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Allegheny County Council Reconsidering Civilian Police Review Board Proposal

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Allegheny County Council is reviewing a proposal that would create a civilian police review board.

The board would look into complaints of alleged misconduct by county law enforcement.

It is identical to a proposal that the council considered last August. It was voted down despite the support of local families, including the mother of Antwon Rose II.

Council member DeWitt Walton reintroduced the ordinance at Tuesday's council meeting.

He said council has the obligation to provide justice to all in the county.

Those who oppose the ordinance say it's too costly and that there's no point to the board when municipalities already offer oversight.

But Walton says the board is needed.

"If we operate with integrity, we'll engage in honest and forthright discussion and not half-truths and lies," says Walton. "The people of Allegheny County deserve no less."

The Public Safety Committee will now consider the measure and decide when council can vote.

Bethany Hallam, Allegheny County Council, At-Large, released a statement, saying:

"The establishment of a Civilian Police Review Board at the county level is long overdue. No one should be patrolling the streets with a gun and a badge without proper oversight. The current processes are wholly inadequate: while there are some oversight mechanisms in place—for example, internal affairs divisions, local prosecutors, certain federal offices—each have their own specific limitations. The system as it stands is full of holes that injustices frequently slip through and go on unaddressed. This legislation is being introduced to not only protect the community at large, but also to support small, under-resourced departments by drafting and promoting model policies, establishing uniform and comprehensive training curricula, and improving the overall safety and well-being of every member of our community."

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