Alexandria Community Policing Review Board
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.
- 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
- February 19 Draft Ordinance: English | Spanish | Amharic
- Board Options: English | Spanish | Amharic
- Community Meetings:
- Public Comments Submitted (prior to March 9)
- Meeting Minutes
- January 18, 2022 Meeting Minutes
- February 2, 2022 Meeting Minutes
- March 2, 2022 Meeting Minutes
- April 6, 2022 Meeting Minutes
- May 6, 2022 Meeting Minutes
- June 1, 2022 Meeting Minutes
- July 6, 2022 Meeting Minutes
Questions and Answers
How is the text of the MOU written and will there be community input on it?
The text of the MOU will be determined by the Independent Policing Auditor and the Board with assistance from the City Attorney’s Office. The Board’s processes for including community input in its efforts will be determined by the Board, but Council could require such input in decisions regarding the MOU.
What is the current stance / attitude of the Alexandria police department regarding the creation of this board?
The APD is supportive of the creation of this Board and Chief Brown has indicated that he believes the Board’s work dovetails with the City of Alexandria and the APD’s support for and implementation of the philosophy of community-oriented policing.
With respect to the seats set aside for members of marginalized or over-policed communities: who decides what constitutes a community and whether a community is sufficiently marginalized or over-policed to qualify?
This determination will be made by City Council based on the data provided by APD and the number of calls received and ran throughout different sections of the City.
How can we make sure that the City Council appoints representatives of all the historically racially or socially marginalized communities in Alexandria? It seems their mandate may not be fully enforceable.
The draft ordinance sets aside three Board seats for members from “racially or socially marginalized communities that have commonly experienced disparate policing in Alexandria or the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The City would use police engagement data as well as work with our Race and Social Equity Officer to ensure that decisions made with regard to filling these seats are made based on appropriate definitions and data. The goal of the makeup of the Board is to create a fair, objective, independent, diverse, and representative body which shall reflect the demographic diversity of the City.
What is the expected date of implantation? We (""Blacks"") have been waiting for decades.
The law which authorizes this Board goes into effect on July 1, 2021 however, there are a number of steps that need to occur in order for the Board and its Staff to begin their work. Council will need to approve the ordinance, residents will need to apply for the Board and be chosen by Council, and staff will need to be hired to support the Board. Once the Board members are appointed by Council, the Board will meet to establish its practices and procedures and execute the MOU with the APD. Once these steps occur, they will pass a Resolution indicating their readiness to begin their work.
What authority will the Board have to hire, fire and direct the work of the Police Auditor (Executive Director)?
The hiring and firing of the Police Auditor will be within the purview of the City Council pursuant to the proposed ordinance.
Will this committee have any input on the hiring process for the auditor?
The Police Auditor will be appointed by the City Council and shall serve at the pleasure of Council. One of the enumerated duties of the Board will be to advise City Council on the hiring and annual evaluation of the Independent Policing Auditor/Investigator, so Board input into the work of the Auditor would be considered by Council in their review of the Auditor’s work and effectiveness.
We pay the Police Chief to manage the department. Where is the line drawn between internal and external action?
In order to accomplish the goals of independence, openness and transparency with regard to investigation of complaints and certain, most egregious incidents involving policing in Alexandria, the Board and its staff will be responsible for the administrative investigations of all complaints against APD as well as all incidents resulting in a death, use of force incidents, and incidents involving severe misconduct of a law enforcement officer. The APD’s Office of External Affairs and Professional Responsibility would continue to investigate all other administrative investigations regarding internal professional conduct and violations of City Administrative Regulations which do not fall under the Board’s purview.
You noted that, as proposed, the board’s recommendations would be “advisory recommendations.” Am I correct in understanding that these recommendations would not hold authority then and that the police department would not be required to follow the recommendations? Can you discuss the extent to which the board’s recommendations must be taken into consideration/implemented, or any other incentives the ordinance will set up requiring the police department to do so (i.e. an annual publishing of the remaining and closed recommendations)?
