Salinas to Reinstate and Revamp Police Advisory Committee

The Salinas City Council has breathed new life into a recently defunct police advisory committee following a string of officer-involved shootings.

The Police Community Advisory Committee (PCAC) was created in 1994 but had suspended its duties in the wake of several fatal police shootings. One of the incidents—the May 20 shooting of 44-year-old Carlos Mejia—led to violent protests and renewed calls for action on the part of residents.

Under pressure to increase police transparency, the Salinas City Council voted Tuesday to revamp and reinstate the PCAC, concluding that the use of an already existing committee would be more effective than the creation of brand new board.

"I think the PCAC can do its job better with some pretty minor updates and fixes and get where we really want to be which is good community engagement, have good points of contact between the police department and the city council," said Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin, who recommended the plan.

While the vote was unanimous, council members were in disagreement over the details of the committee’s overhaul. Council Member José Castañeda has called for further action, including the creation of a citizen review board—a project which would cost up to a half a million dollars, according to McMillin. Out of 482 cities and 58 counties, only 24 have such a commission.

New appointees for the committee are expected to be chosen as early as November.

Read more about Tuesday’s vote here.