Columbia City Clerk accepting applications for Citizens Police Review Board

Friday, August 7, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 4:25 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 7, 2009

COLUMBIA — The process of selecting members for the Citizens Police Review Board has begun, as the City Clerk officially began accepting applications Thursday.

Although the official acceptance of applications began only Thursday, City Clerk Sheela Amin said two applications were received earlier, when the decision to create the review board was first made. The city did not immediately release the names of the applicants.

There are eight positions available on the board, as well as one set aside for a member of the Commission on Human Rights. The city is hoping to make appointments in October, for a term of three years.

Amin said there is no limit on the number who can apply, as long as all applications are received by Sept. 4.

The deadline was set to allow for speedy appointments, as the review board will begin the process of reviewing the Police Department on Jan. 1, 2010.

To apply, members must be Columbia residents and registered voters. A background check and criminal history will also be required, according to a news release from the City of Columbia.

Applications are available at the clerk’s office on the fourth floor at 701 E. Broadway, or on the city’s Web site.

Applicants should be aware that the position will require significant time commitments, according to the release. Training will include a ride-along with an on-duty officer, as well as a review of the Police Department's Professional Standards Unit's operating policies.

The City Council discussed application and training procedures for the review board at its regular meeting on Monday.

Beyond announcing the acceptance of applications, Amin said the city has no plans to communicate further with the public about the review board positions.

"I know this has been a hot topic, so a lot of people already know about it," she said.

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