Dallas leaders vote in favor of police review board changes

Dallas City Council voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of changes to the city’s police review board.

The new Community Police Oversight Board was backed by Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall. Dallas will hire three staff members for the board and a police monitor to report to the city manager.

The board will also get the power to subpoena police officers, except for officers involved in active criminal cases. And in cases of officer misconduct, the chief will still have final say over disciplinary action.

Dallas already had a police review board but it was seen as largely symbolic. The city’s website described it in part as a mouthpiece between the police department and the public.

Recently, board members asked for more power to do their job in advising the Dallas Police Department, especially in cases of officer misconduct.

Chairman Brian Williams said he wanted the board to have subpoena powers and independent investigators who could work alongside police internal affairs personnel.

But, there were plenty of critics, mostly police officers, who didn’t think the review board needed more power. The Dallas Police Association argued police already have enough oversight.