Members of Arizona's Black Lives Matter movement sat down for a community forum with Tempe Police officials and the public Thursday night.
"There comes a time when you have to come to the table with an open mind and a closed mouth," Rev. Reginald Walton said, indicating his belief that conversations are more productive than protests.
The Tempe City Council's David Schapira hosted the event, which included a panel of police, community, and Black Lives Matter leaders.
"We support and love the police. That's why we're holding you accountable to be better in our community," Rev. Walton added.
The commander in charge of training at the Tempe Police Department described additional training officers are put through.
"We look at videos which have horrified us, talk through them, and talk about what could've been done differently," Commander Mike Horn told the crowd, referencing recent controversial police shootings from across the country.
"We spend significant time on communication, and how to de-escalate and slow things down," he added.
The department also brought in people who suffer from mental health issues, to help officers get a better understanding of how to handle some of the most stressful and difficult calls they face.
Tempe's new police chief, Sylvia Moir, emphasized the department's mission of unbiased policing.
"Biased-base policing undermines the very reason I get up each day and put on this uniform," Chief Moir said.
Organizers are planning additional community policing forums in the future.
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