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Panel of citizens to oversee police department's policies and practices

Panel of citizens to oversee police department's policies and practices

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester City Council is expected to vote next week on the development of a new police oversight commission.

Under the current proposal, the commission would be made up of seven voting members: one person from the Rochester branch of the NAACP, another from the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission and five others appointed by the mayor "based on their interest and involvement in social justice and human rights."

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The commission would review and comment on the police department's policies, practices and procedures. Members would also make suggestions to the department and implement educational initiatives for officers or the community. 

"We've seen, over the course of the last several months, protests across the country with people that didn't feel their voices could be heard any other way,” said Police Chief Roger Peterson, according to a report by KAAL-TV. “We would really like there to be another way, that it would not be simply a one-way demonstration, but a two-way conversation of how do we make things better."

The city council was generally supportive of the proposed commission at a meeting earlier this week. However, KROC-AM notes some council members questioned a provision that would ban current and former city employees from serving on the commission.

The council is expected to discuss the proposal more at next Monday's meeting.

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(Cover photo: File / The Med City Beat

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