COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- As protestors chanted for change on the steps leading to City Hall, city leaders discussed ideas of what can be done to rebuild the trust between Colorado Springs Police and its community.
A special City Council work session was held Thursday evening. Mayor John Suthers was at the meeting and says he and the police department believe the only way to move forward is to implement a citizen advisory committee appointed by council members.
"A council appointed committee that's in charge of recommendations to [City Council] about how our police department might improve," Suthers said, adding anyone can apply for the committee. "We have a committee where we don't have a fiat of some already assembled group."
Council member Wayne Williams agrees but says officials still have to figure out how the group will be run.
"Should it be an open committee that is subject to open meetings and records?" Williams asked. "There are different options that are there."
City leaders say they've had multiple discussions with protest leaders about what should be done and they've been impressed with the conversations they've had. Williams says, "Protestors in Colorado Springs have been much more constructive about, 'how do we make things better?'"
Suthers agreed, saying, "I found them extremely thoughtful and much more interested in a two-way communication than some other elements in the community."
During the work session Councilman Bill Murray asked Suthers if any changes are happening now since there is no time table on when the committee will be ratified. Suthers says some changes at the police department are happening now, like barring officers from using chokeholds when making arrests.
Suthers anticipates it will take a few months before it is up and running. He and other leaders want it to be done quickly, but they also want it done right.
While no final decisions were made, another special work session to discuss options further is anticipated to happen next Tuesday.