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Hope City Board Discusses Police Policy Updates, Streetscape Project and City Manager’s Contract

Hope City Board members met Tuesday September 1, for their regular monthly meeting. The meeting began with the invocation and pledge of allegiance and was then called to order by Mayor Steve Montgomery. 

The board reviewed the minutes from last meeting and approved them before moving to the next item of new business. 

CONSIDER POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY UPDATE
The board spoke with Chief of Police J.R. Wilson who was online to share information on the topic consideration. He presented some primary changes on the Police Use of Force policy. Wilson shared info on how these changes would be properly taught to officers for enforcement and shared his views on how these changes would have a positive outcome. He stated that the public can film police officers and that officers are educated not to stop bystanders from filming public police force acts. The changes were approved by the board. Below are the primary police changes. 

Primary changes include:
1. Add statement regarding duty to intervene
2. Add statement regarding duty to care for persons in Police custody
3. Added statement regarding de-escalation
4. Added statement regarding cessation of force
5. Added statement regarding failure to submit to arrest
6. Added language regarding Lateral Vascular Neck Restraints and Chokeholds
7. Added additional definitions
8. Added language regrading when deadly force is considered objectively reasonable
9. Added language regarding sanctity of life and HPD’s goal to protect constitutional and civil liberties.
10.Added language regarding safety, tactical consideration and the Critical Decision-Making Model
11. Other minor additions

UPDATE ON DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE PROJECT
City Manager Catherine Cook shared information stating that the Downtown Tourism Commission and Hope Water & Light have agreed to each give $60,000 towards the Downtown Streetscape Project. This should allow the project to proceed at its current level with the updated funding amounts. The project will be submitted to ArDOT for the next steps in project development. The board approved it and more information will be presented to the board as the project proceeds. 

CITY MANAGERS PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
The board entered a scheduled executive session to discuss the City Managers Performance Evaluation and decide whether to extend Cooks employment for another year. After executive session ended, a majority vote of 6-1, with Director Mark Ross voting against, passed approval for the renewal of the contract and another motion was made and approved to raise Cooks annual salary by $6,000. 

CITY MANAGERS REPORT
Cook shared information on current projects inside the City of Hope, saying the rain has put a damper on the rail spur project, and the 6th Street project saying it is underway and they hope to bid the project in October. No signups have been received so far for the Urban Deer Hunting in the City Limits. The plaque for the Hub in Downtown Hope has been ordered, and repairs to the Hub have been made to prevent leakage. 

The meeting was adjourned and they will reconvene on September 22 for their next regular meeting.

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