Iowa law complicates efforts to create Des Moines police review board

Des Moines City Council members debated on Tuesday whether state law allows the city to create a police department review board that could review investigations of police misconduct. 

During a work session, Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders presented a plan to the council that would create an advisory police department citizen review board. Sanders’ recommendation fell short of of recommendations made in a city-commissioned report that said a police review board should be able to investigate officer misconduct.

Changes made last year to state law prohibit the city from creating an investigatory review board, Sanders said. 

“State law has come in to pre-empt any efforts that I’ve seen in the past for communities to put that in play,” Sanders said after the meeting.

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