Huntsville, Alabama forms Police Citizens Advisory Council to help communicate with police

What can private citizens do to help combat police brutality and better improve relations between police and citizens? The town of Huntsville, Alabama has a plan.

They created the Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council to help city residents and police better understand each other. At the start, their goal is just to communicate, leaving critics upset that they will not be policing the police.

The story comes from WAFF in Northern Alabama.

Huntsville taking proactive approach to police brutality

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – A controversial case involving dash cam video and claims of brutality led to the formation of the Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council in Huntsville.

An 80-year-old man claimed officers used excessive force. The department released the dash cam from the incident and the officers were exonerated. The incident caused tension between members of the community and the department.

The Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council is in its first year and the goal is to help members of the public and the officers that protect the city understand each other better.

“We are here to help the Chief better understand what’s going on in the community and help the community better understand what’s going on in the police force,” said Council Chair, John Reitzell.

A group of nine people will act as the liaison for the community and the police department.    
Since being appointed in July, the members have been busy working to understand what policing really is and not what makes headline news.

“Everyone of our police advisory council members has ridden multiple times with our police force,” said Reitzell.

Members won’t be handling complaints against officers in the department and not overseeing what the department does, but to simply communicate. Critics have already said the council should do more than just communicate but take an active role in policing the police.

By February, the Police Advisory Council plan to officially be presented to the public.


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