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Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome is one of 10 mayors from across the country represented on a new network announced Thursday to push for criminal justice policy reforms.

“Mayors for Smart on Crime” will focus on such issues as reducing and preventing violent crime, pre-trial and bail reform and accountable community policing, according to a news release announcing the program.

Ed Chung, vice president of criminal justice at the Center for American Progress, which organized the program, said they want to support the mayors in the strategies that “they’re already implementing.”

The organization mentioned as an example how Broome got the Baton Rouge Police Department’s use-of-force guidelines put into written policy. Though top police officials said the policies had been in practice for years, they weren't written policy until February of 2017.

In Broome’s biography on the new group’s website, she says she is “committed to strengthening police accountability and building community trust in law enforcement.”

“We have to close the gap between law enforcement and the citizens of our community. … It’s a mutual respect that I’m trying to move forward,” Broome is quoted as saying on the website.

Bridging that divide has been discussed extensively in Baton Rouge, especially during the public interviews for a new Baton Rouge police chief in November and December.

Broome hired former Louisiana State Police Deputy Superintendent of Investigations Murphy Paul for that job in January after former Chief Carl Dabadie retired over the summer amid rising tension with Broome.

Joining Broome in the new network are the mayors of New York, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle and Gary, Indiana, Stockton, California, Dayton, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.

Follow Emma Discher on Twitter, @EmmaDischer.