Applicants sought for committee to decide if Columbia police need review board

Monday, July 23, 2007 | 11:22 a.m. CDT; updated 12:33 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The city of Columbia is accepting applications for a committee to investigate whether the Police Department needs a citizen review board.

The committee is being formed after a June 4 City Council meeting where members of the Minority Men’s Network asked the city to create a review board.

“The mayor asked City Council for permission to put together a committee that would consider the possibility of a civilian review board and whether or not we need one,” Columbia police Chief Randy Boehm said.

The purpose of the Committee for Review of Citizen Oversight of the Police Department is to assess the Police Department’s system of reviewing complaints, to understand the views of the department and the various groups involved and to get public input, according to a news release from Mayor Darwin Hindman. The committee will then compile its findings into a report with recommendations on how the city should proceed.

“There are no preconceived notions from the council,” said Chris Janku, Second Ward councilman and acting mayor while Hindman is on vacation. “This is an opportunity for discussion in the community.”

The committee, Janku said, is also going to study different systems of civilian oversight without being limited to a specific model.

“It’s a free opportunity to review all types of things,” he said.

This process is separate from the rewriting of the Police Department’s internal affairs policy, Boehm said.

In April, Aaron Thompson, a private consultant from Kentucky, reviewed the Police Department’s internal affairs policies.

In response to Thompson’s work, the Police Department formed a developmental committee consisting of members of the Police Department, Columbia police Capt. Mike Martin said. This committee reviews and evaluates different internal affairs systems across the country. They then discuss their research with the external committee, whose members are both civilians and officers. The external committee evaluates and reviews their research, and decides whether it meets the requirements.

“These two groups are the checks and balances between officers and the community,” said Martin, who is on the internal committee.

The first internal affairs progress report was presented to the City Council on July 2.

“We hope to have the new system working by Jan. 1, 2008,” Martin said.

Applications for the committee are available at the city clerk’s office, or online at Applications are due at the clerk’s fourth-floor office, 701 E. Broadway, by noon on Sept. 7.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.