Subcommittee removes provision that restrict felons from serving on the board

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | 11:21 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A provision that restricted anyone with a felony conviction in the last 10 years from serving on the citizen review board was removed from a recommendation drafted by the model subcommittee of the Citizen Oversight Committee on Wednesday night, subcommittee member Chris Egbert said.

In a news release on Monday, the Columbia Police Officers Association expressed concern over the provision because it allowed people with felony convictions older than 10 years to serve on the board that will handle complaints filed against the Columbia Police Department.

The subcommittee chose to leave any provisions detailing whether convicted felons could serve on the board for the City Council to decide, Egbert said.

At the meeting, the subcommittee finalized the draft and now await its review by the Citizen Oversight Committee on Aug. 7.

Don Weaver, president of the Columbia Police Officers Association, also expressed concern that Columbia Police Department has not had an active voice in the oversight meetings.

“Right now, we’re just asking for a seat at the table,” he said.

No Columbia Police Department personnel serve on the oversight committee. This leaves police with little say in the subcommittee’s proceedings, Weaver said.

“It might help to actually have someone from the Police Department to give some insight,” he said.

However, citizen oversight committee co-chairman Rex Campbell said, “The police will have their chance to speak when the proposal has been finalized.”

The draft can be seen online at The recommendation the board will make to City Council is due Sept. 26.

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