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After letter of no confidence, police reform task force softens timeline expectations

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The leader of a police reform task force is responding to public criticism from some of the group’s members.


Concerns that it would be too slow-moving have been present from the very start of the Law Enforcement Accountability Task force—which was formed last year to recommend police reform to lawmakers. 


After releasing a letter of no confidence in the group last week, some advocates want to side-step the task force, and directly advocate for faster change instead.


In the first meeting of a subcommittee since the letter came out, Committee chair State Rep. Frank Cooke says there’s been miscommunication related to the deliverables of the task force.


“We wanna make sure we do things right. And when it comes to recommendations and reform for our General Assembly to look at, I want it to be right.”


Signers of the letter expected the task force to propose legislation to the General Assembly by this past January. 


When the task force was formed last August, State Rep. Frank Cooke told Delaware Public Media he had hoped to get the report and legislation delivered to the General Assembly by January.


But so far the task force has only delivered an interim report, and no legislation has come out yet.


Cooke says he’s bound by the legislation that created the task force.


“I can’t do things beyond law. Are we still moving forward? Maybe not to everyone’s pace, but we’re moving forward.”


The legislation requires the task force to deliver a report and legislation to the 151st general assembly, which lasts through 2022.


Cook says that’s now the projected timeline for the task force.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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