DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – About 200 people attended a town hall meeting, hosted by the Citizen Police Review Board, where Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall was a speaker.
“There is no secret that I do support restructuring of this board,” Hall said.
The board was created almost 40 years ago to give residents a place to voice their concerns about police misconduct.
Members say in order to do their job effectively, change needs to happen.
“There is little that we can do,” Chairman of the City of Dallas’ Citizen’s Police Review Board Dr. Brian H. Williams said.
Williams said right now, all the board can do is review police complaints and make recommendations.
“The hope is moving forward that we can empower the board and make it more efficient and effective to serve the needs of the public,” he said.
Thursday he presented what the board itself wants to see.
“We need a staff – period.” Williams said. “We have no staff now. We have no budget. We have limited subpoena authorities.”
Williams said the board is made up entirely of volunteers. He said the board can subpoena witnesses, but not police and that needs to change.
“In order to get to all the facts, the board must have some avenue to get all the information,” Williams said.
The community weighed in.
“How do you make sure that people who make the complaints feel safe enough to trust you?” one woman said at the town hall meeting.
“My concern is that you’re being appointed by someone voted into office,” another woman said.
“We do need a review board that has subpoena power. Too many people have died and lost their lives,” another man said.
“This is a step in the right direction to ensure that you have the kind of trust in us that makes us the best police department in the country,” Hall said.
There are several more town hall meetings planned during the next couple of weeks across Dallas.
The goal is to give all communities the opportunity to voice their opinions.