COLUMUBS, Ohio — After the protests in 2020, the Columbus police department has tried to explore new ways to build stronger relationships with the community.
Dialogue officers will be used primarily at social justice rallies and other community events to educate people about their rights, local resources, and the rules about protesting. The decision to create this team came after the police department inspected how the protests were handled in 2020.
These past two years, they’ve gathered research and traveled abroad to Europe, to study how dialogue teams at the departments function. Sergeant Fredrick Brophy said this team will allow for more understanding for everyone, no matter their cause.
“What they are there to do is be an impartial vehicle through which citizens can communicate with the leadership of the division so that situations don’t escalate or get out of control,” said Brophy.
The team is built on a volunteer basis. Right now there are only two dialogue officers, but the department is planning to add more members over time, as they take the time to carefully vet prospects.