BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With all eyes on police reform in the city of Buffalo, the Police Advisory Board wants to make sure people’s voices are part of the conversation.
But many people may not understand what the Police Advisory Board is.
“We are a group of volunteers and we were created with three primary functions, one of which was to conduct meetings with the community, police leadership,” said DeJon Hall, member of the Police Advisory Board.
The board is a subgroup of the Common Council’s Police Oversight Committee and was created back in March 2018. Members have been working on policy changes, including body cameras and the disclosure of cases of alleged police misconduct.
“September 2018, we for the first time spoke on the issues of body cameras we spoke at the meeting that occurred just after the death of Marcus Neal who was shot and killed by buffalo police officers,” said Hall.
While cases have changed, Danielle Johnson says the concerns of the community haven’t. She says many of the changes people are asking for now, they asked for during community meetings in 2018.
“Racism within the police department, also the way mental health is criminalized among folks in our community and the brutality,” said Danielle Johnson.
As people continue to ask for a citizen board with subpoena power, the board says they’re committed to advancing conversations and acting on them.
“It’s completely reflective of a truth that the city needs to embrace and that is true community policing is when the community determines under which circumstances it is policed,” said Hall.
The Police Advisory Board will host a virtual town hall Wednesday at 7 p.m. To attend the meeting, click here.