Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor released a statement Feb. 17 asking Mayor Gillum and City Commissioners to allow local citizens to decide on adopting and establishing a Citizens’ Police Review Board and a Citizens’ Utility Review Board on the upcoming ballot in November.
For the Citizen Utility Review Board, Proctor wishes to better the community by increasing transparency related to income, outgo and transfer of public dollars, and establish a critical panel to analyze and regulate sales and commercial water bottling, among others.
Kendrick Smith, Tallahassee resident, feels that it would benefit the community.
“With the water crisis that’s happening in Flint I think this is the perfect time to get ahead of the game. Of course I’m hoping and praying that it doesn’t happen here or to anybody else, but it’s always good to prepare for what could happen,” Smith said.
Proctor also wants a Citizens’ Police Review Board which will give residents the option to decide whether or not they want to adopt a Police and Law Enforcement Board.
“Incidents of multiple varieties both in our city and beyond are significant factors that compel a serious commitment on your parts to strengthen public confidence in the area of Law Enforcement. This can be accomplished through establishing a Police Review Board,” Proctor said.
Although it may sound like a good idea, the community has formed two assumptions about the possible Police Review Board.
One assumption is that the status quo will automatically protect some citizens. The other assumption is that a Citizen Police Review Board will advance the comfort levels of citizens who believe they do not count in the eyes of the law.
Toran Davis, fourth-year FAMU facilities management student, said that he doesn’t understand why this idea wasn’t thought of sooner.
“We are all well aware of the stereotype police have right now in America. People don’t trust them and they don’t feel as though they are out here doing their job, which is to protect the people,” Davis said. “There’s been way too many killings because of police so I think if this were to really happen it would be great.
Proctor even went on to say that the boards would consist of a minimum of thirteen citizens who who will be selected — one each by City and County Commissioners (12) and one additional selected by the Mayor.
“Please do not muzzle the voices of the people and deny our citizens a democratic chance of gaining and having a greater voice in our own government and our own utilities,” Proctor said.
Proctor hopes to hear back from the Mayor and the City Commissioners by April 1.