As currently proposed, the Board would provide advisory recommendations, however, if APD declines to implement the discipline recommended, the Chief of Police must, within 30 days of the Board’s recommendations, create a written record that will be made available to City Council, the City Manager and the public, with its rational for declining to implement the recommendation of the Board.
In the draft, it says that if the police dept chooses not to implement a recommendation from the board, they need to write a statement and post it. What is the authority of the board? Can the police force just write reasoning for not taking recommendations at their discretion?
Pursuant to the Ordinance as written the Chief of Police must provide its rationale for declining to implement the recommendation of the Board. It is not discretionary as to whether or not that must be done.
Could you explain why the board can only recommend action after investigation rather than mandate it? How would the process proceed after a recommendation by the board?
If the APD declines to implement recommendations made by the Board, the Chief of Police shall, within 30 days of the Board’s recommendation, create a written record, which shall be made available to city council, the city manager, and the public, of its rationale for declining to implement the recommendation of the Board. If the work of the Board is being interfered with in any way, the Board can seek either City Manager and/or City Council intervention to resolve the issue.
The Board is also charged with producing public reports regarding the work of the Board and disseminating these reports in hardcopy and online, including, but not limited to, a written report to the City Council by September 1 of each fiscal year of its activities for the prior fiscal year under the provisions of this chapter along with any comments and recommendations as it may choose to make.
Page 11 of the draft ordinance excludes the CPRB from addressing hiring, assignment, and promotion decisions. This seems to leave out an important aspect of the police force that impacts potential areas of systemic racism. Was this exclusion limited by the state, or was it a choice of the city in its draft? If it was the city’s choice, why?
The City’s Charter maintains hiring and firing of personnel is within the purview of the City Manager and therefore cannot be delegated to a board.
Will the board have control over hiring and firing? Also, APD has not delivered on past promises of transparency (they don't collect ethnicity data and record Hispanics as "white"). will this make a difference?
The ultimate authority to hire and fire City employees is enumerated in the City’s Charter. This authority resides with the City Manager and is delegated to the Police Chief for the hiring and firing of APD law enforcement officers and staff. The draft ordinance reflects that existing Charter provision.
Two of the Board’s enumerated responsibilities are to review and evaluate existing and proposed APD administrative directives, including all rules, policies, and procedures which direct the operation of the APD and its employees; and to review and evaluate reports issued and data collected by the APD related to policing practices, policies, procedures, and outcomes. In executing these responsibilities the Board could certainly make recommendations regarding data collection and reporting of police interactions.
What led you to draft an ordinance that is a hybrid board model instead of the more robust investigative model? (As background, I have also researched policing review boards as part of my role on the Dismantling Racism Team at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Old Town.)
The proposed hybrid model of community oversight of law enforcement included in the draft ordinance to establish a Community Policing Review Board balances the need for independent investigation of community complaints as well as the most egregious cases and incidents involving law enforcement in our community with work to examine systemic patterns in complaints, incidents, conduct, policies, procedures and outcomes in policing in our community. The Board and Auditor will work together to both execute independent, transparent investigations of grievous policing cases and incidents as well as conduct broad evaluations and offer data-driven recommendations for improving police policies, practices, procedures and training in the Alexandria Police Department. This combination can improve trust between police and the community by ensuring public confidence in our police department through accountability and transparency.
What specific authority will the Board have if the Police Dept. decides to stonewall evaluations and reviews. (West End Resident)
The Board, as the ordinance is currently, written, would have the authority to complete certain investigation and with that subpoena power for documents and/or witnesses.
Who has the authority to enforce that the recommendations the review board makes are implemented? City council? The independent auditor?
City Council would work with the City Manager’s Office and APD to enforce any recommendations they deem appropriate are implemented.
What happens if responses to recommendations are later than 30 days? (2-4-227 e.II.(b) and d.iv.)
The MOU that is executed between the Board and the Police Department will clearly define the terms of the relationships and mutual obligations between the Board and APD and the Police Chief is required to sign the MOU. If the work of the Board is being interfered with in any way, the Board can seek either City Manager and/or City Council intervention to resolve the issue.
