Bradenton police confirm Citizens Advisory Committee members

The city of Bradenton’s new Citizens Advisory Committee for the Bradenton Police Department has been finalized.

According to Chief Melanie Bevan, the committee will work with the department to review policies and completed investigations and make sure that citizen complaints are addressed. She first introduced the board idea in July.

Mayor Wayne Poston chose the members, picking two of his own candidates and choosing from a pool of two nominations from each of the City Council’s five members.

“The composition of this committee represents the diversity and culture of Bradenton at its best,” Poston said in a prepared statement. “Committee members have all committed to working together to develop real and measurable ways of enhancing BPD’s relationship with the community they proudly serve.”

“We’re excited about this initiative and the partnership we’re developing with our residents as we work towards maintaining transparency and public trust,” Bevan said in a statement.

The proposal comes more than a year after Bradenton officials first began considering a charter review process that concluded in a referendum amendment that could result in City Council’s oversight of the police department if voters approve the measure in November.

But Poston and some council members have clashed over the charter amendment proposal. Council members say it’s a necessary step to hold officers accountable, but the mayor has called the attempt a “power grab.”

“I think it’s funny that all of a sudden this is showing up. It seems to me that a year ago we had a group of citizens who wanted this and the answer was no,” Councilman Patrick Roff said at a previous meeting.

According to a release, these are the seven members on the Citizens Advisory Committee:

  • Donald Goudy, a local entrepreneur
  • Bruce Benson, a retired police chief from Michigan
  • Marcus Moriba, a local entrepreneur
  • Brent Cohenour, a local business owner
  • Deirdre Guilloton, a marriage and family therapist
  • Edward Barthell, a pastor at St. Stephen A.M.E. Church
  • JoAnn Spencer, a liaison for the Washington Park neighborhood

The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Bradenton City Hall Chambers. The meeting is open to the public.

Ryan Callihan is the Bradenton Herald’s County Reporter, covering local government and politics. On the weekends, he also covers breaking news. Ryan is a graduate of USF St. Petersburg.
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