The Madison City Council police and community relations subcommittee held its first meeting Wednesday to begin discussing ways to improve police-community relations.

City council created the committee in early August after debate over Madison Police Department policies and procedures this summer.

Alder Rebecca Kemble, District 18, said the committee’s goal is to improve the relationship between MPD and the Madison community.

“This committee is really trying to do something different around our relationship with the community on an issue that has been extremely divisive and emotional for everyone,” Kemble said.

City Council seeks to mend community-police relations through new subcommitteeAfter a contentious summer filled with debate over the Madison Police Department’s policies and procedures, the Madison City Council created Read…

City  council approved a $400,000 resolution to evaluate MPD, but the subcommittee would specifically discuss the issues.

Wednesday, Alder Marsha Rummel, District 6, was elected as chair of the subcommittee, and Alder Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, District 5, the vice chair.

The subcommittee shared concerns regarding the accessibility of the forum for residents and council members to discuss police and community goals, priorities and interactions.

Kemble looked to increase the subcommittee’s visibility through MPD.

“MPD could … link their website to the homepage of city council so that people don’t have to search wildly,” Kemble said.

Committee members said taking advantage of website and social media would help spread police announcements, actions, trends, presentations and official documents to the community, especially to those people who could not be present at the meetings.

Committee members said they recommended open locations like libraries to hold the community meeting so more residents would be able to attend and express their opinions through the forum.

Committee members said future topics would include training procedures and priorities for patrols.

The subcommittee will meet again Thursday, Sept. 29.