Columbus officials vote to create police oversight board

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – Officials in Columbus have voted to create a permanent oversight board for the city’s police department in the wake of the shooting death of a 26-year-old man.

The Commercial Dispatch reports Columbus councilmen and Mayor Robert Smith voted Tuesday, with Smith breaking the city’s six councilmen’s tie. The board will consist of the mayor, two or three councilmen and six citizens.

The board’s creation was one of six recommendations brought to the council by a recently formed committee responsible for reviewing work done by the police department’s special operations group. Members of that group were involved in the Oct. 16 shooting death of Ricky Ball.

Officials say the board will review police-to-community performance, help construct a policy on excessive force and ensure a fair and thorough investigation into Ball’s death.