Columbia Police Chief Responds to Citizen's Suggested Changes

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COLUMBIA - The  Citizen's Police Review Board met to discuss Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton's report responding to the board's suggested ordinance changes Wednesday.

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In a memo to the board, Burton said the board and the police department could work out the complaint jurisdiction issues wihtout changing the ordinance. 

Board Chair James C. Martin said one of the major proposed ordinance changes is a proposal to enlarge the scope of people who can appeal or complain against the police department.

Martin said the current ordinance allows the board to review the misconduct of police officers, but does not allow complaints against other department employees.

"There may be citizens who do have complaints against employees that are not commissioned police officers," Martin said.  "And we've had cases where CSA officers were involved, but we had no jurisdiction to hear those cases."

 KOMU 8 News contacted Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton; he said he had nothing else to add, and that his report stated his thoughts. 

Board member Stephen Alexander said he wants to have a face-to-face discussion with the chief, but doesn't think anything will be changed.   

The other major change suggested by the board is a request for supplemental funds to send all nine board members to Kansas City for The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) conference in September. 

KOMU 8 News spoke to Rose Wibbenmeyer at the Columbia Law Administration; she says the board doesn't know the exact cost for the trip yet. 

The board plans to try to meet with Burton in early March to discuss further action on the ordinance changes.