If you have a 7 member board, but one of those 7 members (law enforcement seat) does not have a vote, you are left with a 6 member voting board? What would be the effect of a 3-3 vote?
The draft ordinance indicates that there will be 7 voting members of the Board and describes the law enforcement person as ex-officio non-voting. So, as drafted, there will be 8 members – 7 voting and 1 non-voting – so there would not be a tie situation (assuming full attendance at a meeting).
Is adequate funding guaranteed when the Review Board is approved? Resident in Rosemont.
The City Manager works collectively with Council to ensure the appropriate funding is approved and a part of the annual budget.
How many years of funding are established for the Board?
The City Manager has included contingency funding in the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year to fully fund the Board staffing and functions as recommended in the draft ordinance. As with all City functions, the Board’s budget will be considered and funded annually.
How about representing youth members of our community, someone age 13 - 17, in K-12 grades?
As the draft ordinance undergoes additional consideration and vetting there will be ongoing discussion regarding the makeup of the Board and its membership.
Are there any limits on police information the CRB wouldn’t be allowed access to in carrying out their duties? If so, how is a disagreement between what the CRB wants and APB’s disagreement resolved?
Hello, this is Councilman Seifeldein. Could you inform the community about the edits I made? Could you speak about what information the Board can share with the community in its report? What information does the ordinance prohibit the Board from sharing with the public?
The draft ordinance provides the Board, through the Independent Policing Auditor, full access to all APD reports, files and records related to the Board’s investigation or review of complaints filed with the Board or with APD. In addition, the draft ordinance indicates that all records, documents and materials in the possession of APD or the City that are determined by the Board to be necessary and requested by the Board to carry out its scope and authorized functions shall be provided in unredacted form.
However, If the documents requested are part of a criminal investigative file for an active criminal investigation which could be compromised by the revelation of the process, evidence, methods, scope, or other factors in such investigation, APD shall not be compelled to provide such documents until such time as the investigation is completed or a determination is made that the criminal investigation will no longer be compromised.
Councilman Seifeldein’s recommended edits to the draft ordinance are posted to the webpage for review and will be considered along with all input from Council as part of the review and deliberation of the draft ordinance.
What remedies can the board put in place if it finds a problem?
The Board may recommend legislation, policy changes and other actions related to work conducted by the Board to the City Council, City Manager, APD, School Board, School Superintendent, and other public agencies.
How do you get "buy-in" from communities that are not able to get this information through a webinar or their computers? Not everyone has the ability to access electronic media. This is not a criticism, just wondering how the message is going out to everyone.
Staff is working to engage interested parties across the City in this outreach effort, including revising with organizations and individuals who were part of the initial research and outreach effort.
What is the nomination or application process (before appointment) for review board members? How does one submit an application to be considered to be a member of this board?
How does one submit an application to be considered to be a member of this board
How does a citizen volunteer for participation on this proposed board?
Who selects the members and who does the board report to?
Good evening! What are the qualifications to join the board? If there are currently requirements in place.
As with all City Boards and Commissions, Boards and Commissions are responsible to City Council and appointments are made by Council at the first legislative meeting of the month. Position vacancies are advertised through eNews, on the City's website, and in the City Clerk's Office. Once the ordinance is approved by Council the application process for the Board will follow the usual and customary process for receiving and considering applications for the Board. The Board reports to and is accountable to City Council.
The ordinance says the board can meet no less than 4 times per year. Is this indicative of what you expect to see from the Board? Or would you expect more regular meetings? Is there any relation between this minimum number and the average amount of civilian complaints that APD generally receives?
The frequency of Board meetings will be determined by the Board when it establishes procedures for its meetings and determines what procedures will be most conducive to the conduct of its business and the accomplishment of its work but will be no fewer than 4 times per year.
2-4-227 e.ii. lets APD adopt or decline recommendations only. Are there any other options like APD and CRB co-developing policies?
There is nothing in the draft ordinance that would preclude the Board and APD from working cooperatively on the development of practices, policies and procedures however, with the goal of independence in mind, recommendations of the Board would require action or response from the APD within 30-days of the recommendation being issued.
