Minneapolis City Council Member Looks to Change Police Oversight Committee

November 03, 2017 10:23 PM

A Minneapolis city council member wants to make changes to the city's police conduct oversight commission, the group of civilians that reviews police misconduct and makes policy recommendations.

The goal, according to council member Linea Palmisano, is to increase accountability and communication with city leaders.


"What I've heard is there needs to be more accountability and oversight for police by the public," Palmisano said.

RELATED: Oversight Commission to Consider Minneapolis Police Body Camera Study

Palmisano introduced changes to the current city ordinance that lays out the commission's responsibilities and power.

Under the proposed ordinance, the city council and the mayor could appoint more people to the commission. Currently the cap is at seven.

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. 

The group would also get "explicit, unrestricted access" to MPD records and investigations when looking into allegations of misconduct.

"It's going to really give them a lot more authority," Palmisano said. "It's going to open up more communication between that oversight commission and council which is something I've heard there isn't anywhere for their information and their reports to go for consideration."

RELATED: In Minneapolis, to Whom Should Police Chief Report?

James Densley, a police-community relations expert and associate professor at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, reviewed the amendments.

"To change that process, to give them a little bit more insight into the process would be a benefit I would think," Densley said. "They do what they can do because of how the rules and regulations have been crafted, but they never quite go to that level that maybe the public is looking for when it comes to oversight and accountability."

A spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department said the chief and command staff will look into the proposed changes in the coming days, and had no comment at this point in time.



Kirsten Swanson

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