Police Review Blog

The Coalition for Police Review is an alliance dedicated to the implementation of genuine and effective police review processes for all law enforcement agencies operating in Humboldt County. It includes Redwood Chapter ACLU, Civil Liberties Monitoring Project, Human Rights Commission, Waterfront Greens and many more.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Arcata's NOTICE OF INTENT TO CIRCULATE PETITION

NOTICE OF INTENT TO CIRCULATE PETITION

Notice is hereby given by the person whose names appear hereon of their intention to circulate the petition within the City of Arcata for the purpose of adding Article 15 to Title V, Chapter 10 of the Arcata Municipal Code. A statement of the reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:

Civilian control of the military is a cornerstone of our democratic republic. Our society depends upon maintaining mutual trust and respect between citizens and their armed forces. Likewise, our paramilitary forces as constituted in our local police forces must also be held accountable to the people.

Currently the review of complaints against the Arcata Police Department are done in-house, without review by elected officials or the general public. This lends to the perception that citizen complaints are neither thoroughly examined nor impartially considered. As with any other branch of government, independent audit and oversight are essential to ensure public confidence in the police.

In many communities across California, the establishment of police review commissions have lead to improved communication and growing trust between police departments and the people they serve. A police review commission for Arcata will provide a means for independent, prompt and impartial investigation and mediation of complaints brought against the Arcata Police Department, as well as providing a forum for citizens to review and make recommendations regarding law enforcement policies, practices and procedures.

A police review commission will not take the place of or infringe upon the prerogatives of duly sworn law enforcement officers. The Chief of Police will retain exclusively the ability to promote, demote, hire and fire officers as he or she sees fit. A police review commission will provide advice and reports to the City Manager and City Council, and it shall remain up to them to enact any proposed reforms or take any actions on substantiated complaints.

-Greg Allen

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