COLUMBIA — After much debate, Columbia City Manager Bill Watkins removed Darrell Foster from the Police Chief Search Advisory Committee on Friday, according to a news release.
Foster, 57, was convicted of four felonies in 1998 - unlawful use of a weapon, harassment, felonious restraint and first-degree child endangerment - according to Missouri Case.net.
Citizen Oversight Committee Chairman Rex Campbell said those who have been arrested could bring a fresh perspective to the board. Others, such as Donald Weaver, president of the Columbia Police Officers Association, said that people with felony convictions could "harbor deep-seeded resentment for police."
For his part, Foster said he brings a different perspective regarding police conduct to his position to the advisory committee helping to find a replacement for Randy Boehm, who left the position on July 1.
"They got a guy who knows how police treat people, how they should treat people and what's good for the community," Foster said.
Despite Foster's outlook, Watkins decided to pull him from the advisory committee in order to assure a fair search for a new police chief.
"In the interest of maintaining a neutral search process and assuring that his participation does not jeopardize his legal outcomes, I believe this is a prudent course of action," Watkins said in the release.
Watkins said he will be considering another individual to serve on the committee, which is scheduled to meet Aug. 7 to review outlines that have been compiled by the models subcommittee.