ALVIN, Texas - The Alvin Police Department is the latest Brazoria County agency to join forces with the NAACP for police reform.
After meeting with Alvin Police, Eugene Howard, Brazoria County’s NAACP President, told FOX 26 that more than 65 percent of police departments in the county are now on board to create better practices in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
“I want to commend Chief Lee and the Alvin Police Department for agreeing to work with the NAACP,” said Howard.
Alvin Police Department is one of several who are lending an ear to the NAACP to find out how they might improve community and police relations following the death of George Floyd.
“We are part of the community, and as such, we should be and want to be part of the solution,” said Alvin Police Chief Robert Lee.
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One change on the way: more recruitment from historically black colleges and universities.
“I’m more than happy to recruit from them because I just need qualified people,” said Lee. “Mr. Howard is supposed to be providing me a list of his contacts, and we will be notifying them the next time we have a hiring.”
“If we can get officers that come from different backgrounds that can be at the table, that’s something that’s very much appreciated and very much welcome,” said Howard.
It turns out Alvin police and the NAACP already agreed on a lot.
“We were pleasantly surprised to find out we had a lot of ideas in common,” said Lee. “Training in dealing with mentally impaired, training on dealing with different cultures, races, training on uses of force that aren’t specifically deadly force.”
“Again, the NAACP does not want to defund the police,” said Howard. “That has never been our stance. We understand how difficult policing is, how difficult it is for them to make those rash or irrational decisions at the drop of a dime.”
Angleton, Pearland and West Columbia police have also joined forces with the NAACP to build confidence that racism, excessive use of force, and injustice don’t exist in their departments.
“West Columbia’s numbers have been very positive and reflective of our demographic,” said Dietrich von Biedenfeld, West Columbia Mayor Pro Tem. “There haven’t been disparities that reflect any sort of bias or prejudice.”
“We actually said, hey you know what? Let’s get a little bit more diversity on our training board, which happens to be one of the initiatives that the NAACP is pushing for which is more citizen input in training,’” said Pearland Police Asst. Chief Chad Randall.
Lee added one thing he’d like to have is a database showing officers who have been fired for violations of various labor laws, and such a database will be up to the state or federal legislature to enact.