November 29, 2017 08:21 PM
An ordinance to toughen and strengthen the authority of the the Police Conduct Oversight Commission cleared another hurdle as the Public Safety Committee of the Minneapolis City Council gave the measure the thumbs up.
Council Member Linea Palmisano said she wrote the ordinance after her constituents and citizens across Minneapolis told her there wasn't enough oversight and accountability.
Palmisano wants to make changes, including requiring the department to provide commissioners with police reports, personnel files, and all other documents commissioners require to investigate a complaint.
"Full, unrestricted access in investigating police complaints," Palmisano said. "And also in doing data and research analysis on our police department."
She said the changes would provide the commission with the tools to hold more officers accountable.
"That's a big change from going with what a police department deems appropriate to share about themselves versus what the public might want," Palmisano said.
Palmisano said she talked to Congressman Keith Ellison's staff and people across the country before she wrote her ordinance. And she said such changes could have an impact nationally.
"The things that we're doing here in Minneapolis will certainly have legs elsewhere if they're seen to be effective," she said.
The Minneapolis Police Department said it had no comment when department officials were asked for their thoughts on the matter.
When asked a month ago, the department said it needed to know more about the ordinance before officials would talk about it.
Do you agree with the proposed changes to the Police Conduct Oversight Commission? If not, what would you like to see? You can send Council Member Linea Palmisano, Mayor Betsy Hodges, and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo an email with your thoughts.
Police Conduct Oversight Commission: At a Glance
What it is: According to its website, the mission of the commission is to "become a credible public body where community members take their concerns of police/community interactions, and the police department turns for credible feedback."
Who's on it: The commission is made up of seven appointed volunteers. It meets the second Tuesday of every month. Applications for appointments are received by the City Clerk's Office. A selection committee made up of representatives from the mayor's office, the City Council, the police chief and the city's civil rights department review applications and interview applicants if needed. The person representing the police chief does not hold a voting position, however. He or she can ask questions, but not vote for or against applicants. Applicants are then approved by the City Council. Different seats have different terms.
According to the website, the current members are Chair: Andrea Brown; Vice Chair: Jennifer Singleton; Luke Davis; Afsheen Foroozan; Andrew Buss; Jeffrey Wade; Laura Westphal.
Requirements: According to the website, members must:
Updated: November 29, 2017 08:21 PM
Created: November 29, 2017 06:00 PM
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