Oxford Forms 10-Member Commission on Police Transparency

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a list of nine people Monday who will sit on the city’s first Commission on Police Transparency.

The idea to form such a commission came up during a recent public Zoom meeting between community members, city officials and heads of local law enforcement agencies that was hosted by Conversations for Change – a local community group recently formed to promote community conversations on social matters including racial injustice and police brutality.

“I believe that our Oxford Police Department serves with professionalism, respect and transparency every day,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill Monday during a recessed board meeting. “I do believe we can always do things better and can always tell our story better. A commission is a great start for us to hear from different people in our community … and to make everyone has a voice as far as asking questions and giving input.”

Each of the seven aldermen recommended one person to sit on the commission. Tannehill recommended two people and asked the board to assist her in finding a 10th member to represent the city’s student population.

“That is the one group not yet represented,” she said. “I feel that is a necessary voice for us to hear from.”

The Board of Aldermen approved the following people to sit on the new commission:

    • Margaret Gibson, retired teacher, recommended by Alderman Preston Taylor
    • Barbara Phillips, retired attorney, recommended by Alderman Janice Antonow
    • Jame Harper, attorney, recommended by Alderman Jason Bailey
    • Josh McGlawn, business owner, recommended by Alderman Kesha Howell Atkins
    • Javi Sanchez, associate pastor at Community Church, recommended by Alderman Rick Addy
    • Eddie Rester, pastor of Oxford-University United Methodist Church, recommended by Alderman Mark Huelse
    • John Abernathy, business owner, recommended by Alderman John Morgan
    • Cliff Johnson, director of the MacArthur Justice Clinic recommended by Mayor Tannehill
    • Cindy Meek Brown, business owners, recommended by Mayor Tannehill

Tannehill said the Commission on Police Transparency will likely hold its first meeting at the end of July or early August; however, date and time have not yet been set. The meetings will be open to the public.