Civilian Review Board Members Voice Concerns over Lack of Available Data
Concerns are mounting for members of the board that’s tasked with holding the Charlottesville Police Department accountable.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Concerns are mounting for members of the board that’s tasked with holding the Charlottesville Police Department accountable.
At the Civilian Review Board meeting on Tuesday, December 18, members expressed concerns over a lack of data from the police department and that it can't serve its purpose without more help from the city.
“We can't really do the work that we've been called to do unless we have the proper information to do it with,” Don Gathers, who’s on the board, said.
Members of the board are finding issue with the lack of information they’re receiving from the city.
“There is not another board or commission appointed by the city that is having the struggles with the city that we're having,” Gathers said.
The group tasked with holding the city's police department accountable says it can't move forward without proper help from the city.
“We need more support, we need more resources, and more than anything else we need the data that we've been asking for in order to do the work we were impaneled to do,” Gathers said.
The board recently asked City Council to review a draft of its initial bylaws, in which the board requests access to data regarding stop-and-frisks, civilian complaints of police misconduct, and incidents involving use of force from over the last several years.
“Part of the process of writing the bylaws is we need to do some research,” Guillermo Ubilla, who’s on the board, said.
CRB members say gaining access to this information can help promote transparency within the police department.
“We've been begging and pleading for it and when it comes time to ante up, it’s just not coming through to fruition,” Gathers said. “We're trying to do the work that we've been asked to do, we need others to be there to help us do that work."
The city has been able to provide a portion of what the board has asked for, but can't provide everything because of the way that police data has been tracked in Charlottesville.
“It’s certainly possible to see lots of different sides of this,” Ubilla said. “I think we are determined to keep moving forward and keep working on this.”
The Civilian Review Board plans on continuing to work with the city on getting access to more police data, and it hopes to have a joint meeting with city councilors sometime in the new year.