Public to Give Feedback on Candidates for Police Civilian Review Board
Charlottesville City Council is in the process of choosing community members for the new Police Civilian Review Board. Comments from the public will be allowed at forum on Tuesday.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council is in the process of choosing community members to keep tabs on the police department.
Councilors approved the creation of the Police Civilian Review Board back on December 18. 2017. It received 25 applications, and narrowed that down to 14 candidates who will participate in a community forum Tuesday, April 24.
Tuesday’s forum will allow the public to give feedback on the candidates vying for the seven spots on the new board.
City Councilor Heather Hill says selecting the initial members - who will serve a one-year term - is important because these individuals will be tasked with creating policies and procedures for years to come.
"I think bringing a variety of different perspectives as well as backgrounds is going to be really important for us to make sure we have the broad perspectives that we're looking to have come out of these decisions over the next year," said the councilor.
"I wanted to be here in the beginning because that's going to help define what that board looks like and the scope of its authority and how it’s going to be able to implement the idea of establishing a full and fair procedure both for police officers and for citizens," attorney Jeffrey E. Fogel said.
Fogel and community activist Don Gathers are among those 14 finalists.
Hill says there's a lack of trust between law enforcement and the community right now. She thinks this board will increase accountability and civilian engagement.
Tuesday’s forum is set to get underway at 5:30 p.m. at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center. Folks will also be able to weigh in via an online survey.
Charlottesville City Council is not expected to appoint board members until the beginning of June.