New Clark County Law Enforcement Advisory Team to focus on three areas

The Clark County Law Enforcement Advisory Team was formed after nationwide protests connected to the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody in May. Bill Lackey/STAFF
The Clark County Law Enforcement Advisory Team was formed after nationwide protests connected to the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody in May. Bill Lackey/STAFF

Clark County’s newly formed Law Enforcement Advisory Team has given the public their first look into the team’s three areas of focus — community complaints, implicit bias training, education and outreach.

Clark County Law Enforcement Advisory Team chairperson Janea Ivory spoke about the team’s new role in the county at the Springfield Rotary meeting on Monday.

The team’s mission is to “fill the communication gap between the community and Clark County law enforcement,” Ivory said.

“When I say law enforcement I don’t mean just the sheriff’s office, I mean all throughout the community like where I live in German Township and all the other ‘burbs that may have their own smaller law enforcement operations going where the sheriff’s office sometimes send deputies to assist,” Ivory said.

The team plans to execute this mission through three broad areas of focus: reviewing community complaints made about deputies, building and conducting implicit bias training with all deputies and education and outreach within the community.

“We are literally going to be reaching both ways, teaching the community a little something about what is a complaint, what actually is a racist attack against us, what the law enforcement can do and shouldn’t do,” Ivory said. “We want a two-way street as far as education and community outreach.

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The Clark County Law Enforcement Advisory Team, referred to as CCLEAT, was established in July 2020 to work with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to give minorities and all community members “a stronger voice in law enforcement standards in our community and ensure that Clark County is a community where residents have safe and equal protection under the law,” according to the county.

The team was established in the wake of social justice protests nationwide that took place after the killing of George Floyd. Floyd was an unarmed black man who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. Officers were caught on video holding him down and one officer was shown kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Floyd’s death renewed conversations about police brutality and systemic racism in the country and prompted massive protests throughout the summer, including locally in Springfield, New Carlisle and Dayton.

Ivory said CCLEAT has no immediate plans for any community outreach with the trial of one of the officers charged with Floyd’s death, Derrick Chauvin, expected to wrap up this week.

“We will discuss that at our next meeting,” Ivory said.

The Board of Clark County Commissioners appointed the 10 founding members of CCLEAT, including Ivory, in late March.

Ivory was selected to serve as chair due to her extensive and expansive background.

She is a litigation specialist at Lexis Nexis who assists with civil litigation across the country. Some of her clients include Romanucci & Blandin, the law firm that recently won a $25 million settlement for the family of Floyd and Kirkland & Ellis, where the First Gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff, is a partner.

Prior to working at Lexis Nexis, Ivory spent 16 years as a reporter and editor for the Dayton Daily News. She is also married to a retired Springfield Police Officer.

ExploreRead more about the other members about the Clark County Law Enforcement Advisory Team

All CCLEAT members will serve for three years with a limit of two terms and come from every area of the county.

Ivory invited anyone interested in the conversations happening behind the scenes of CCLEAT to attend the team’s monthly meetings, which are open to the public. The team will next meet from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on May 5 online via Zoom.

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