COLUMBIA SC — A nine-member panel will start work July 29 on a review of law enforcement practices in Columbia after a woman was killed by repeat offenders whom some residents say should be been kept in jail.
Panel members were chosen by Mayor Steve Benjamin to recommend ways to keep career criminals off the streets, to review whether police officers should stop seeking approval from prosecutors before getting arrest warrants and to suggest changes that strengthen bonds that offenders obtain for release.
The goal, Benjamin said, is to come up with ways to “shut the revolving door that puts violent offenders who terrorize our community back on the street as quickly as we arrest them.”
The review comes after the death of Kelly Hunnewell, a 33-year-old mother of four children gunned down while she worked in a bagel shop bakery July 1.
The first session of the panel will take place at a conference room in the city parking garage at 820 Washington St. No starting time has been set yet.