AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Akron police and city leaders invited the community to express their concerns at a public forum Saturday, following several recent police shooting incidents.

Saturday’s conversation follows the Akron police shooting that killed Jayland Walker in June and three separate police shootings in Akron over the past three months.  

Akron resident, Donele, says she came to Burning Bush Church in Akron tonight to make her voice heard.

“I care about the community, and we need to encourage more conversation for reconciliation between the people, the law enforcement and the church,” shared Donele. 

Hearing the community’s thoughts: a panel of Akron city leaders including the mayor, church pastors, community activists and the police chief.

“In my humble opinion, whether I am right or wrong, the biggest burden is on us to build it. To build that bridge,” said Akron Police Chief, Steve Mylett. 

Gary Wyatt, who is an Akron community activist, says Saturday’s panel was an important first step. 

“To help us all acknowledge what is going on. To sit down and really make a difference and talk to one another,” explained Wyatt. 

Wyatt believes it is a showing that city leaders, with different opinions, can not only sit together but work together. 

WJW photo

“This issue has brought everybody to the table. Not just one person. Every group in Akron has been brought to the table,” said Wyatt. 

Listening to the concerns of their people and communicating directly with them. In hopes of rebuilding a critical bond between the police and their community. 

“If there is an issue with one of our officers, or me as the chief. There are ways to elevate that concern,” explained Chief Mylett.