YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 50

Citizens Police Review Board Origin: City of Columbia, Missouri Link: Click here Summary: The City of Columbia’s Citizens Police Review Board provides an external and independent process for review of actual or perceived misconduct by local law enforcement to increase police accountability to the community and community trust in the police. Talking Points & Important Information: • Many jurisdictions across the country have some type of civilian oversight board or commission; however, their efficacy is varied. While San Francisco is a strong example of significant investigative and disciplinary power, this initiative from Columbia, Missouri is a measure of the wide application and support behind civilian oversight boards. The city of Columbia, MO empowered their board to participate in the hiring process of their local law enforcement agency in addition to investigations of civilian complaints and other duties. • Citizens review boards are important for many reasons: • They help ensure that police act in accordance with the law, • Provide a way for people to have their complaints and concerns about police conduct heard by a neutral authority, • Identify broader problems and patterns of abuse that may need to be addressed, and • Maintain public confidence in law enforcement. In fact, citizens review boards are empowered to launch investigations into police department behavior that are subject to litigation and make recommendations directly to city management. • Citizen oversight of the police force is not detrimental to public safety, but rather ensures the centrality of community relations and community safety. When residents are empowered in their relationships with local law enforcement officers, public trust is assured and vulnerable residents are likelier to cooperate with law enforcement and contribute to the overall maintenance of public safety. • For more information on model civilian oversight boards and strong examples from around the country, check out Justice in Policing here. 2015 POLICY BOOK LOCAL LEVEL PAGE 50