Council hears suggestions on improved citizens review board in Greenville

Greenville City Council hears citizen review recommendations.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Police protests sparked over the summer across the country, including in Greenville, which had advocates pushing for a change.

Monday night, Greenville city council heard a plan that would make a citizens review board, that nobody really knew existed, more accessible.

“Tonight was just an example of us listening, and turning those brainstorming exercises into something that council can approve going forward,” Greenville City Manager, John Castile said.

Members of the Fire and Police Practice Commission went before council to recommend changing their name to the “Public Safety Citizens Review Board” and expanding the board from five to seven people.

“We want police to be involved with the community, and we want the community to feel like they can be involved with the police,” Mayor White said.

Council members added a few ideas of their own.  Now, they’ll amend the bi-laws, and council will vote on the changes. The city will start a marketing campaign letting people know the board is there and that they can go to the city to voice a complaint.

“As Greenville continues to grow and change, I think this is an opportunity to take a step back, readjust, put something in place that meets those needs,” Castile said.

The NAACP and other organizations have brought up changing the citizens review board over the past couple years, but the mayor said after the protests that blocked 385 in July, it was time to act.

“Because of the incidents last summer, really around the country, there’s really just a heightened awareness around community relations,” White said.

The city manager says they’ll create the amendments over the next month, and then council will vote on expanding the board and the name change. City council will appoint the new board members early next year.

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