The proposal for civilian oversight of the Charlottesville Police Department is now in the hands of the City Council.
The initial Police Civilian Review Board presented proposed bylaws and an ordinance for a permanent panel at council’s Monday meeting.
The bylaws focus on meeting procedures, while the ordinance establishes the board’s composition, staff members and powers.
The proposals would allow the board to conduct independent investigations, review complaints and track department data and trends.
The proposal comes with two staff positions: an executive director and a police auditor.
During its presentation, CRB members recommended a budget of between $107,000 and $180,000 a year or not less than 1% of the Charlottesville Police Department’s budget, which is about $18 million for the current fiscal year. That decision, however, will be made administratively during the budget cycle.
The proposed ordinance allows the board to review any complaint against the CPD, review the internal investigation into the complaint and, in limited circumstances, conduct its own independent investigation.
Any disciplinary recommendations would be sent to the police chief and city manager.
The CRB would have access to personnel files, internal investigation files and other department data.
The board would have seven members from different backgrounds. Each would sign a confidentiality agreement related to the contents of an internal affairs file or other personnel record.
Mayor Nikuyah Walker said that, over the next two months, councilors will meet with city staff and each other to discuss the proposal.
The council plans to hold a work session in September that could include members of the Fairfax Police Civilian Review Board.
Board members Josh Bowers cautioned the council to not focus too much on Fairfax’s board and instead make sure the CRB is correct for Charlottesville.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all model. We could have cut and pasted their bylaws,” he said. “We wanted it to be a model for other municipalities, but we also wanted it to be the perfect model for this municipality.”
Walker said that a proposal could be ready for the public by council’s Oct. 7 meeting.
Several people spoke in favor of the proposal during public comment and many in the audience held signs that supported the board.
“You don’t need the police to be in control no more. They need to have somebody to control them. They’re getting out of hand,” said resident Mary Carey. “If we can get things going where C’ville can be on the same page as the police and the people, what a wonderful world that would be.”
Council didn’t give any input on the presentation other than to thank the board for its work.
“It looks in good shape right now,” Councilor Mike Signer said of the proposal.
A copy of the final bylaws, ordinance and other documents can be found at tinyurl.com/crbproposal.