Published: Dec 18, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Dec 16, 2011 06:38 PM
Chapel Hill's new Community Policing Advisory Committee, which was created just last spring, has been thrown into the deep end by last month's raid on the former Yates Motor Company building.
So perhaps it's not surprising that the committee got off to a bit of a wobbly start when it first took the issue up Wednesday night.
The committee, in deciding how to proceed with its review of the Yates raid, pulled an unusual U-turn.
Early in the meeting, the group voted unanimously to ask Town Manager Roger Stancil for the chance to review the report on the town's internal investigation of the incident before that report goes to the Town Council.
As the meeting proceeded, though, some members had second thoughts about that idea, and the committee opted for a do-over. So, several hours after voting to seek review of the report before it goes to the council, the committee voted - again, unanimously - instead to review the report after the Town Council hears it and takes public comment on it.The second stance aligns with the customary way in which advisory committees do their work and make recommendations. It will allow the committee to hear and consider public comments after the internal investigation report is made public.
The committee's reversal of position Wednesday is a reflection, perhaps, of its relative inexperience; it is made up of residents, not government veterans, and this was just the fourth meeting in its existence.
The committee serves an advisory role only, but it can nevertheless play an important role in the follow-up to the Yates raid. Among its purposes is to "serve as liaison to enhance community and police relations." Those relations have been shaken by the incident at Yates. There is mending to do, and the way to begin is by a thorough examination of the facts and the decision-making that led to the raid.
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