Arguing that a citizens' review committee would help reduce tensions between police and the community, Councilman C. L. (Clay) Bryant this week called on his City Council colleagues to submit recommendations for such a panel.
"There is a need for a commission of this nature," Bryant said, to help prevent problems between officers and residents, serve as an means of redress for residents who believe that they have been treated unfairly by police, recognize heroic deeds by police and firefighters and hear complaints about unsafe traffic conditions.
Bryant has sought some form of civilian review over the police since 1984, when he accused officers of "beating up on minorities." His accusation spawned two federal investigations of the Police Department, neither of which substantiated charges of racism or brutality.
The call for a police review body was renewed last October when Harold Webb, president of the Pomona Valley chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, accused police of using excessive force and racial slurs in dealing with the black community.
At Monday night's meeting, Bryant offered no specific suggestions about who should be on such a commission or what its powers over the Police Department should be. He said he will make a detailed recommendation when other council members do likewise next week.