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Applications now open for Tallahassee's Citizens Advisory Committee

Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 11:21:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Is there a policy change ahead for Tallahassee Police?

Tallahassee's Citizen's Review Board could determine if a change is necessary, and the city is inviting you to join the process.

Commissioners say the people have asked for it for years, and after three officer involved-shootings this year, the commission decided it was time for one.

"I'm proud to be a member of a city commission that wants to continue pushing for transparency and an open dialogue between our citizens and law enforcement," said John Dailey, the mayor of Tallahassee.

"We really want to make sure that citizens understand we really do want to be part of the solution and not the problem," city commissioner Diane Williams Cox said.

A grand jury found each officer following the policy in place for officers, justifying each deadly shooting.

If something like that happens again, the review board would be able to step in and determine if there should be changes to the policy in place.

"I think it's important as elected officials that we continue the conversation," said Dailey. "Sometimes it's uncomfortable. Sometimes it's edgy. But it's important that we talk to one another and talk things out. Even when We're frustrated, or we don't have all of the answers, we keep the conversation going."

Nine citizens will complete the board, and there are some guidelines on who can apply.

Applications are open to Tallahassee adults with no connection to a city employee, including TPD.

Applicants also can't be elected officials and can't have a pending court case or felony conviction within the last three years.

"We are all looking for individuals that truly believe in our community," Dailey said. "That wants to make a positive difference and serve in a leadership role that can help bridge the gap and keep this conversation moving forward."

Some of the people against the board say it doesn't hold enough power, specifically hiring and firing law enforcement.

"We have done our very best to follow the laws in Florida, and we've looked around the country to see what other countries are doing as well," said Williams Cox. "I have found nowhere where citizens are evaluating police officers and selecting the police chief. Nowhere in this country is that happening."

Commissioners are inviting those against the board to apply to serve.

Each commissioner will appoint an applicant.

The commission as a whole will select the remaining four.

"Let's take a deep breath, let's work together, let's educate ourselves on all of the aspects of the police review board," Dailey said. "By bringing together and being a unifier, we'll get a lot more positive outcomes than staying divided."

Once seated, members will go through the training and policies TPD officers go through.

Applications can be found by clicking here.