CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston will not hire a new firm to audit the Charleston Police Department for bias, despite support at Tuesday night's City Council meeting to do so. The council voted to stick with its current firm, Novak.
The city hired Novak to perform a government-wide audit, including one of the police department, in February.
Despite this, Councilman James Lewis made a proposal for a new and separate firm to come in and audit Charleston Police.
Members voted 7 to 5 to turn that down.
Community members supporting an outside firm to come in says the city's current firm isn't qualified to perform the audit looking into the police department.
This comes one day after the Charleston Area Justice Ministry had a press conference saying racial bias exists in the department.
The Council has previously voted to have Novak subcontract another firm that specializes in racial biases to perform the audit on the police department, City Spokesperson Jack O'Toole said Tuesday night.
At Tuesday night's council meeting, Mayor Tecklenburg said the council would subcontract out the audit into the police department and the council would then give its approval.
Mayor John Tecklenburg was very passionate about not bringing in a new firm to audit the police department, saying the Illumination Project is already put in place to deal with bias in the community.
However people who came out to support bringing an outside firm to look into the department say they're disappointed council members didn't believe their stories of racial bias and dismissed their experiences, choosing to not hire an outside firm not having any association or ties to Novak.
The current company, Novak, will now hire, with council's approval, a firm skilled in police practices to perform an audit on the police department.
The city released the following information on Tuesday: