Bemidji City Council Hosts Listening Session on Police Advisory Board
On Monday, the Bemidji City Council held a special session in order to discuss their plans regarding a police advisory committee for the city of Bemidji. They called it a listening session.
The evening started with Mayor Rita Albrecht explaining that this is an opportunity for the council to hear from the community but will not be a forum for debate at this time. Some citizens arrived in person in the city hall chambers, but the majority joined the video conference call remotely. Many made statements to the council on the nature and function of this board.
There was much debate on what the board could look like, some arguing it should include police officers directly, others saying it should be community elected, and others still advocating for two separate boards: one for police issues and one for community equity.
The council members spoke again at the end of the call, explaining they would take this information under advisement and continue to decide on what the future will look like regarding the potential for a police advisory committee.
Over 50 community members joined the call with a majority speaking throughout the hour-and-a-half long session.
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