Ordinance drafted for controversial police review board

Thursday Tampa City Council prepared a draft of a controversial ordinance establishing a police review board for a vote.

Despite the efforts of council chairman Frank Reddick and several community groups who called for a board that would give the council the majority of appointees, the ordinance that will go up for a first reading gives mayor Bob Buckhorn the majority.

If passed after several readings, Buckhorn would appoint seven of the 11 members, leaving city council with four appointees. One of each of the council's appointees would come from each of the city's four districts.

The ordinance. now up for a vote, also includes two-year staggered terms. It does not give the review board the power to subpoena witnesses or records for any investigative purposes, but council members said the city charter gives the city council that subpoena power if warranted.

Councilwoman Yvonne Capin proposed a 15-person board, of which council would appoint seven and the mayor would appoint 8, but the measure failed.

Citizens who spoke publicly at Thursday night's council meeting where the draft ordinance was discussed worry the board will be pro-police because they see Buckhorn as an extension of the police department.

The council will take its first vote on the review board ordinance on November 5.