Council considers citizens review board

WINNSBORO – During county council time Monday evening, a time when council members speak their mind, Councilman Clarence Gilbert suggested council should look into a review committee for certain situations that might occur between citizens and local law enforcement.

“Considering what’s going on in our country now, I’d like to propose that our council look into forming a citizens’ review board,” Gilbert said. “It would review situations [that might arise] in our local law enforcement departments.”

Council Chairman Neil Robinson agreed, saying council should take a proactive approach to initiate a citizen’s advisory board to give citizens a voice.

“We actually had a meeting with the Sheriff today,” County Administrator Jason Taylor said. “The Chairman and I had kicked this idea around earlier. We thought we need to do something to be proactive, to give people a voice with the sheriff’s department if needed. It’s a way to address issues citizens may have,” Taylor said.

“The Sheriff said he had already started reaching out to some people for this. And we – the Chairman, Sheriff, Ms. [Assistant County Administrator Laura] Johnson and myself – are looking to develop that further,” Taylor said.

Gilbert asked if the county would have a say in who is appointed to the review board.

“Or is it something the sheriff does?” he asked.

“With the sheriff and you all being elected officials, we’ll see how we can put that together,” Taylor said. “It makes sense for it to be a joint effort.”

“Not to say (Sheriff) Will (Montgomery) would be impartial about who he might put on the board,” Gilbert said, “but I just think the county or the citizens should have a little say in who sits on the board.”

Taylor agreed and said he would look into such a proposal.