Phoenix City Council to vote on mask requirements, establishing police civilian review board

The Phoenix City Council will vote on May 19 on whether to ease its mask requirements.

The city council is expected to follow the new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which eased mask-wearing for fully-vaccinated Americans.

The city will follow federal guidelines at airports and on public transportation, but businesses will be able to determine if they want to continue requiring face masks.

RELATED: Phoenix mask mandate will remain in effect despite Gov. Ducey's executive order

The city council is also expected to vote on the long-awaited civilian review board of the Phoenix Police Department. If approved, the city would establish the Office of Accountability and Transparency, which would monitor allegations of police misconduct.

It would also monitor or participate in investigations of members of the department, provide recommendations for training, policy, hiring practices, disciplinary actions, and other oversight on behalf of the community.

Activists have said the civilian review board is something the city has needed for a long time, while critics have called it an attack on police.

"We are hopeful that the Office of Accountability and Transparency will provide some relief, some recourse to families who have been subjected to police violence and police misconduct who have lost their loved ones because of murder at the hands of [the] Phoenix Police Department," said Jamaar Williams of Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro.

"We are allowing these attacks on the police officers, driving down morale, we are making it very difficult for these police officers to do their job," Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio said.

On Tuesday night, the city council approved the budget for the next fiscal year, increasing the department's budget by nearly $4 million.

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