Mayor Bob Buckhorn is moving ahead with his creation of a citizens review board for Tampa Police Department by issuing a call Thursday for applications.
The call comes after the creation of a separate board by the city council in response to criticism from the public over the amount of control Buckhorn will have in choosing who will serve on the 11-member board.
Buckhorn’s board, which he aims to have in place by December, will review police use of force cases and incidents that result in internal investigations. It won’t have subpoena power, the ability to call people to testify – another point of contention.
“We heard the community’s concerns and are moving forward with a Citizens Review Board that reflects the reality in Tampa,” Buckhorn said in a statement announcing the call for applications. “This board will provide an additional layer of community input and transparency that is a valuable asset to Tampa Police Department and the city. I intend to appoint a board along with the city council that reflects the diversity of Tampa and incorporates of a variety of opinions, backgrounds and neighborhoods. I urge all who are interested to apply for consideration.”
Applicants must be Tampa residents or own a business within the city. Board members will serve four-year terms, but five of the first appointees will serve three years in order to establish staggered terms.
Members must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, complete the Citizens Police Academy, go on a minimum of three hours of ride-alongs in the police department’s three districts and attend three quarters of the scheduled meetings each year.
Applicants can’t work for the city, be related to a Tampa Police Department employee, be a current member of the agency or have prior felony convictions or convictions of moral turpitude. You can’t hold a political office or be campaigning for office.
You can find the application here.