Rock Island city council unanimously approves creation of Police Community Relations Commission

The council voted 7-0 in favor of the commission on Monday
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 12:12 AM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - On Monday, the Rock Island City Council voted 7-0 to approve a Police Community Relations Commission.

The 12-person group is set to meet monthly to handle things such as building relationships between law enforcement, provide advice and guidance when it comes to new police hires, promote policies and procedures which can ensure equity, and safeguard the rights of residents.

The vote was met with a round of applause at Monday night’s city council meeting. A few Rock Island residents spoke in favor of the commission during the council’s public comment session. Among those speaking in favor of the commission included community activist and former Rock Island mayoral candidate Thurgood Brooks. Rock Island County NAACP President Bonnie Ballard also supported the commission.

The 12-person group plans to consist of people from a number of different backgrounds. The group plans to have at least two current or former law enforcement officers, two returning residents or convicted felons, a college/trade school student, a high school student, a person in a law profession, and finally a person in a trauma-informed profession. Members will serve in staggered terms of three years. The first group will serve in one, two, or three-year terms to begin the group.

Members must be appointed by the mayor with city council approval.

The commission will not directly make any decisions or policy changes. The group intends to meet, gather, and discuss ideas to then take to local officials like the mayor, city council, police chief, state’s attorney office, and residents. They also plan to help in the assessment of officers subject to review of Rock Island County Integrity Task Force, as well as be a part of the hiring process for new officers.

The commission also plans to hold events for newly hired officers to engage with the community in events and to hold quarterly gatherings for all officers.

You can read more about the commission’s objectives and purposes here.

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