What other bodies currently review policing in Alexandria, as an example the Human Rights Commission, will these bodies be diminished, integrated; and how do we ensure this does not place an undue administrative burden on APD
Since 1991, the Alexandria Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is tasked with reviewing all cases of excessive force, demeaning language, and harassment involving APD law enforcement officers or civilian employees. APD reports the results of internal investigations in these areas to the Executive Committee of the AHRC and the Director of the Office of Human Rights. The AHRC has the authority to hold hearings and “to request, with the approval of the City Manager, that a City department head furnish to the Commission information in the possession of the department that is relevant to the duties of the Commission.”
In addition, the Executive Committee of the AHRC and Director receive reports on Taser use and have reviewed all Taser deployments since the inception of the program. In the event of a police-involved shooting, the APD Chief meets with AHRC after the Commonwealth’s Attorney and APD Chief have each completed their investigation. Finally, the Vice Chair of the Commission who is assigned external affairs, ex officio, is notified whenever there is a suspected hate crime in the City, which enables Commissioners to reach out to the victim(s).
In general, the AHRC has established positive relationships over the years with the Chiefs of Police in their role. However, Commissioners have been frustrated by the limitations on evidence they are able to review with regard to incidents they are tasked with reviewing. The AHRC supports establishing a civilian review board with greater authority, or other process for audit and review of law enforcement in Alexandria.
How will complaints get to the Board's attention--by individuals, the APD, specific Board members who continually investigate such matters in the city, the Human Rights office, or others?
The Board will be tasked with developing and administering a process for receiving community complaints regarding conduct of APD law enforcement officers and civilian employees and referring complaints to APD or the Independent Policing Auditor/Investigator depending on the nature of the complaint, for investigation. This process will be separate and distinct from any existing procedures by which the APD receives community complaints as required by law under Virginia Code § 9.1-600
Is there a conflict in sections 227 e.i.(3) and 229 a. iii. regarding APD budget review but excluding expenditure review?
The draft ordinance authorizes the Board to receive, review and evaluate the annual budget and expenditures of the APD and make budgetary recommendations.
Will the Board receive monthly or quarterly calls for service and able to view serious calls that police respond to and the outcome. In other words, will all account of police activity be taken into consideration?
The Board is specifically authorized to review and evaluate reports issued and data collected by the APD related to policing practices, policies, procedures, and outcomes, which could include a review/auditing of calls for service should the Board determine that is an area they would like to evaluate.
The presentation indicated that the ordinance as drafted calls for 7 board members, 1 of which would have law enforcement experience and would be a non-voting member. With 6 voting members, tied votes are possible. Is that an intentional choice/are there benefits to the possibility of a tied vote? Or, would it be beneficial to consider instead 7 voting members and an 8th non-voting LE member and eliminate the possibility of ties?
The draft ordinance indicates that there will be 7 voting members of the Board and describes the law enforcement person as ex-officio non-voting so, as drafted, there are 8 members – 7 voting and 1 non-voting so there would not be a tie situation.
Would the review board have advisory input on School Resource Officers? Could they make recommendations regarding the MOU between the police dept and ACPS?
One of the enumerated duties of the Board is to recommend legislation, policy changes and other actions related to review and evaluation conducted by the Board to the City Council, City Manager, APD, School Board, School Superintendent, and other public agencies.
Where does the sheriff’s department fit in?
What about the Sheriff's Department? Is anything in place that would do an independent review of how prisoners are treated in an institution that is run by an elected department head?
Thank you for the opportunity to provide questions on this important topic. What is the potential impact of the sheriff’s office being excluded from this board's purview?
The legislation which authorizes these bodies specifically exempts Sheriffs and their employees from the definition of “law enforcement.” Therefore the City does not have the authority to include them in this draft ordinance and the scope/duties of the Board.
With 86 counties and localities in Virginia representing 36% of Virginia’s population served by a sheriff (not a police department) as their primary law enforcement agency, there is an expectation that the General Assembly will continue to work to include sheriff’s department employees in the definition of “law enforcement” in the future.
