Public Safety Proposal Prompts Fiery Response
FOP Suggests "Snakes" Infest Current Public Safety Advisory Commission
“I am calling for the immediate resignation of Chief of Police, Rick Boren immediately,” Justin Allen said in response to a recent video published on social media showing the arrest of two men in South Columbus. It was one of many fiery exchanges on the floor of the Civic Center where members of the public and city council went back and forth over a proposal to expand the Public Safety Advisory Commission’s authority to include subpoena power and access to closed investigations. The amendments were introduced by Councilor Pops Barnes on the heels of a handful of high profile incidents.
“I know Chief Boren, been to many social events with him many. He tried to do a lot for this community but he’s got some bad apples,” Marvin Broadwell said.
The President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Christy Papay said the city council already has subpoena power and suggested the Public Safety Advisory Commission was infested with other agendas. “And if it does go forward I am asking that there be very strict guidelines on who you choose to appoint to be on this board cause I promise you there are snakes,” Papay said.
But one by one members of the public invoked names of men who died after an encounter with local law enforcement including Fort Benning fireman Tony Carr who was an innocent bystander. Jarvis Lykes was killed evading a DUI checkpoint. Kenneth Walker was shot and killed by a Muscogee County Sheriff’s Deputy after a case of mistaken identity and Hector Arreola died after calling police for help.
“Three and a half years and nothing has happened. There’s people in this community that don’t even know the case of Hector Arreola, did not hear his name spoken today, do not hear his name spoken from any officials. Why is that?” Hector’s dad Rodrigo Arreola asked the Mayor and Council.
The passionate debate likely to continue privately over the next two weeks as members of Council prepare to vote whether or not to expand the powers of the Commission. Police Chief Ricky Boren had already announced his retirement and his last day of service in October.