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New bylaws approved for Alexandria Police Commission

The commission's duties include recommending a process for hiring and promoting officers, and reviewing the police budget for the coming year.

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the Alexandria City Council gave final approval to adopt new bylaws for the city’s police commission.

City Administrator Marty Schultz said the new bylaws are intended to allow the commission to function generally the same way the previous bylaws allowed.

The new bylaws authorize the mayor, chief of police and police commission members to execute the new rules.

The council began the process of changing the city’s home rule charter regarding the police commission’s authority over the Alexandria Police Department last fall. A part in the charter stated that the city’s "police civil service commission shall continue to function as provided by state statute.” The council took steps to change that to say the commission will function “as determined by the city council.”

The commission's duties include recommending a process for hiring and promoting officers, and reviewing the police budget for the coming year. It has no authority to investigate complaints or allegations of misconduct of officers or other employees of the police department, according to the bylaws.

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If a commission member receives such a complaint, they will notify the police chief immediately. If the allegation relates to the police chief, they will report it to the mayor.

The commission includes five members – three from the public, the police chief and the mayor.

The council also changed the name of the commission, dropping the "civil service" part of it and calling it "police commission."

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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