Subpoena Power Passes Aldermanic Public Safety Committee

By MCNS Staff

Alderman Terry Kennedy (D-18th) chaired the Public Safety Committee that passed BB233 which would add subpoena power to the Civilian Oversight Board if passed in full board. Photo credit: Wiley Price

Alderman Terry Kennedy (D-18th) chaired the Public Safety Committee that passed BB233 which would add subpoena power to the Civilian Oversight Board if passed in full board. Photo credit: Wiley Price

St. Louis may soon add more powers to a long-contested body that investigates police misconduct.

According to local reports, the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Aldermen has unanimously passed a measure Wednesday to add subpoena power to the city’s police Civilian Oversight Board. BB233 is sponsored by Alderwoman Pamela Boyd (D-27th).

Passage of the bill as law seems inevitable as it appears it has enough votes to pass the full board. Both Mayor Lyda Krewson and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards have expressed support for the added powers.

Subpoena power being added suggests that the measure would reduce suspicion and provide more checks and balances for police.

Prior to the passage of the Civilian Oversight Board in April 2015, former Mayor Francis Slay staunchly opposed the body having subpoena power. The hard-fought Civilian Oversight Board faced major opposition from the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association who claimed that the board would interfere with investigations, and eventually passed some ten years after its first introduction. It was signed into law by Slay in May 2016 without subpoena power.

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