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Mayor, Police Chief Plan For Community Police Commission

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Police Chief Sam Somers have announced their desire to create a community police commission. 

If the Sacramento City Council approves, the commission would be tasked with recommending policing practices based on input from the public and would be responsible for grading the department on its response.   

The commission would be part of a new initiative called "Officer Next Door." The City Council has already approved $5 million for parts of the program, including a gang task force, job-placement training for young people and police officer training in cultural bias, mental illness and peaceful conflict resolution.

The department would also, "monitor the national movement toward independent investigations and the appointment of a special prosecutor where there is a death of an unarmed civilian involving law enforcement."

Johnson says the program evolved from ideas that came out of months of conversations between the public, council members and the police department.

"Some of the topics that we discussed were resident frustration, we talked about relationships between police and communities, we talked about recruitment and strategies and we talked about race," he says. 

The Mayor would appoint a selection panel to pick ten people for the commission.

The commission would have an expert in mental illness and a representative from a civil rights organization, the police department, a business or philanthropy group, a faith-based organization, a minority group, a youth group and academia.

Johnson says the new commission would absorb the existing Racial Profiling Commission.

If the council approves, the commission could hold its first hearing in four months.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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