COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs City Council gives preliminary approval creating a Law Enforcement Transparency and Advisory Commission on an eight to one vote.
The lone dissenter was Councilwoman Yolanda Avila who has questioned the strength of the commission.
“To have eight to one that should open the eyes to plenty of people to see how our council works,” said Derrick “Wavy’ Matthews one of the organizers for the group leading the protests, Back to the People.
The ordinance calls for a committee of 11 members with staggered terms. Six of the members will be representatives of each of the city’s council districts. The others will “represent a cross-section of the racial, geographic, and economic diversity of the city and be committed to making recommendations based on an empirical understanding of police operations and best practices,” the ordinance states.
“I want to see people that are level headed, that are unbiased, that can go into the situation literally looking at the better for everybody,” Matthews said.
No city staff will be appointed to the committee, according to the document.
The document states the committee will assist in the creation of the police department’s budget and will be responsible for “data-driven” audits. It will also listen to citizen concerns.
According to the ordinance, City Council can direct the committee on certain inquiries into the police department. The committee will provide feedback to the council on policy recommendations. The ordinance also says the committee will look at hiring, training, retention, best practices, and will promote understand and relationships between the community and police. The commission can choose it’s own paths of inquiry as well.
Over 600 people have applied to be on the commission as of Tuesday and Council will keep applications open through July 1. How council will narrow that field of candidates has yet to be decided.
The commission ordinance will go through the second and final reading on July 14th and if approved in that meeting, it will become law.