A black former police commander has been named the interim police chief in Ferguson, the Missouri city that has had to grapple with stark racial disparities since the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager, at the hands of a white police officer in August 2014.
According to USA Today, the new chief, 50-year-old Andre Anderson, was a police commander in Glendale, Ariz. He says that his primary goal while serving as chief will be “simply to build trust, to develop community policing” in the divided city.
Along with the introduction of the new chief, Mayor James Knowles announced that Ferguson officers would be getting body cameras.
USA Today notes that Anderson intends to get out into the community and be a highly visible chief while working with officers to build positive relationships with city residents. He also announced that he plans to make use of recommendations from a federal Task Force on 21st-Century Policing and the Justice Department (pdf) “to cultivate relationships that we know and hope will reshape our direction in the city of Ferguson,” the news site notes.
Another goal of Anderson’s is to attract and hire black officers as well as incorporate de-escalation training and “bias awareness training.”
Read more at USA Today.