The City of Madison released the first set of nominations to the Civilian Oversight Board on Friday.
The Common Council designated nine local organizations to recommend members to the Civilian Oversight Board, and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Council President Sheri Carter and Council Vice President Ald. Syed Abbas reviewed 27 nominations.
The nominations included Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, nominated by the Community Response Team; Ananda Deacon, nominated by Freedom, Inc.; Joshua Hargrove, nominated by JustDane; Rachel Kincade, nominated by NAMI; Ankita Bharadwaj nominated by OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center; Yesenia Villalpando-Torres, nominated by UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence; Maia Pearson, nominated by Urban Triage and Jacquelyn Hunt, nominated by YWCA.
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“I’m humbled to have been selected. I don’t take it lightly. I believe that there’s a big responsibility being a part of this committee,” Hunt said. “I’m hopeful that our voices will help shape some of the decisions that the police make in certain situations, how to give them a different perspective.”
Hunt said everyone nominated for the Board will bring their own perspectives, and that these multiple perspectives will be helpful.
Abbas said the candidates are all well-qualified for the position and are from a variety of different communities and backgrounds.
“It’s really good to see such a diverse group of people with a lot of great experience ” Abbas said. “I’m really happy to see those names moving forward.”
In addition to the nine recommendations, Rhodes-Conway selected Keetra Burnette, who facilitates the United Way’s Law Enforcement and Leaders of Color Collaboration, and Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee Co-Chair Keith Findley.
Rhodes-Conway spoke about the committee nominations in a press release.
“There were over 75 applicants interested in serving on the Civilian Oversight Board, making our decisions very difficult,” Rhodes-Conway said. “I am confident that both Ms. Burnette and Mr. Findley will bring experience, perspective and community connections that will help the Board succeed in its mission.”
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Hunt said the current roles of members of the committee include looking at decisions and reports made by police officers and giving input or insight. After determining if the decisions and reports are fair and just, the Civilian Oversight Board makes recommendations.
Hunt said she is an authentic Madison voice and has deep roots in the citie’s marginalized communities.
“I hope that my voice will be heard in that space, and I hope that the work that we do is found to be valuable, and that this is just one of many new steps and recommendations that Madison will implement to bring back more trust between brown and Black communities, particularly in the Madison Police Department,” Hunt said. “Hopefully more, it might support other cities and communities to look into doing the same.”
This article was updated on Thursday Oct. 1 to reflect the comments from Council Vice President Ald. Syed Abbas.