After three officer-involved shootings this year, the City Commissioners unanimously voted to introduce an ordinance creating a Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB) at their meeting today.
The City Commissioners approved the creation of the CPRB in June after weeks of nationwide protests against police brutality.
The CPRB will be tasked with reviewing investigations of excessive or deadly force by police. Staff reports that citizen involvement in policing is intended to increase trust between law enforcement and the community.
City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said the CPRB is not a perfect solution, but it is a start.
“I just wanted to say to the citizens, I’ve heard you. We’ve looked around the country, and this is the best that we can do with our current law right now, and so I’m asking you to just ride with us and work with us,” Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said.
The proposed ordinance, Ordinance No. 20-O-31, outlines components of the CPRB. According to the ordinance, the board will be made up of nine volunteer members appointed by the City Commission, four of which will be appointed from nominations by community organizations. Members will serve three-year terms.
Members of the board cannot be City employees or relatives of TPD employees. Members will receive training on TPD policies, attend the TPD citizens academy, and participate in a ride-along.
Notably, the board will perform “after the fact”—after TPD’s internal investigations or grand jury proceedings have concluded. The board will have the authority to review and provide recommendations on investigations.
The board will also be required to prepare an annual report to the City Commission, the City Manager, and the Chief of Police.
According to the ordinance, all CPRB meetings will be open to the public in compliance with the Sunshine Law. Meetings will be held at least once per quarter.
A public hearing for the ordinance will be held Sept. 23, 2020.