Part Of Required Overhaul Of Civilian Police Review Board Headed To Council

Police on patrol during Republican National Convention. [photo: Matt Richmond / ideastream]
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The Civilian Police Review Board, along with the Office for Professional Standards, investigate and rule on civilian, non-criminal complaints against police officers. The review board would expand from seven to nine members. Residents from each police district would be included on the board. City council would appoint four of the nine members, taking some control from the mayor, who would appoint the other five.Mario Clopton of the Community Police Commission says the proposed changes are a good start.

“There’s a lot of things in the structure of the civilian complaint process within this emergency ordinance that are addressed and that are progressive," says Clopton.

Part of the US Justice Department’s Consent Decree requires an overhaul of the way complaints are handled. Clopton says the city should also be considering reforms to the way the board handles complaints, as the Community Police Commission recommended and the Consent Decree requires. The city will get to that, says Safety Committee Chair Matt Zone. But first, he says, there needs to be a functioning police review board.

“Many of the items they’ve proposed, the city actually agrees with. There’s just a process and we can’t get to where we all want to get to just simply by enacting everything overnight," says Zone.

After a public hearing on Tuesday, the ordinance will go to city council for a vote, then, if approved, to voters on the November ballot.

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