Tampa police chief, city council argue over plan for new citizens oversight board

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – The push to hold Tampa police officers accountable for misconduct turned into an argument at Thursday’s city council meeting.

The council is working to create a revamped “citizens oversight board.”

The original oversight board was created in 2015 following a Department of Justice investigation into the police department over bike tickets.

The DOJ found more African-Americans were ticketed for bicycle infractions than others. Then Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn had the sole authority to appoint its members.

This new board would have members appointed jointly by the mayor and city council.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan criticized the idea.

“Your civilian oversight is not the golden ticket, the police reform, that some of you think it is. It’s not the way it’s done. Its policies, training, and transparency is how it’s done,” Dugan said.

Efforts to create a new citizens review board started after George Floyd’s murder and protests that followed.

A news conference is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday where Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan will discuss the Citizens Review Board.

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