Grassroots effort prompts community forum

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — Emerging out of the interest of a group of local professionals is a place to ask the hard questions in regard to the criminal justice system.

Being held at the Fort Piqua Plaza on Thursday at 6 p.m., community members in Sidney, Piqua, and Troy are being encouraged to attend this new event titled “Bridge Builders,” where panelists will discuss topics often highlighted in the national media, including the intersection of race, law enforcement, and community development.

Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison explained how he has been a part of discussions with a group of local professionals working to establish a forum to have a safe place to talk about race relations and community.

“What we’re hoping for is for some relationship building to come out of this meeting,” Jamison said.

The event is a grassroots movement instigated by a group of concerned citizens in the region, including members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. According to Jamison, they are seeking ways to prevent issues before they occur by offering a forum for dialogue in the community.

The panel of community leaders from Sidney, Piqua, and Troy include Chief of Police William Balling and Piqua High School Athletics Director Chip Hare, as well as a municipal court judge, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, and Karhlton Moore, executive director of the Office of Criminal Justice Services in Columbus.

Moore in particular will be discussing policy standards and statements on use of deadly force, recruitment, and hiring in regards to law enforcement.

This event will be a place to come and listen to multiple perspectives as well as ask questions and suggest ideas for actions that can be taken to build a bridge between the criminal justice system and the community.

According to Jamison, they are hoping that this event is the beginning of programs and relationships that will make the communities in this region stronger.

The Fort Piqua Plaza is located at 308 N Main St. There is an entrance next to Mulligan’s Pub. The plaza can also be accessed through the Piqua Public Library, which is located at 116 W High St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall