Phoenix will continue studying civilian oversight mechanisms for police

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The Phoenix City Council decided to continue researching the possibility of having a civilian oversight board for the police department. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Phoenix City Council decided to continue researching the possibility of having a civilian oversight board for the police department. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Phoenix City Council signaled its intent to withhold a decision on the creation of a civilian board until the City Manager’s Office can complete a study on the topic. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Phoenix City Council signaled its intent to withhold a decision on the creation of a civilian board until the City Manager’s Office can complete a study on the topic. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The City has been studying civilian oversight models since February at the recommendation of the Community and Police Trust Initiative. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The City has been studying civilian oversight models since February at the recommendation of the Community and Police Trust Initiative. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some say police overreacted with their response to protesters at an anti-Trump rally last month. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some say police overreacted with their response to protesters at an anti-Trump rally last month. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The City of Phoenix will continue researching the prospect of a civilian oversight board for its police department, something supporters describe as a necessary tool used to monitor many of the nation’s largest police forces and critics denounce as a bureaucratic attack on police.

In the span of two votes Tuesday night, the Phoenix City Council signaled its intent to withhold a decision on the creation of a civilian board until the City Manager’s Office can complete a study on the topic.

[RELATED: Two weeks after Trump rally, conversation continues publicly and privately about police tactics]

By a vote of 6-3, the council rejected a motion, offered by Councilman Sal DiCiccio, which would have halted the city’s research altogether. The council also rejected a citizen petition 8-1 that would have placed the item on the agenda for immediate consideration.

The petition came in response to the Phoenix Police Department’s crowd control tactics outside President Donald Trump’s rally last month.

[READ MORE: 4 arrested, 2 officers suffer heat exhaustion after protest turns unruly outside Trump rally]

“We need to have authority to do something about cops who are out of control,” said one speaker in favor of the petition Tuesday.

[RELATED: Phoenix PD does play-by-play of video of unruly anti-Trump protest]

The City has been studying civilian oversight models since February at the recommendation of the Community and Police Trust Initiative.

According to the city’s early findings, more than 100 communities have some type of civilian oversight. Among the nation’s 50 largest police agencies, about half have civilian oversight mechanisms.

[SLIDESHOW: Police deploy tear gas at Trump protesters]

Tucson, San Diego, Indianapolis, Albany and St. Petersburg have a review-focused board, which receives internal affairs cases investigated by the police department and makes recommendations on individual cases to the police chief or city officials.

[RAW VIDEO: Community members speak to Phoenix City Council about police response to anti-Trump rally]

San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh utilize another model, in which the civilian board investigates disciplinary cases with subpoena powers.

Los Angeles, New York City, San Jose, Denver and New Orleans have yet another model, where the civilian board reviews cases in bulk to identify patterns of concern statistically, like an auditor or monitor.

[RELATED: Phoenix council declines vote on review of police response at Trump protest]

“Doctors, nurses and airline pilots can all make mistakes that cause serious injury or death. Yet they are regulated by peers who are professionals within the same career field. Why then the belief by some that law enforcement needs to be reviewed by a civilian panel with no firsthand knowledge of what the job entails?” asked Ken Crane of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Tuesday night.

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