NewsLocal News


City Commission approval of Police Citizens Review Board met with animosity

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 23:10:47-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A long-awaited decision came from Tallahassee's City Commission Wednesday with the vote for the creation of a Police Citizens Review Board.

"Improve community relations by acting as a bridge between the community and the police department," said Cassandra Jackson, the City Attorney.

The board will be made up of nine people with five members appointed by city commissioners and the mayor, the remaining four from social community organizations.

But for some, that's not enough.

"We do not have to settle for a start," Tallahassee resident Margaret Moore said. "We don't have to start this until you all decide to we can save everyone's energy, time, and money now by not starting a project that is doomed to fail."

There are requests for the city to come up with something that gives those on the board more authority.

Currently, those appointed to the board have the authority to review and provide recommendations on completed internal affairs investigations after any grand jury proceeding.

The board will submit an annual report to the commission with citizen complaints, statistics, and action the Tallahassee Police Department has taken based on their recommendations.

"All the ordinance would do is create an advisory board that can review what the department does and make recommendations that can be ignored," said Darwin Gamble, who lives in Tallahassee. "It has no real authority over the department at all. "

Board members will serve staggered three-year terms without compensation.

They cannot be city employees and will receive training on TPD policies and participate in ride alongs.

Despite whether they agree, people are interested to see who will sit on this board.

"It's one of those things that might not do any harm but won't do much good either," Gamble said.

No one spoke in favor of the Citizens review board at Wednesday's meeting.

The commission also discussed an emergency ordinance to prohibit large outside gatherings of 10 people or more on Friday and Saturdays after TPD Chief Lawrence Revell briefed them on the issue. That was tabled for more discussion at a later date.