On June 9, 2020, City Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2950, which condemned police brutality and systemic racism; reaffirmed that Black Lives Matter; and stated Council’s intent to establish a community policing review board in our City. The resolution also affirmed that the City of Alexandria and all government officials have a duty to ensure the protection of all communities through actions and reform, including in the justice system. The resolution directed the City Manager and City Attorney to return to Council at the first Legislative Meeting of September with a proposed ordinance to establish a Community Policing Review Board in Alexandria and Council has continued the discussion following this initial draft.
Recently adopted Virginia legislation states that a law enforcement civilian body may receive, investigate and issue findings on complaints from civilians regarding conduct of law-enforcement officers and civilian employees of a law enforcement agency serving under local authority. The legislation also recognizes that there are many successful models of community policing review boards and there is no single model that will fit the needs of every community. The City has the ability and responsibility to tailor the components of its system to the particular needs and characteristics of the Alexandria community, and intends to use community feedback through engagement opportunities to help shape its Community Policing Review Board. City Council developed a draft ordinance after considering examples of Review Boards throughout the country and the City’s own needs, as discussed at the January 12, 2021 City Council meeting.
At its public hearing on April 17, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance establishing the structure of a new Independent Community Policing Review Board, to be effective as of July 1, 2021 along with its authorizing state law. The ordinance grants this board the authority to receive concerns from the community regarding policing in Alexandria; review Alexandria Police Department investigation of certain incidents and complaints; conduct independent investigations of certain incidents and complaints of more serious incidents, as defined in the ordinance; and to consider and make recommendations on policing practices, policies and procedures. The ordinance also establishes a new City Council appointed position known as the Independent Policing Auditor/Investigator to staff this new review board.
- February 19 Draft Ordinance: English | Spanish | Amharic
- Board Options: English | Spanish | Amharic
- Community Meetings:
- Public Comments Submitted (prior to March 9)
- Community Police Review Boards, from the Office of Councilman “Mo” Seifeldein
- U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs National Institute of Justice, Citizen Review of Police Approaches and Implementation
- Civilian Oversight of the Police in Major Cities
- National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement
- National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, Reports and Publications
- The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
- Civilian oversight as a public good: democratic policing, civilian oversight, and the social
- Survey Says?: U.S. Cities Double Down On Civilian Oversight Of Police Despite Challenges And Controversy, Sharon R. Fairley
- Ideal Police Oversight and Review: The Next Piece of the Community Policing Puzzle
- United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, Handbook on Police Accountability Oversight and Integrity
- Review of National Police Oversight Models For The Eugene Police Commission
- Overview Of Civilian Oversight Of Law Enforcement In The United States, By Barbara Attard And Kathryn Olson