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New members train for Columbia Citizens Police Review Board


New members arrived at City Hall on Wednesday for the Columbia Police Citizens Review Board's first scheduled training session.

The CPRB was disbanded in August after several contentious meetings.

The first training session focused on discussions on the form of government, Sunshine Law, conflicts of interest and the board's operations and procedures.

Mayor Barbara Buffaloe said this is the first time that the board has had so many new members.

"It's important to bring them together to provide all the information that we provide for every new member," Buffaloe said. "It was really great... You know we're able to go over basically the foundation of the boards and commissions, sunshine law requirements, and then the procedures of the board."

Reece Ellis attended his first meeting as a board member. He said he's ready to become a voice for Columbia residents.

"I'm someone who, wherever I've lived, I've tried to get involved in the community," Ellis said. "So this felt like a good intersection of those things. That life experience and that desire to serve in some capacity."

The second training session will explain the history of the board and detail the structure of the Columbia Police Department.

"Next week, they're going to go over a little bit more of the history, and then even more detail about our citizens and our city organization," Buffaloe said.

According to its mission statement, the CPRB was created to provide an independent process to review perceived misconduct by Columbia Police Officers with the goal of "increasing police accountability to the community and community trust in the police."

"The purpose of our Citizens Police Review Board obviously is to provide an opportunity for our community to have an outlet for when we think that there's police misconduct," Buffaloe said. "It also has the ability to do audits and reviews over our police procedures and rules, so we can make sure that we're following what it is our community wishes."

The second training session will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in conference rooms 1A and 1B at City Hall.

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Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!


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