From your research, do you have an idea of how many of different types of complaints the board would be addressing?
As drafted, the Board would be responsible for investigating all complaints regarding policing in Alexandria as well as completing the administrative investigation of the most egregious incidents involving policing in Alexandria, including all incidents resulting in a death, use of force incidents, and incidents involving severe misconduct of a law enforcement officer.
According to Department records, in 2020 the Alexandria Police Department investigated 90 incidents and/or complaints regarding policing in Alexandria, noting that not all investigations were generated by a complaint. 53 incidents and/or complaints were related to internal professional conduct and violations of City Administrative Regulations which do not fall under the Board’s purview. 37 incidents and/or complaints fell into the areas of severe misconduct or use of force as defined in the draft ordinance.
I read the complete ordinance and am really impressed with how thorough it is. Is it possible for you to share what other municipalities you looked at to develop this draft?
Staff reviewed community oversight of law enforcement in dozens of localities across the United States, including Fairfax County, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Washington DC, Prince George’s County, Cambridge, Albany NY, St. Petersburg FL, Seattle, Portland, Eugene OR, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego County, Berkeley CA, Riverside CA, Nashville, Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Urbana IL, St. Paul MN, and Kansas City MO.
How would board decisions be made? Majority vote?
The Board will establish procedures for its meetings and will determine what procedures will be most conducive to the conduct of its business and the accomplishment of its work. The draft ordinance requires that in order to take any action, a quorum of at least five out of seven voting members of the Board must be present. Any action by the Board which constitutes a recommendation or proposal for action by the city council or any other city board or commission requires the affirmative votes of a majority of the committee present unless a larger majority is required by the ordinance enabling the Board.
Goals of the ordinance include increasing trust and have timely oversight. But the draft ordinance limits actions by the board until completion of investigations by the APD, and prevents the board from addressing complaints that are more than 6 months old. This seems to limit redress for citizens who trust APD initially to address a concern, but are later dissatisfied and looking for oversight from the CPRB months later. Why the short limit on timing, and will the City consider extending or eliminating that time limit?
Based on our research and best practices suggested by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), a statute of limitations is regularly put in place to ensure timely filing of complaints and investigation of incidents. Without such a restriction, an agency’s ability to acquire evidence decreases after a significant period of time and witness recollections of an incident are likely to diminish. However, the need to preserve the quality of an investigation must be balanced with the need to ensure that complainants are not overly constricted in their ability to file a complaint.
With regard to investigations, many agencies have a 180-day rule for the time to complete an investigation. Exceptions for this rule may be given for factors such as a showing of “good cause,” i.e., complexity, number of witnesses, staffing shortages, etc.
The stated goals & objectives were centered on legitimizing the police and improving police-community relations. While these are good goals, they feel centered on the needs of the police department. Why is there no goal explicitly related to supporting accountability for possibly abusive officers, or protecting the community from possible patterns of abuse?
The stated purpose of the Board in the draft ordinance is to enhance policing legitimacy and to increase and maintain trust between and among the police department, city council, city manager and the public; provide timely, fair and objective review, investigation and evaluation of policing policies, practices, procedures, and outcomes in Alexandria; provide meaningful assessments and corrective recommendations intended to remedy discriminatory practices, including racial and social inequities, that it may find; ensure the protection of all communities through recommended actions and reform, including in the criminal justice system; and recommend strategies for effectively implementing these reforms in our community.
How many citizens are viewing this webcast currently?
33 community members participated in the Saturday, February 27 webcast; 35 community members participated in the Wednesday, March 3 webcast.
Can you go into more detail about the considerations regarding the Investigator/ Auditor? What qualifications would you prioritize?
The qualifications for the Police Auditor/Investigator are not specifically enumerated in the draft ordinance however they would be those which are necessary in order for them to accomplish their duties and responsibilities.
