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What is Temple's new Citizen's Police Advisory Commission?

Temple City Council approved a new Citizen's Police Advisory Commission

TEMPLE, Texas — Temple City Council approved a new Citizen's Police Advisory Commission. The decision comes after a year that included transparency criticism regarding the Michael Dean case. Michael Dean was shot and killed on December 2 in 2019 by former Temple Police Officer Carmen DeCruz. 

According to information provided by the city, the commission is aimed to improve understanding and communication between the community and police.

(a) Citizen’s Police Advisory Commission. The Police Advisory Commission is an advisory commission established at the discretion of the City Council. The Commission advises the City Council and City staff on matters pertaining to the City of Temple’s Police Department (Police Department) and serves as a coordinating group to invite and enlist the cooperation of all economic, educational, social, religious, and ethnic groups of the City in the establishment and maintenance of improved understanding and communication between the Police Department and the community. The Commission may study, recommend, and review policy, programs, and concepts utilized in other communities which are designed to increase safety and improve quality of life, effectiveness of the Police Department, and understanding and communication between the Police Department and the community. The Commission may review and discuss specific Police Department policies, procedures, and processes. The Commission may evaluate critical incident information or incidents of significant public interest as allowed by law and rules of evidence and may make recommendations to the City’s Police Chief.

RELATED: One year after Michael Dean's shooting death, family still calling for body cam video to be released

Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds released a statement regarding the commission. 

"As I’ve said before, encouraging and having healthy and productive conversations concerning police and public issues is one of the ways we will foster relationships between the community and our police department. The Citizen’s Police Advisory Council creates that opportunity to strengthen community-police relations and build more intentional and engaging connections. It will allow our department to have direct contact with and receive valuable feedback from residents while giving the public more insight into how the department operates," Reynolds said. 

City Manager Brynn Myers released a statement discussing boards and commissions.

"“The city’s boards and commissions give residents a voice in their local government and allows citizens to influence public policy and the future of our city. It also helps officials and city leadership make informed decisions based on citizen needs and priorities. I highly encourage interested residents to learn more and apply," Myers said.

The commission will be made up of nine people. Application are on the City Secretary page of the city's website. Public Relations Manager for the City of Temple Emily Parks said, applications for all boards and commissions are being accepted until February 15.

Credit: Emily Parks

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