CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - We're getting our first look at who might be sitting on Charlottesville's Police Civilian Review Board. The list of applicants is out and features some very familiar names.
However, as that list provides some answers for the board’s future, it’s raising even more questions. The board is set to have seven members and by the application deadline last Friday, only 14 people had applied for a seat.
With a small pool of candidates, questions remain about what will happen if not enough applicants meet the criteria.
"I was hoping that it would be a liaison between the community and the police department,” Jaree Magee, ThriVe Women's Healthcare, said.
The board tasked with serving as that liaison requires each member to live in the city, and meet several other criteria.
“I think that's what they were initially trying to do and they had to work out some kinks and so because of that they are kind of making some changes within there,” Magee said.
Three out of seven seats go to people from historically disenfranchised communities or those that live in public housing.
Magee applied, and meets the rule that one member represents a social or racial justice organization. “So, having lived in Chicago my entire life, the relationship between community and police are not necessarily that great. Being here for a few years, I’ve noticed that the dynamic here between police and community is changing.”
The full list of applicants includes former city council candidate Bellamy Brown and former state senate candidate Elliott Harding. It also features almost a dozen others from around the Charlottesville area. It's unclear what will happen if not enough candidates meet the board's needs, and that's a concern for some community members.
"Very much a concern, again, I just don’t want the outgoing council if you will to have a rush to judgment. If necessary just take time, and let the new incoming council in January actually review the applications and put the people in place that meet the requirements,” Community Activist Don Gathers said.
The city council will interview candidates before their meeting next Monday. The final board will likely be named early next year.