Public Safety

Birmingham Sets Up New Police Advisory Committee

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin (Source: Facebook livestream)

Birmingham Randall Woodfin on Tuesday announced the formation of a Public Safety Advisory Committee to conduct an assessment of police operations, review community complaints, bring transparency to police operations and hold the police department accountable for its actions.

The first meeting of the committee will be Thursday on the second floor of City Hall and is open to the public.

The committee formation comes after the city in 2021 formed a Civilian Review Board, but it never got to the point of publicly dealing with community complaints. It conducted listening sessions and researched practices in comparable cities, including Durham, North Carolina; Atlanta; Denver; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and St. Louis, Missouri, according to a city statement last year.

“The experience surrounding the initial creation of a civilian review board provided greater insight into the needs of such a panel and shed light on how the policy would interact with state law,” Woodfin said in a statement issued Tuesday. “This transition to a Public Safety Advisory Committee will jumpstart efforts to support our intent.”

Committee members will serve as volunteers without pay. Members of the committee are:

  • T. Marie King, an activist, speaker, trainer/facilitator who will serve as chairperson.
  • The Rev. Lawrence Conoway, pastor of Fellowship Bible Church.
  • Annetta Nunn, former chief of the Birmingham Police Department and now YWCA of Central Alabama domestic violence court advocate.
  • Victor Revill, a criminal justice attorney who also served on the city’s earlier Public Safety Task Force, which recommended establishing a civilian review board, along with other measures.
  • Don Siegelman, an attorney and former governor who also served as the state’s lieutenant governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

Woodfin said the new committee was formed “as part of an ongoing effort to build trust between the community and law enforcement.”

The city already has set up a website for the advisory committee where people can get more information and file a request for the committee to review a involving police.

Forms also can be downloaded from that site, and paper forms will be available at Birmingham’s public libraries and the Office of Public Information, on the third floor of City Hall.

Paper forms can be hand-delivered to the Office of Public Information or mailed to:

  • Division of Social Justice and Racial Equity re: PSAC
    710 20thStreet North
    Birmingham, AL 35203

After a matter is investigated, committee actions and recommendations will be forwarded to the mayor. Findings of the committee also will be made public in regular reports, according to Woodfin’s statement.