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Citizens Group Pushes for Police Review Board in Topeka

A Topeka citizens group is advocating for an independent police review board.

The group Topekans for Racial Justice is calling for the creation of a citizen review board to improve relations between the Topeka's minority communities and the city's police department. Spencer Crowl, one of the group's leaders, says has surveyed review boards in other cities and found they have been beneficial for both citizens and the police

Crowl says the review board would assess complaints from community members and collect data on matters such as the racial breakdown of traffic stops and diversity within the department. A spokeswoman for the Topeka Police Department says it has already established a nine-member advisory board to look into matters of racial equality in policing and has held a number of outreach events. But members of the citizen's group say the city needs a review board that is independent of the department. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for January 29.

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