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Changes to HPD Citizens Advisory to be discussed on Thursday

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:51 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Thursday, Huntsville City Council will vote on an ordinance that would change the way the Police Citizens Advisory Council is selected.

According to council member Bill Kling, the ordinance would increase the number of people on the council and lead to more accountability.

As of now, the advisory council is made up of 10 appointed members. Each member of the city council gets to appoint one person, the mayor appoints two and the police chief appoints three. But with this new ordinance, that could change.

“That way we can get more diversity, more representation from people throughout the entire city,” Kling said.

Kling said the ordinance has been discussed for several years. If approved, city council members would appoint two people each and the mayor would appoint three. The greatest change is that the police chief would not get any appointments. If the ordinance passes, it would add three more seats overall. Kling said the proposal should not be viewed as anything negative.

“This change that is coming up has absolutely nothing to do with taking votes or power away from the police chief,” Kling said. “This was an issue that we had talked about in 2010 when we were first taking up the committee.”

Members of the Huntsville City Council said if approved, the ordinance would increase the group’s responsibility.

“This council will be able to look at the internal affairs, records, look for trends, be able to understand it and be able to ask for more detail about a particular case that is being reviewed by internal affairs, so it’s a step towards an audit group,” council member Frances Akridge said.

Kling and Akridge said they are optimistic the ordinance will be passed.

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