Brian Hamacher

Pastors, Broward Sheriff Meet to Discuss Community Relations

Pastors and city commissioners from all over Broward met with the county's top cop Monday to prevent the kind of violence seen recently in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas.

The community leaders say it's an effort to go beyond protests and demonstrations and improve relations, and said they want the community to build trust in law enforcement.

"We are here today to let the Broward Sheriff know we want to join with them at the conference table. We know what has gone wrong, we know where we are but where can we go together," pastor Dr. Dennis Grant said.

They also said they want alternatives to deadly force and want deputies to focus on diffusing tense situations, which Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said is becoming part of the training.

"The ultimate goal is to make sure we de-escalate and diffuse situations when we can. That's what we want to do, we've already brought de-escalation in to our repertoire and our detectives will be learning about that," Israel said.

Israel added that he's bringing in an outside consultant to evaluate BSO's training and make recommendations on what is being done right and what needs improvement.

The pastors said they'll hold a vigil for the five officers and two men killed last week. The vigil is Tuesday at Rev. Samuel Develow Memorial Park in Fort Lauderdale at 6 p.m.

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