The Reynolds family settled a lawsuit with the city for $500,000.
McGinnis said the commission has the opportunity to act as a voice for the community.
"This is a golden opportunity for us to get in on the ground floor and let this serve as a model for other communities," he said.
Lohan said he is encouraged by the creation of the board.
"I think this concept is at the cutting edge of progress," he said. "I think it will bring the community together again."
Montgomery Mayor Jim Higgins said that the community only has about 2,000 residents, but the two colleges, hospital and large number of businesses make its leadership in the area important.
"I felt this needed to be done. We need to involve some of the citizens, not only in citizen complaints, but in some of the policies," he said. "And people need to know what police go through."
At least 120 cities and towns have civilian review boards across the country, but Montgomery becomes only the second West Virginia city to have any outside review of police.
Bluefield agreed to set up a review board as a part of a settlement with Robert Ellison, who was left paralyzed below the neck in 1998 after two Bluefield police officers beat and dragged him outside a nightclub. Ellison settled a lawsuit against the city for $1 million in 2000.
Montgomery City Attorney Brian Parsons has said he drafted the Montgomery law by looking at civilian review boards in other cities.
The board will meet once a month. It will look at training issues and its members will ride along with the officers once a year, in addition to dealing with issues regarding the public, he said.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.