SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Four of seven spots on the Springfield’s Police Civilian Review Board are currently open.
Springfield city officials are encouraging people to apply before the Sept. 22 deadline.
City leaders said some of the positions are open after a new ordinance, passed last year, increased the size of the board from five to seven members.
The board, officials said, is in place to review disciplinary situations involving police officers, that are triggered by citizens.
Those with the Springfield NAACP said the change allows the board to become more diverse. Now, it’s up to people to apply.
Springfield City Manager, Jason Gage, said the ordinance also essentially makes it easier to join the review board. He said people no longer must complete the Citizens Police Academy prior to applying to the review board.
“It’s a great thing to go through and a person learns a lot about the police department, how they operate and policing,” Gage said. “However, it takes quite a long time to get through that, so that limited that selection.”
City leaders said the ordinance made the other following modifications:
- All members are now appointed by City Council acting as the Committee of the Whole, as opposed to the previous process where three members were appointed by City Council and two were appointed by the City Manager.
- Language that governed the transition from two-year terms to three-year terms was removed, as that transition is complete and all current members are serving three-year terms.
- The Police Department will conduct a background check, including the criminal history of applicants, and provide the results to City Council for use in considering potential appointments. (This process was previously completed as part of the application process for the Citizens Police Academy.)
Gage said the changes came after requests from the NAACP.
Springfield NAACP Chair of Community Outreach, Dee Ogilvy, said it’s important to make the board more inclusive.
She said she encourages people to apply to make it a reality.
“See what kind of work it is they’re doing,” Ogilvy said. “Do you have some knowledge or a skill set, that’s going to help that particular board?” Ogilvy asked.
You can click here to apply.