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Members of the newly-formed Monessen Police Accountability and Internal Affairs Board were recently sworn in. The board consists of Monessen residents: Bob Stark, Karen Cosner, Mayor Matt Shorraw, Raynelle Mays, and Alan Duncan Sr.

Monessen
Pictured L-R are members of the Monessen Police Accountability and Internal Affairs Board: Bob Stark, Karen Cosner, Mayor Matt Shorraw, Raynelle Mays, Alan Duncan, Sr.

The board was created by a vote of the council at a Monessen City Council meeting in June, applications were accepted and appointments were made at the August Council Meeting.

The purpose of the board in part is to protect the public, the Monessen Police Department, city employees, review and make recommendations on improving policies and procedures, and review and investigate formal complaints made by citizens against members of the police department.

The board also discussed a willingness to learn more about policing and to create an open dialogue with police. The board also hopes to serve as a bridge to bring the Monessen Police Department and the residents of Monessen together, to establish a better working relationship, and strengthen community ties. The board plans to meet regularly to hear from speakers on various topics, so the board can continue to learn.

“I am confident that this board will do well,” said Monessen Mayor Matt Shorraw. “The board's members are committed community servants, who are excited and motivated to help our city. I applaud them for having the interest and dedication."

The Mayor said that the creation of this board is an example of Monessen being proactive, rather than reactive. "We don't want to wait for an incident to happen. We want to be prepared, and we also want to help bridge the gap, and create room for open dialogue between police, the city, and the community."

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