SUNBURY — City Council will host a work session to discuss a new resident police commission after Councilman Josh Brosious questioned how members of the panel Mayor Kurt Karlovich wants to create will be selected.
During Monday's council meeting, Brosious requested the work session. He said he wants to discuss the panel further and wants to make sure that council would be the deciding body on who would be on the five-member Citizen Police Advisory Commission.
Councilman Jim Eister also questioned why the group would be given a line item in the city's budget.
Karlovich told council the group would have five members, including four residents and one non-resident of the city. Part of the group's responsibility would be to research and enhance community relations and outreach efforts, Karlovich said.
The group would also bring more public awareness to the department regarding police services, programs and policies.
The group would report to the mayor, who would then report to city council.
Karlovich had an ordinance written that would allow council to make the final appointment decisions, however, councilman Chris Reis wanted to discuss leaving council members out of the decision. Brosious asked, why not?
"We appoint others to various boards in the city all the time," he said. "Who is going to make the decisions on who is qualified to be on this commission if council does not?"
Karlovich said he was tossing the idea around of having non-profits from the area do the screening and make recommendations on who to appoint.
Eister said he was confused as to why the group would be given city funds.
Karlovich said it was just a starting point because he wanted them to have money in order to reach the community and possibly start any small programs they may want.
Police Chief Brad Hare said he and Karlovich and solicitor Joel Wiest worked on the proposal and that he thinks the group can be good for the city.
"With everything going on in the world this is a good idea to get people talking to each other," he said. "This is a start and we know we need to make this commission better but it is a starting point and we can now build off this."
Hare said he believed it was a good idea to hear from citizens and the commission would be able to voice concerns to the department on ideas or questions from residents.
Karlovich agreed to set up a work session and the date will be announced, he said.