LEWISTON — In its first meeting of the new term, the City Council reversed course from the previous council and directed staff to participate in Mayor Carl Sheline’s ad hoc Advisory Committee on Community Safety.

The move comes after the previous council directed city administration not to allow Police Chief David St. Pierre to serve on the committee and limit city resources dedicated to the committee.

At the time, a majority of the council took issue with the makeup and potential outcomes of the committee following criticism from Lewiston’s police union president.

Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline Submitted photo

Sheline formed the committee in August with former council President Linda Scott following a series of community forums on the topic, where officials fielded concerns and feedback from residents regarding violence in the city, including a Knox Street shooting that left two dead. Many commented on the relationship and communication between Lewiston police and the broader community, as well as the need for more accountability from both sides.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to direct city administration to assign staff to the committee, but it’s unclear whether that will include St. Pierre.

No one from the council commented on the decision during the meeting Tuesday.

During the previous term, several councilors called the committee “political grandstanding” with a “pre-determined” outcome of forming a citizen review board to review alleged police misconduct.

Sheline has said the goal of the committee is to discuss ways to “improve cooperation and communication between the community and the police,” with “no predetermined agenda or outcome.”

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