Evanston aldermen Monday approved creation of a Citizens Police Advisory Committee to review complaints made against police officers.

The only substantive change the aldermen made to the advisory committee proposal worked out by Police Chief Richard Eddington and an ad-hoc group of residents was to specify that the panel should have nine members with one from each ward.

As submitted to the aldermen, the proposal had called for a panel of between four and nine members with no more than two members from a single ward.

With that, several aldermen also asked that residents of their wards interested in serving on the group contact them quickly so their names could be forwarded to Mayor Lorraine Morton to be considered for appointment.

The panel will have no authority to impose penalties on officers, but will be able to make recommendations to the chief regarding individual incidents and policy and procedural changes as well as conduct community outreach in an effort to improve police-community relations.

The proposal has been under development for about a year.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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