Organizing the first major press conference and notification of the families of the deceased.
- The issue brought about by a red candle lighted during the candlelight vigil.
- The influx of media which caused problems to the businesses within the district.
- Planning for the arrival of the president and the protest it generated.
- The memorial that appeared outside the bar which attracted crowds and caused issues for the businesses.
- Well-intentioned performers that decided to help out the community by staging events within the area which attracted even more crowds and required security and assistance.
- Other organizations and individuals that intended to help that started coming into the community.
- Zeroing in on the collaboration that took place during these events.
- How local businesses stepped forward by voicing out their opinion and through fund-raising and donation drives.
- Local business owners coordinating with law enforcement to provide investigative leads.
- Media helping out resolve the parking problems brought to the businesses.
- Fire Department helping out to provide order and security amidst the protests.
- Community members extending appreciation and helping around.
- Collaboration between various agencies on how to best respond to the event, secure the scene, and notify the families of the deceased.
- Help from various sectors to ensure the events staged to help the community is coordinated and organized.
- Providing the community with support and assistance where they most need it.
Questions from the audience were about:
- Maintaining community engagement while complying with COVID-19 limitations.
- How probationers can provide support to the community amidst such a critical incident.
- Dealing with the first responders’ trauma to the incident.
- “How having a relationship in place with the community before a critical incident occurs pays huge dividends. Great job by Wendy!” — Ron
- “I thought the presenter was really knowledgeable about her subject matter and her slides really added a lot to her presentation.” — Sheila
- “It was helpful to hear about community connection and checking in with the community about what is needed before providing things that are not needed.” — Summer
- “All of the information provided was beneficial, and usable in our Mental Health/Consulting Agency.” — Shirley
- “Wendy stiver is great. I also like how she gave ideas for probation/parole officers to be more in the community.” — Nia
- “It is important for police to understand that they are “part” of the community and not ruling over the community. I think when we have positive relationships in our community we can avoid incidents before they get out of hand.” — Michael
- “I learned so many things but asking “What do you need?” really jumped out at me. She gave a new and much needed perspective for me. She took a very heavy subject and using humor kept it light enough for me to absorb what I needed without getting emotional. I would love to attend more of her webinars!” — Jeannette
- “The presenter was open, honest, and real about her experience in coping with trauma following her response – huge coming from LE! It was also extremely helpful to hear practical, real ways to help communities and individuals affected – helping with the towed car and the sick cat. And, it was inspiring. Recognizing that coping and help can come in different forms was a great point I took away from this presentation.” — Carol