Charlottesville City Council Holds Special Meeting for CRB Proposals
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Councilors have questions and concerns about a set of proposals from the Police Civilian Review Board.
Since members were appointed to the CRB last summer, the board has met to come up with a set of operating guidelines. The goal is to complete the bylaws for the group to oversee police in the city for years to come.
Most City Councilors appear to favor establishing an Executive Director and extending the current CRB member's terms from June to July so this work can get done.
"The mission of the [Executive Director] would be to investigate these complaints but they would be the one who would have access to full data and brief the board," said Councilor Mike Signer.
Some councilors are worried about confidentiality issues, especially if a complaint involves a juvenile. Members of the CRB told council training would be needed to make sure confidential information isn’t disclosed.
Costs are also a concern because the CRB is proposing an annual budget of at least $180,000. Council also focused on if the CRB would be able to run a parallel investigation while police do its own internal investigation.
“Who would reconcile a disagreement if there was a case being investigated by the police department on one track and the CRB investigating the same complaint on its own track and they have come up with a different conclusion,” said City Councilor Kathy Galvin.
CRB members say their own internal investigation would not interfere with the CPD's investigation.
“The CRB wouldn’t have any authority to make determinations or discipline,” said CRB member Sarah Burke. “They could come up with their own findings. They would make those findings then available to the City Manager and to City Council and then the City Manager would make the determination.”
Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney says the CRB would be an added layer of transparency.
"There are a lot of avenues to do that including adding a CRB as an opportunity to take in complaints and be the advocate for the person in taking that complaint," Brackney said.
The CRB will meet Tuesday night at City hall to continue finalizing the bylaws and get a final proposal to City Council in June.