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Iowa City Police concerned Review Board Policy changes go against “Back the Blue” Act

Iowa City Police concerned Review Board Policy changes go against “Back the Blue” Act
Iowa City Police concerned Review Board Policy changes go against “Back the Blue” Act(KCRG)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa City Community Police Review Board formally recommended the Iowa City Police Department make some policy changes. The suggestions would change when police would interfere with people. More specifically, the language that deal with how police interact with people.

The proposed change seeks to, “Decrease officer interference with the public, shifting ICPD’s focus to ensuring public safety.”

Iowa City Police Chief, Dustin Liston said his main concern is that the requested changes will go against the “Back the Blue Act” passed last month. He says one of the statements currently in the policy says the police department will do proactive policing based on probable cause. The new proposal would take out the word “proactive”.

Liston says it would have police just respond when they were called or when there was a clear public safety issue. But he also thinks this violates the new “Back the Blue” law, which punishes local governments who make certain changes to policing, such as defunding police departments.

“We certainly have priorities, and our priorities are always public safety-based, but there are some state laws, some traffic laws that may or may not be exactly based on public safety, equipment violations and things like that,” said Liston.

The city attorney is reviewing the proposed changes. Liston wants a legal opinion on if state law makes the proposal moot. Once that evaluation is done, the proposed policy changes will go in front of the City Council for a vote.

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