The Dallas City Council has expanded the powers of the independent panel that oversees city police and hears complaints about officer misconduct.
Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to give the newly renamed Community Police Oversight Board a budget and staff of four to monitor complaints against officers.
Activists in Dallas have been calling for greater powers for the oversight board for years. Their cause took on a new sense of urgency, however, after national attention focused on how the North Texas city handled a white, off-duty police officer’s fatal shooting of a 26-year-old black man in his own apartment.
The changes were supported by Police Chief U. Renee Hall, who will retain control over officer discipline, and applauded by activists, city leaders and the board’s current members.