The City of Minneapolis is now reviewing applications for the new 15-member Community Commission on Police Oversight. The City has received over 160 applications for the commission, which will convene for the first time in late April.
This is a very high number of applicants for a single appointed body within the City’s enterprise and far surpasses the number of applicants typically received for the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, the former police oversight body.
“Forming this new commission marks the next chapter of police oversight and accountability work, and it’s incredible to see so many community members stepping up and applying,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “It’s no surprise to anyone that Minneapolis has been a global focal point for police reform – and we plan to use that focus as other cities look to us in the future as the example for how to do policing right. Over the past few years, we’ve implemented major police reforms and have continued to recruit community-oriented officers. This new commission will help take those efforts further and contribute to the ongoing work to see true cultural change.”
“I’m excited to learn of the broad cross section of community members who have applied,” said City Council President Andrea Jenkins. “This overwhelming response indicates that people are eager for meaningful, community-led oversight of the Minneapolis Police Department. I look forward to stepping into this new era of police accountability in the city of Minneapolis.”
“We are grateful for the strong community interest in serving on this important commission, which will provide a critical forum for the public to have meaningful engagement in police oversight,” said the City’s Civil Rights Director Alberder Gillespie.
The new commission will include 15 members – 13 will be appointed by the City Council (one per ward) and two appointed by the mayor. The civilian commissioners will serve as review panelists on a rotating basis to review investigations of alleged police misconduct. As panelists, they will have direct access to investigatory case files being reviewed and provide recommendations on the merits of misconduct allegations that will be forwarded to the Chief of Police. When a panel recommends a finding of merit for allegations of misconduct, the panel will recommend an appropriate range of corrective actions.
The work of the full commission will take place during public meetings, which will provide an opportunity for residents to observe presentations, listen to discussions and provide public input. The City sought applicants for the commission that represent a cross section of Minneapolis, including formerly incarcerated individuals, LGBTQ community members, Black, Indigenous and other people of color, people with different abilities, as well as community members from every ward of Minneapolis.