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Sarasota Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 4 years ago

Permanent police panel created

by: Robin Roy City Editor

Viewing the temporary police panel’s work last year as a success, city commissioners approved the creation of a permanent panel to monitor the Sarasota Police Department.

“There are a lot of cities that try this,” Vice Mayor Fredd Atkins told the temporary panel members. “For you all to stand that test is definitely a testament to (your) strength.”

The panel will consist of five city residents. The City Commission will choose a chairman, who will work with the city manager to select the other four panelists.

Members will serve three-year terms, but those terms will not be staggered. Every three years, the entire panel could be replaced. Panelists will serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.

The process of selecting a chairman will begin in January.

Also serving on the panel will be the city manager, city attorney and police chief (or anyone they designate to serve in their place), plus a city employee hired to serve as the police panel’s administrator.

The police panel advice is limited to department policy and its relationship with the community. It will not have input on the department’s budget, personnel, discipline or other day-to-day operations.

The original Police Advisory Panel was created in November 2009 in the wake of a police-brutality case the previous summer.

The City Commission wanted the panel to examine the Sarasota Police Department’s policies and procedures and recommend changes to restore community trust in the department and its police officers.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected]

The permanent police panel will make recommendations to the city commission on the police department’s policy relating to many issues, including:
• Alternative sentencing
• Community-oriented
• Homelessness
• Mental health
• Noise problems
• Surveillance-camera use
• The jail


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