COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus community leaders and activists are weighing in about the presumed new Columbus Chief of Police.
NBC 4 sources say Elaine Bryant has been tapped for the job.
Community members have backed Bryant since the candidate town hall last month, saying she was in their top two for the job.
“It’s been a long time coming, this is a historic day in Columbus,” said DaVante Goins.
Goins is with the Black Liberation Movement of Central Ohio and said he’s ready to welcome Bryant.
“Making it more inclusive and fair for everybody, but not only that, but building and bridging the divide between the community and CPD because it’s not going to be an easy task,” Goins said. “We can’t expect her to come in here and overnight or in 90 days or even in 120 days to clean up, but we have to give her time and be willing to work with her.”
Noel Williams with B.R.E.A.D. is eager for change.
“Diversity being the first African American woman, accountability, transparency, working on bringing about a culture change within CPD starting with reconciliation,” she said.
Goins and Williams want Bryant to stick by her townhall message — they want communication and they want it to start ASAP.
“Listening but structured listening is important,” Williams said. “Just having a town hall meeting with people listening and talking, you got to do it deliberately. There’s got to be reconciliation.”
Goins added, “Speak with the community at all costs, don’t ever lose that touch, and as you had told us in the town hall, that you’re coming in to help humanize the badge. Keep that in mind and allow that to be your philosophy moving forward.”
The city hasn’t made an official comment on the chief position.
There is no word when the city will make an announcement. Mayor Andrew Ginther previously stated that he would have a decision ready by the end of May.