Lincoln City Council members unanimously approved the appointments of a police officer’s widow and a former member of Hold Cops Accountable to the Citizen Police Advisory Board on Monday.
Carrie Herrera and Brittney Hodges-Bolkovac were nominated by Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird to fill seats added to the now nine-member board.
The police advisory board meets quarterly and oversees Lincoln police policies, the police department’s general performance and investigates individual complaints about officer interactions.
Hodges-Bolkovac, a Dawes Middle School teacher who has worked on the Hold Cops Accountable initiative, said she jumped at the chance to serve on the board and added she would work for equity for all residents while bringing a nonbiased lens to the board’s work.
Herrera’s husband, Officer Mario Herrera, died in September after being shot while trying to arrest a suspect in August.
Carrie Herrera told the council that though serving on the board is somewhat outside of her comfort zone, she wants to carry on her husband’s legacy by continuing to serve the city.
“It’s really about being objective,” Herrera told the council. “I think I would do a really good job at that.”
The council received a drove of emails supporting Herrera’s appointment, but there was opposition.
Stephanie Bondi said she does not know Herrera personally but has doubts that she could remain impartial.
Bondi believes activists with the Black Leaders Movement or members of the Black Clergy of Lincoln would be better to serve on a board aimed at keeping the police department accountable, she said.
“We can’t keep doing the minimum (on racial justice issues),” Bondi said.
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Stories that changed local politics: Hiring more police
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