State College Borough Council Appoints Nine Inaugural Members to Community Oversight Board


  • Min Xian / WPSU

(State College) – State College Borough Council appointed at its Monday night meeting nine members to the Community Oversight Board, which has been created increase the transparency and accountability of the State College Police Department.

Nine candidates were chosen out of 16 as the first group of board members. The borough has indicated that for this first group, the terms will be staggered.

The borough council unanimously approved the appointments of Robyn Markowitz Lawler, deputy director of Penn State Hillel; Kate Heinzel, pastor at State College Mennonite University Church; and Loretta Jeffreys for a one-year term on the Board of Directors.

Ron Madrid, who has served on the district’s planning and historic resources commissions and is the long-time president of the Holmes-Foster Neighborhood Association; Vilmos Misangyi, professor of business administration at Penn State; and Charles Noll will serve for two years each.

Barrett Marshall, Legal Director at the Safe Center; Cynthia Young, associate professor of African American studies, English, and studies of women, gender and sexuality at Penn State; and Nalini Krishnankutty, adviser to Governor Tom Wolf’s Commission on Asian and American Pacific Affairs, will serve three-year terms.

Board Chairman Jesse Barlow said the group’s diverse background is critical to its mission and that he is happy to sign their letters of appointment.

“I’m going to have to sign nine letters. I can’t think of nine letters that I would have liked to sign more, ”said Barlow.

The board is responsible for establishing a civil complaints process for the police department. Members will meet quarterly, review closed cases, investigate complaints from civilians and recommend changes.


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