North Charleston appoints members to new citizen's advisory board

The North Charleston City council has appointed 21 members to be on the North Charlestons Citizens Advisory Commission on Community Police and Community Relations.

People who live in North Charleston, and local civil rights groups have been calling for this board since the shooting death of Walter Scott former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager.
They hope this board will provide more transparency and oversight with the North Charleston Police Department.
This board is part of an effort to improve the relationship between North Charleston Police and the people they serve, and is made up of citizens will soon be able to advise the department.

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - "If they get a complaint from a member of the community or they see something in the newspaper or on the news and they're curious about it, they can ask for the documents that relate to it. They can ask for the copy of the investigation and they can participate with the police department and talking about what should be done and what shouldn't be done and how we can make things better in the future," North Charleston City Attorney Brady Hair said.

The newly appointed group will not have access to subpoena powers, something some community members originally advocated for, which has some saying the members won't sustain power.

"It has no teeth because it doesn't have subpoena power and can't make changes to the existing structure it just doesn't have enough gumption or teeth to make it an effective board," Louis L. Smith said.

For one new advisory board member, this gives him an opportunity to look out and represent those in North Charleston who have a concern with the police.

"I just have a strong interest in civil rights and the whole incident with Walter Scott was very troubling and how the police report, the initial report didn't match the facts that came to light with the video and that sort of feeling so if there are procedures that need to be Approved on, we'll take a look at that," Daniel O'Neal said.

The ultimate goal for the group is to come together and participate in the review process and hold the police department accountable, and  in time to see it become a success.

"We want to be in a better relationship with the community and we want the community to respect the police department," Hair said.

The Chamber of Commerce still has one more member to appoint, and three local students will also be selected to sit on the board.

They hope to have their first meeting in the next few weeks.

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