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Montgomery Outlines Plans To Improve Police-Community Relations

San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery speaks at a press conference be...

Photo by Andrew Bowen

Above: San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery speaks at a press conference before her first Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee meeting, Feb. 6, 2019.

San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery laid out her vision Wednesday for improving police-community relations, including tougher civilian oversight of police misconduct investigations and incentives for officers to live in the communities where they work.

Montgomery, a former attorney with the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter, was elected last year on a platform that included greater police accountability and transparency. Her appointment in December as chair of the council's Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee gives her a chance to help shape the conversation at city hall.

In a news conference Wednesday before her first meeting in that role, Montgomery said she plans to use the committee to review the use of force policies and efforts by the San Diego Police Department to address suspected racial profiling outlined in a 2016 study by SDSU researchers.

RELATED: Monica Montgomery Discusses Win, Future On The San Diego City Council

She also said many of her constituents in District 4, which includes most of southeastern San Diego, tell her they want police to be more courteous in their interactions with residents.

"We can go a long way with when we have those contacts, to treat folks the same way consistently," she said.

Montgomery added that a comprehensive officer recruitment and retention plan would help improve accountability and transparency and that she would explore low-cost housing loans and down payment assistance to encourage police officers to live in the communities where they work.

"It's important that law enforcement agencies reflect the cultural, racial and gender diversity of the communities that they serve and protect," she said.

Newly-elected San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery now chairs the council's Public Safety Committee. She says she wants to improve police accountability and transparency.

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