First meeting of Cocoa police citizens review board expected in April

"I feel like we're getting results," activist proclaims

By James Sparvero - Reporter

COCOA, Fla. - Two years after the Rev. Johnnie Dennis petitioned the city of Cocoa for a citizens police review board, it's happening.

After approval by the council in October, the city is now requesting applicants apply by mid-February and then in April, the city hopes to have the board's first meeting.

The board will have seven members -- six citizens and one former officer who must have retired in good standing.

Councilmembers and Chief Mike Cantaloupe will each make selections.

"An oversight committee is something needed," Dennis said. "I feel like we're getting results because letting internal affairs do those investigations has become a joke," he said.

No one was laughing when two officers were found to have used excessive force making false arrests and using a Taser on a 16-year-old girl last year at the Village Green Apartments.

Officers George Menendez and Jerry Nava are both now off the force.

The review board is expected to meet four times a year.

Dennis would like to see the committee meet every month.

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