Mayor Makes First Public Statement On Turner Report

COLUMBUS (CITY OF COLUMBUS RELEASE) – Mayor Robert Smith and members of the Columbus City Council have begun studying the details of the
six-month study of the Columbus Police Department that was concluded on Tuesday.

At the regular City Council meeting on August 1, Mayor Smith and the six members of the Council
were presented a 95-page in-depth study of the police department by Dr. KB Turner of Memphis, TN. Turner
was commissioned by the City Council in January to prepare an extensive study of the department with detailed
recommendations for changes.
In keeping with the arrangement made with Turner, no city officials saw the report prior to the Tuesday  meeting. Because of that arrangement, these same officials are indicating the need for additional time to study the report.
“There is a lot of information in those pages,” said Mayor Robert Smith. “Dr. Turner did all we ask and
more and did incredible work. But since we literally saw it for the first time ever when he handed it out at the meeting, we need some time to read and reread the analysis and the suggestions,” Smith said.
“When we commissioned the study, we didn’t want a bullet list of areas of concern. Instead we asked for detailed research to substantiate the recommendations. That research is included in the report along with wideranging recommendations concerning everything from equipment to personnel, Smith added.
Dr. Turner outlined several pages of recommendations in the 30-minute presentation to the Council.
After the public meeting, Turner met with the Council and Mayor in executive session concerning personnel items contained in the report.
“The discussion in executive session is private by law to protect the personnel being discussed,” Mayor
Smith said Friday. “I can’t go into what was said, but I want residents to know that the entire report and the  many recommendations are now being studied and I am certain that the Council will act on many of these items in one form or another.”
There has been talk of extending Turner’s contract for six more months to allow his direction on
implementing many of the changes.
“We will consider the best ways possible to help our city and the police department,” Mayor Smith said.  “We’ve got a new group of recruits coming to the PD in the next two weeks and I believe Dr. Turner’s guidance with them would benefit them and us. Then he would work with us to form a committee to help with the other changes.”
Mayor Smith said the Council will discuss the report again at its next regular meeting August 15, 2017.
“It will be on the agenda and by that time all of us will have had the chance to study it more,” Smith added.


Letter to CPD From Mayor Smith



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