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Two civilians appointed to Lexington police review board

Mayor Linda Gorton received 74 applications for citizen positions on the Police Disciplinary Review Board. She said she chose appointees who were fair-minded...
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Mayor Linda Gorton received 74 applications for citizen positions on the Police Disciplinary Review Board. She said she chose appointees who were fair-minded, ethical, and objective.

One of those appointees is retired UK law professor Allison Connelly.

“I feel like I owe my community a service. I have always felt that way,” Connelly said.

She spent 16 years chairing the city’s Ethics Commission and served on the Human Rights Commission. Now, her new assignment is citizen rep on the Lexington Police Disciplinary Review Board. It’s the first time civilians have been added to the board, a recommendation from the mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality.

The board will oversee cases in which the chief needs advice on how to discipline an officer, or cases in which an officer rejects the chief’s recommended discipline. The board’s suggestions will be sent to the chief for further action. Connelly hopes her presence on the board will improve police transparency.

“Because without transparency you got mistrust, and when there’s mistrust with the police, that’s bad for public safety and for the community,” Connelly said.

Connelly said she has not met the other civilian on the review board, Darlene Barber. Barber works in the state personnel cabinet and served as co-chair of the Minority Business Expo. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

“I am honored and humbled with the mayor’s selection and confidence in me,” Barber said. “I am looking forward to serving the community in this capacity.”

Gorton named Father Jim Sichko as an alternate to the board. Connelly said she hopes to get something accomplished in her new position and is pushing for the publication of police decisions once they are final.

“We should be looking at training, at things like what kind of training police receive in detentions and stops,” Connelly said.

Connelly and the other appointees must be confirmed by the Urban County Council.

Mayor Gorton said the citizen appointments to the Police Disciplinary Review Board will last for two years.

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