CRB Members Express Concerns over Policing Data at City Council Meeting
The battle between City Council and the board tasked with holding the Charlottesville Police Department accountable is continuing.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The battle between City Council and the board tasked with holding the Charlottesville Police Department accountable is continuing.
Members of both groups have expressed interest in making progress on addressing the issue of access to police data in the city.
At the City Council meeting on Monday, January 7, councilors and members of the Police Civilian Review Board tried to meet on common ground as board members addressed council on what they call a lack of data from the police department.
“As an oversight agency, our responsibility is to foster trust and transparency and we are simply asking the CPD to open the books in the same way other Virginia law enforcement agencies have committed to doing,” Sarah Burke, who’s on the board, said.
The Civilian Review Board recently asked City Council for access to data regarding stop-and-frisks, civilian complaints of police misconduct, and incidents involving use of force from over the last several years.
“We were handed over stuff that is not raw data – rather, it’s summaries of and reports that are based upon raw data, but without any knowledge of the way in which the inputs produced the outputs," Josh Bowers, a member of the board, said.
The city has been able to provide a portion of what the board has asked for, but says it can't provide everything because of the way that police data has been tracked in Charlottesville.
“When data is filtered through the police department's analysis as it currently is, the community is receiving a specific part of the information and is in an incomplete and possibly inaccurate, possibly not, picture of the data,” Burke said.
Councilors expressed concerns that the board wasn't being specific enough in its requests, but overall agreed that the two agencies need to work together.
“I've heard from Chief Brackney that this is something that she has advocated for in her past occupations and I'm hearing from you all and understand the passion behind it and why we need it,” Mayor Nikuyah Walker said.
"I think you all need to tell us what support you would like from law enforcement community that would help in that matter,” Vice Mayor Heather Hill said.
Members of the board said they plan to work with council and the police department on getting access to the data for which they're asking.
The Civilian Review Board will have its next meeting on Tuesday, January 8, at CitySpace.