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Cape to consider creation of police review board

By Staff | Apr 23, 2011

City Council will discuss the creation of a Citizens Police Review Board on Monday, which would review citizen complaints and some closed departmental investigations, if approved.
City council would appoint all seven members of the board by majority vote, and the board would consist of no more than three former law enforcement officers.
The initial board would consist of three members who would serve two-year terms, and four members who serve for three years. All members would serve three years following the initial appointments, according to city documents.
Councilmember Bill Deile said he’s worked for several months, along with the city’s law department, crafting the language of the ordinance which supports creation of the board.
The ordinance has gone through multiple revisions since Dec. 23, 2010.
Deile said the board would make great stride in repairing any ill-will the community might have toward the police department.
He said the board would also provide increased transparency of the CCPD, and prevent officers from protecting other officers.
“The scrutiny and transparency the board brings to the process will encourage a more in-depth review and analysis,” Deile added.
All board members would be required to a training program within six months to become knowledgeable of Police Department procedures, including attending the Citizen’s Police Academy, participation in a ride along, instruction in collective bargaining agreements and instruction in laws concerning use of force, among others.
“We’re not going to just appoint someone out of the blue,” Deile added.
Councilmember Pete Brandt, who co-sponsored the ordinance with Deile, said the board could help change the culture of the police department.
“I think it’s a good idea. It gets the community involved and gets some things out in the open that haven’t been before,” Brandt said.
Councilmember Marty McClain supports the idea of creating the board, he just doesn’t want council to be involved in selecting the board’s members.
He said Human Resources, Risk Management, or some other city department could handle the selection of the board, keeping politics out of the selection process and instead get the best citizens for the job.
“This needs to be wrapped up less in politics and more in the community,” McClain said. “It needs to be a diverse group of people, but I don’t think council should be the selection committee.”