By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
Birmingham’s Civilian Review Board, a five-member panel that aims to improve trust and accountability between Birmingham Police Department and residents, has announced a series of community listening sessions beginning August 31.
Mayor Randall Woodfin announced the creation of the Civilian Review Board in April as a direct response to the recommendations from the city’s Public Safety Task Force and national calls for reimagining public safety.
In a statement Friday, the mayor said, “The Civilian Review Board is here to bridge the gap between policing and community. An independent, community led platform will be a major step in both providing transparency and raising residents’ trust of police operations.”
The board’s primary purpose is to provide transparency and an independent assessment on police operations, create space for accountability of the city and the police department for its operations and review community complaints of alleged officer misconduct. This would include allegations involving false arrest, false imprisonment harassment, inappropriate or abusive language and excessive force.
The board is meant to give genuine voice to the concerns of those in the city, Woodfin said.
“Our Civilian Review Board will provide authentic community voice, involvement and engagement. It is a platform for moms, pastors, community activists and professional minds to assemble to work to promote the best Birmingham has to offer from a law enforcement prospective,” Woodfin said earlier this year.
The discussions will be held:
Aug. 31 at the Birmingham Crossplex, 2337 Bessemer Road
Sept. 7 at the Brownville Heights Recreation Center, 9225 Airport Road
Sept. 21 at City Council chambers, 710 20th Street N.
Oct. 5 at a site to be determined.
Members of the board include:
Rev. Lawrence Conoway – pastor, Fellowship Bible Church
- Marie King – activist, speaker, trainer/facilitator
Annetta Nunn, YWCA domestic violence court advocate; former chief, Birmingham Police Department
Victor Revill – criminal justice attorney, Public Safety Task Force member
Joyce White Vance – former U.S Attorney, Northern District of Alabama; Public Safety Task Force member
To view a video providing additional information on the Civilian Review Board visit https://youtu.be/hHhxJFzhdrk.