Who should hear police complaints?
Marion’s city administrator has asked the city council to serve as a back-up oversight body that would review complaints about police.
Having such a board is required to qualify for some funding opportunities, Brogan Jones explained to council members Monday.
“That way, he can go after grants,” Jones said, referencing Chief Gideon Cody.
Cody didn’t attend the meeting. Officer Zach Hudlin attends meetings, records them, and updates council members when asked by Mayor David Mayfield whether the department has anything to report.
Cody last attended a council meeting June 12, when he asked to increase starting salaries for officers, saying it was difficult to attract employees. The department has three officers — Cody, Duane McCarty, and Hudlin.
Cody confirmed Tuesday that he was hiring county jailer Jonathon Benavidez. Benavidez is not a licensed law enforcement officer and will attend training to become one. Cody has said he plans to hire one more officer.
City council member Ruth Herbel initially was concerned about the council being responsible for evaluating complaints against police. She spoke with Jones on Tuesday and clarified what the council’s role would be — a backup for appeals.