Councilman removes objection to Police Advisory Committee
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga city council, as originally planned, voted last night to create a citizen Police Advisory and Review Committee.
But, that vote came after a debate of whether the council was following its own rules about how much notice should be given before a vote could be held.
News 12’s Ashley Henderson explains why.
During the City Council work session Tuesday, Councilman Chip Henderson voiced his concern that council rules were not being followed. Henderson says the council should allowi 2 weeks before a vote could be held.
“All I asked is a question: Why are we not following our rules? It’s very simple, we have a committee meeting, two weeks later, it gets on the agenda.”
This allows for public input before a council vote.
At the 3 pm agenda session, Councilman Gilbert agreed to put off the vote on creating the citizens committee until next week.
“As far as people speaking – which, I have that same concern, they need to speak, I’m going to put this, I’m going to defer this to one week.”
But, that’s not what happened. Between the 3 pm and 6 pm sessions, Henderson and Gilbert met privately.
“He explained to me the urgency that the community felt, to put this oversight board together, I had a little bit better understanding of where he was coming from, and I told him I would withdraw my objection.”
With that the Ordinance passed with 7 votes. Gilbert thinks it’s an important step in creating more trust.
“It’s about going back to trust, people that live in that community will be the one they go to and complain, versus someone else that they don’t really know, I think that will go farther.”
Henderson says that since there are several requirements for any potential committee members, like going through the citizen’s Police Academy, and learning police policies, it may take from 6 months to a year before the members are seated and ready to begin their oversight work.
The final vote on the ordinance will be next Tuesday at 6 pm. Committee nominees must be confirmed by the council.
In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 now.