Chattanooga City Council appoints Police Advisory and Review Committee
Chattanooga City Council members have finally agreed on their last two selections for the Police Advisory and Review Committee.
Council members say they believed they've picked the best committee possible.
"But it's just a joy to get this board in place. So, if anything comes up, they can have the ability to look over the case and they can assure our citizens that you do have a voice and you do have someone that has your back,” Councilman Anthony Byrd said.
Councilman Ken Smith selected Mary Anne Hensley to represent district 3, and councilman Erskine Oglesby, Jr. nominated Chester Lee Cleer for district 7.
Earlier appointee Sylvester Harris believes a relationship with police and citizens keeps everyone in line.
"And having that bridge in between the police department and the neighborhood, we can make things better. And that's what we have to do. We can make Chattanooga great,” Harris said.
Police will understand the civilian side and the committee will see what law enforcement goes through every day.
"So you'll see a lot of the reasons why they do the things they do, or why they handle situations the way they handle them. And you'll be able to make a sound decision of what happens in the case,” Byrd said.
Harris says it will take an effort from everyone in Chattanooga to make the committee work.
"And we all have to stand together with Chief Roddy and the neighborhoods, and the committees to make this happen. And we can make it happen. This is America. And if we can't make it happen in America, then we have a lot of problems,” Harris said.
The first order of business for members of the new Police Advisory and Review Committee will be to go through the police citizen's academy next month.
The advisory committee will include:
- Kay Baker, community member
- Mary Anne Hensley, Vice President of Sponsored Content at Freightwaves
- Michael Watkins, U.S. Navy veteran and retired General Electric executive
- Chris Rashad, community member
- Richard Gordon, retired judge
- Chester Lee Clear, owner of WNOO radio station
- Sylvester Harris, community member
- Jaqueline Anderson Thomas, 2018 Democratic candidate for the Tennessee House of Representative District 28.
- Rick Mincy, retired Chattanooga Police Sergeant.