Detroit police board to start virtual meetings

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city's Board of Police Commissioners is scheduled to hold its first virtual meeting Thursday, making it the latest Detroit agency to replace public gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Chairperson Lisa Carter leads a Detroit Board of Commissioners meeting at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters in Detroit, Thursday.

The board has been working on setting up the virtual meetings since it canceled the March 19 meeting and suspended all subsequent meetings until further notice, chairwoman Lisa Carter said.

"This is all new to everyone," Carter said. "We've got the system up and running, but I'm sure we'll be learning as we go."

Citizens may participate in meetings using the Zoom video communication software or by calling one of several numbers: (929) 436-2866, (312) 626-6799, (346) 248-7799, (301) 715-8592, (346) 248-7799, (669) 900-6833 or (253) 215-8782.

When prompted, enter the meeting ID: 397380647 and press ##.

The board meets each Thursday at 3 p.m., except for the second Thursday of each month when it holds a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. That schedule will hold for virtual meetings, which are broadcast on City TV 21 and at

Typical board meetings include crime updates from the police chief or his designee; a presentation by a representative from a department unit; and questions or statements from residents, who have two minutes to speak. Often, when a citizen makes a complaint, he or she will be directed to a police official for private discussion and further action.

The Detroit City Council held its first virtual meeting last week. Recent press conferences by city officials have been attended by only a handful of journalists.

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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN