Finding Balance Difficult In Creating Police Review Board | WGLT

Finding Balance Difficult In Creating Police Review Board

Jun 27, 2017

File photo of Ward 6 Alderman Karen Schmidt during a council meeting.
Credit Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council may vote on a civilian review board at their July 10 meeting, but action could also be delayed, according to a Bloomington Alderman.

Ward 6 Alderman Karen Schmidt said during Sound Ideas the review board conversation is "complicated and significant."  

"I think that's entirely possible that we wouldn't simply vote on an ordinance on July the 10th. I think there are things we can do in the interim while we work through some of the more complicated issues of  this ordinance, including opening up how people submit complaints and educating about what the complaint process is all about," said Schmidt 

A proposal that convicted felons be allowed to serve on the review board is an additional complexity. When asked if she'd be comfortable with a convicted felon on the board, if it was balanced by a retired law enforcement professional or if there were qualifications regarding the type of felony or length of time since conviction, Schmidt replied "I don't know yet." 

"I certainly understand the concept of redemption. We all make mistakes," said Schmidt. "The feedback I'm getting from people is helping me think about how do you describe what a felon is, what's an acceptable felony, how much time would pass?"

Schmidt said finding balance on the issue will be difficult.  She said her colleagues on the council are trying to get their "hands around the right balance." 

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