Police will likely no longer be represented on the St. Paul commission that reviews complaints of officer misconduct.
Residents and police officers packed the St. Paul City Council chambers Wednesday for the second hearing on a number of changes to the city’s Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission.
The changes were based on a University of Minnesota audit of the commission. One of the most controversial audit recommendations was to remove the two police officers who are serving on the board as voting members. It previously appeared that there were not enough council members in support of that change.
But Wednesday night, Council Member Dai Thao offered an amendment to make the commission a nine-person, all-civilian board. Five of the seven City Council members voted to approve the amendment. Dan Bostrom and Chris Tolbert voted against the proposal.
The council’s final vote on the changes to the review commission will occur at a future meeting.
The removal of police from the board will create trust, accountability and community healing, Thao said, an opinion many community members echoed. But police and the council members who oppose the change said it is important to have the officers’ perspective on the commission.
The commission does not have the final say about disciplinary action. It passes on recommendations to the police chief.