Police Chief Brackney Discusses Changes to CPD, Goals for Transparency
Changes could soon be on the way for the Charlottesville Police Department.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Changes could soon be on the way for the Charlottesville Police Department.
On Wednesday, January 9, Police Chief RaShall Brackney says these changes could help the department better address issues in the community.
Chief Brackney says she spent most of the day Tuesday meeting with members of the police department and that restructuring the organization could be a step in the right direction.
Brackney says she’s ready to take the department in a new direction.
“We've been talking a lot about restructuring the organization,” Brackney said.
Brackney says that after an extended discussion with members of the department, changes are needed to better suit the needs of the community it serves.
“The restructuring is based on quite a few things,” Brackney said. “It’s, one, based on the skills, the knowledge, and abilities of each of the individuals."
Brackney says she wants to make direct changes to the department in order to best play to its strengths.
She adds that this is something that has never before been done.
"Each person that’s being moved will either take over a different unit or to be the head of a different unit is based on their strengths, their abilities, and the needs of this community,” Brackney said.
Brackney hopes the changes in the department will benefit the community and work toward the department's goals for greater transparency.
“Although there’s a ways to go, that we have an opportunity here to really build a strong, healthy, vibrant police department, but also a strong, healthy, and vibrant Charlottesville," Brackney said.
This move comes after on-going allegations that the CPD doesn’t release certain data to the city’s Police Civilian Review Board, but Brackney claims she’s never received a direct request from the board.
“There isn't a police department in the world - including anyone who has open books - that will allow you access to their unfiltered raw data, including the reports,” Brackney said.
Brackney also questions how access to data will help the CRB draft its by-laws, which is the job members have been tasked to complete.
“If they could tell me how seven years’ worth of body cam data helps them form or fashion their by-laws and how they believe that gets them to what governance looks like,” Brackney said.
Brackney has cited members of the CRB being one of many reasons vacancies within the department are becoming harder to fill.
“It works at cross purposes if word out of your mouth are things like we despise you, words out of your mouth are, without any evidence, that 'cops and Klan go hand in hand,' it’s not like I’m creating this situation,” Brackney said.
Brackney says she does hope the department and the Civilian Review Board can work toward having a better relationship.
We are expecting more information about the restructuring of the police department sometime next week.