Civic Giants lead honorary committee for Detroit conference & 45-year milestone

Retired U.S. Senator Carl Levin and legal titan Elliott Hall will lead an honorary committee as Detroit prepares to host its first national conference on civilian oversight September 22-26, 2019 and to recognize 45 years since the 1974 Charter gave Detroit a citizen police commission, Board of Police Commissioner Chairman Willie Bell announced.

For the first time ever, Detroit will host the annual conference for the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). The 25th Annual NACOLE Conference will be Sept. 22-26, 2019 at the Renaissance Center Marriott, with more than 500 people from around the world as the city also celebrates its own civic milestone.

“Many known and unknown activists helped launch civilian oversight of the Detroit Police Department, and we are honored to have two legends in Carl Levin and Elliott Hall lead the honorary committee as we celebrate the enduring vision of all those who backed a new city charter and a new path for civil rights and the accountability of law enforcement in Detroit,” Bell said. “Forty-five years later, the foundation they built endures and helps ensure effective community policing in our city as other communities struggle with police abuses today.”


Levin joined the Detroit Common Council in 1969 and became president under the new Detroit City Council in 1974, where he served before election to the U.S. Senate. A pivotal champion for Michigan and many vital public policies, Levin served for 36 years, including as chair of the Armed Services Committee. Wayne State University created the Levin Center at Wayne Law in his honor.


Hall, among many distinctions, blazed new trails as the first African-American to become Corporation Counsel in 1974 under Mayor Coleman A. Young, the assistant prosecutor for Wayne County in 1983, the vice president of governmental affairs for Ford Motor Company, and later Ford’s vice president of dealer development.


Other honorary host committee members will be announced soon. Also, Bell recently named Police Commissioner At-Large Elizabeth Brooks to work with the host committee and other civic leaders to ensure the success of both the conference and the 45th anniversary commemoration. n