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Laramie City Council nixes possibility of a civilian oversight board

Hundreds gathered in Laramie to protest police brutality in June 2020
Maggie Mullen
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After two years of consideration and debate, Laramie will not create a civilian oversight board any time soon.

When protesters took to the streets of Laramie in the summer of 2020, they demanded more transparency and accountability from local police agencies. One of those demands: a civilian oversight board that could monitor the policies or conduct of the Laramie Police Department.

The city council agreed to take up the issue and kicked off a nearly two year process of committees, forums, research and debate.

The council finally started to craft a resolution this week. The resolution they passed Wednesday, March 23, supports ongoing efforts to reexamine the way law enforcement responds to mental health calls for service. It also calls for a police-community relations committee to foster engagement between the two parties, and calls for a new anonymous complaint system for civilians.

And for about an hour, that resolution included a measure calling for the further investigation of a civilian oversight board.

That measure initially won the support of five councilors – a simple majority, all it needed to pass. But an hour later, Councilor Pat Gabriel said he had changed his mind and called a reconsideration vote. Without Gabriel's support, the oversight measure only got four votes and failed completely.

Gabriel is an employee of Wyoming Public Radio.

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