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EAST LANSING, Mich. — This past Tuesday, East Lansing City Council unanimously approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 1503 to establish an 11-member Independent Police Oversight Commission for the City of East Lansing.The City of East Lansing is now seeking community applicants to serve on the Commission and will be accepting applications through Sunday, Aug. 1. The application can be found at https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/IndependentPoliceOversightCommissionApplication.The purpose of the Commission is to increase accountability of the East Lansing Police Department and strengthen conditions leading to trust in the police department by the community that it is pledged to serve. Because the East Lansing City Council is committed to the goal of racial equity, the Commission will give priority to addressing racial inequities as well as use of force in policing. The Commission will enable members of the community to participate in reviewing and making recommendations about police department policies, practices and procedures, and it will provide means for prompt, impartial and fair review of complaints brought by individuals against police officers or the police department.The City Council is seeking to appoint individuals to the Commission who reflect the City’s diverse population and particularly segments of the community that are protected by the City’s civil rights ordinance (view Chapter 22 of the City Code), two of which can be non-residents. Additionally, the City Council is seeking to appoint two members who are licensed social workers or psychologists professionally engaged in helping people experiencing crisis, homelessness, mental illness, substance use disorders or domestic abuse. Commission members will serve three-year terms. For additional information about the desired background for Commission members, view Sec. 2-474 of Ordinance No. 1503.City Council’s adoption of the ordinance to establish an Independent Police Oversight Commission was preceded by seven months of discussion, research and community outreach by the East Lansing Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission (Study Committee), which led to the development of the Study Committee’s “Report on East Lansing Policing and National Models of Community Police Oversight” and “Recommendations for an Ordinance to Create an Independent Police Oversight Commission.” These documents, which can be viewed at https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/2126/Police-Review-Study-Committee, were discussed at previous Council meetings and were used as the basis for the ordinance approved by Council at this past Tuesday’s meeting.
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