The Dallas City Council has expanded the powers of the independent panel that oversees city police and hears complaints about officer misconduct.

Council members voted unanimously Wednesday give the newly renamed Community Police Oversight Board a budget and staff of four to monitor complaints against officer.

Activists in Dallas have been calling for greater powers for the oversight board for years. Their cause took on a new sense of urgency, however, after national attention focused on how the North Texas city handled a white, off-duty police officers fatal shooting of a 26-year-old black man in his own apartment.

Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall answers a question from a Dallas City council member during a meeting at Dallas City Hall in Dallas on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall answers a question from a Dallas City council member during a meeting at Dallas City Hall in Dallas on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

The changes were supported by Police Chief U. Renee Hall, who will retain control over officer discipline, and applauded by activists, city leaders and the board’s current members.

Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, shakes hands with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings after the city council voted to give more power to the citizen police review board at a meeting at Dallas City Hall in Dallas on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, shakes hands with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings after the city council voted to give more power to the citizen police review board at a meeting at Dallas City Hall in Dallas on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

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