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Three meetings set on riot gear proposal

The Duluth Citizen Review Board will host three public meetings across the city next week to gather input on the Duluth Police Department's request to buy personal protective equipment, or riot gear, for its officers.

Duluth police officers wear riot gear during a protest by the Supreme White Alliance at City Hall in downtown Duluth in March of 2012. (News Tribune file photo)
Duluth police officers wear riot gear during a protest by the Supreme White Alliance at City Hall in downtown Duluth in March of 2012. (file / News Tribune)

The Duluth Citizen Review Board will host three public meetings across the city next week to gather input on the Duluth Police Department's request to buy personal protective equipment, or riot gear, for its officers.

The meetings were requested by members of the Duluth City Council, which last month voted to table a resolution authorizing up to $82,721 for the purchase of a variety of items, including shielded helmets, body armor and crowd-control batons.

Funding for the equipment already is included in the city budget for 2018, but the purchase has been on hold since last December, when public concerns were first raised about the prospect of increasingly militarized law enforcement. Others have described the equipment as a necessary safety measure for officers in the event of civil unrest.

The meetings will consist of a brief greeting from Citizen Review Board members followed by an open-house format that will allow participants to review and provide feedback on a sample policy regarding the use of the equipment.

The Citizen Review Board will later convene a special committee meeting to review and report on the results of the three open houses, the city said in a news release Wednesday.

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The meetings are scheduled for:

โ€ข Tuesday, Oct. 9, 5:30-7 p.m., East High School, 301 N. 40th Ave. E.

โ€ข Wednesday, Oct. 10, 5:30-7 p.m., Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Ave. W.

โ€ข Thursday, Oct. 11, 5:30-7 p.m., Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. First Ave. E.

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