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Dan Spalding
Reporter Dan Spalding enjoys politics and cats and the mayhem both sometimes provide.

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Reporter Dan Spalding writes about Elkhart, politics and current events for the Elkhart Truth.

Call for diversity training raised at Elkhart council meeting

Two people spoke about police issues at Monday’s meeting.

Posted on Aug. 19, 2014 at 6:55 p.m.

ELKHART — The Elkhart City Council briefly heard indirect references to the Garfield Avenue incidents at the tail end of the Monday, Aug. 18, meeting.

During the public comment period, two people briefly touched on the issue.

Gary Johnson asked the council to urge Mayor Dick Moore to increase funding for diversity training. His comment was short and to the point, but it comes just days after a group included diversity training in its proposals sent to Moore to help improve police relations with south central neighbors.

Moments later, Reyna Gutierrez said she is concerned about excessive force, harassment and the shooting of unarmed citizens (and in doing so, mentioned a case from 20 years ago).

She asked rhetorically what the city has in place to prevent a “Ferguson,” referring to the unrest in a St. Louis suburb where a police officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old man.

Council members had no reaction to the comments, which is standard policy when receiving public comment at the end of regular meetings.

Moore received proposals last week from Elkhart Community Roundtable, but seemed to reject the package and said solutions need to be broader.

The mayor is expected to offer his own thoughts on the issue soon.

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