The Ames City Council voted unanimously to approve the final “Policing in Ames” report priorities that focus on integrating accountability and diversity, equity and inclusion into the Ames Police Department during their biweekly meeting Tuesday night.
The report was finalized Nov. 10, 2020, and will be phased into the Police Department in the coming months under the direction of Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff.
Huff overviewed each of the 21 changes to the council members, including the six already implemented, as well as a projected timeline for completion for each. Major changes include the creation of the Ames Resident Police Advisory Committee (ARPAC), which would be tasked with advising the police chief on the handling of complaints made against officers, including harassment, excessive force and discrimination.
“We’re able to consider creating this committee from, what I feel, is a position of strength… This isn’t coming from crisis, it’s coming from continuous improvement, and I think that’s really to be celebrated,” said Ward 3 Rep. David Martin.
The City Council also unanimously approved the first ordinance to create the ARPAC, following council members' discussions on potential student positions, lengths of committee member terms and ways to engage underrepresented populations to create a diversity committee.
In addition to the “Policing in Ames” report review, the Ames City Council reviewed the city staff report on an inclusive crosswalk in Campustown. Based on city staff recommendations, the current plan for this addition is scheduled for May 2022, following the end of the spring semester.
They also voted unanimously to approve a new budget for the Downtown Plaza Ice-Skating Ribbon that will include natural ice and listened to a presentation from the State Games of Iowa on the State Games of America, which will be hosted in Ames and Des Moines in July 2022.
A video recording of the City Council meeting can be found here. The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 28, 2021 in City Hall.