NACOLE suggests the following qualifications for a civilian oversight executive: a Bachelor of Arts/Science or an equivalent degree. Master’s degree, Juris Doctorate, or PhD is highly desirable; at least four (4) years of experience in the field of public or private administration or in the practice of law; prior managerial or supervisory experience. NACOLE suggests knowledge, skills and abilities that include:
- creative, innovative and outgoing leader with recognized judgment, objectivity and integrity with a commitment to achieving solutions and results;
- strong passion for community relations and outreach with the ability to build strong, yet independent working relationships with a wide array of constituents and community representatives particularly, experience working with multicultural/ethnic communities;
- ability to bridge community and institutional concerns around fairness and justice issues and knowledge of social problems, community attitudes, organization and subcultures;
- work effectively within the framework of governmental and judicial structures;
- exceptional analytical, verbal and written communication skills;
- the ability to manage people;
- knowledge of organization and management practices and methods, including goal setting, program development and implementation, employee supervision, personnel management, employee relations, team building, budget development and financial management;
- high level of resiliency and the ability not to personalize adversity;
- the ability to interact and operate effectively with various stakeholders, e.g., elected and appointed officials, law enforcement officers and administrators, community groups, and others;
- the ability to work independently, fairly and objectively;
- effective facilitation, negotiation and diplomacy skills;
- a willingness to make a long- term commitment to the organization;
- knowledge of general legal principals and statutory law including knowledge of employer-employee hearing and administrative procedures;
- knowledge of principles, practice and procedures related to conducting investigations and administrative hearings including rules of evidence and due process;
- knowledge of police administration and organization, and the rules, laws and regulations thereof.
How will we ensure its implementation - will there be a plan for ongoing review/evaluation from the community - as the ordinance states there will be recommendations on year 2... but does not mention continuous evaluation after that.
In addition to the review of this ordinance establishing the Board, its effectiveness, and recommendations for improvements required by April 1, 2023, one of the stated duties of the Board included in the draft ordinance is conducting community outreach in the city related to the review and reform of policing practices, policies and procedures in Alexandria and the work of the Board.
Would this board also have the authority to investigate biased policing that may not result in injury or death? Additionally would the board have authority to investigate officer complaints?
The definition of “severe misconduct” included in the draft ordinance includes behaviors and actions beyond those which result in injury or death, including verbal or other conduct regarding an individual or group that maligns or shows hostility for the individual or group because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. In addition, the Board’s authority to review and evaluate reports issued and data collected by the APD related to policing practices, policies, procedures, and outcomes would allow it to investigate patterns of biased policing in the APD.
The Board’s investigative authority is based on the subject matter of the complaint not where the complaint originates. If a police officer submitted a complaint about patterns of biased policing or an incident of severe misconduct, or any behavior or incident which would fall within the scope of the Board’s investigative authority, that complaint would fall within the purview of the Board. Officer complaints outside of this area of investigative responsibility would remain the responsibility of other departments, including but not limited to the Office of Human Rights, Human Resources Department, City Attorney’s Office or APD’s Office of External Affairs and Professional Responsibility.
For more context on officer complaints, as an example, if an officer files a complaint because another officer uses a racial slur in the lunch room. The officer would be filing the complaint on another officer. Would the board be informed?
This specific example would be an EEOC violation regarding discrimination in the workplace which would be investigated by the City Attorney’s Office.
Do you have any information on how APD Defines community policing that's a very general term
The APD defines community policing as a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. The APD’s Community Oriented Policing Section (COPS) assigns sworn police officers to specific neighborhoods. The COPS Officers actively build positive relationships with the residents of their neighborhood. They have the responsibility of ensuring order and safety within their designated communities.
COPS officers are part of the APD’s Community Relations Division (CRD). The mission of the CRD is to actively build positive relationships with the members of our communities and develop partnerships with all the stakeholders of the City of Alexandria. The vision of CRD is that by working together the members of our community will see the members of the Alexandria Police Department as allies in the struggle for a better and safer community for all. That the partnerships that are established with community stakeholders will bring about more economically and socially stable neighborhoods
Can you clarify the next public hearing on this topic and when the vote will occur?
The draft ordinance will be considered by City Council at its March 9 legislative meeting. At that meeting, Council will determine the timeline for ongoing consideration of the ordinance, including scheduling the ordinance for a public hearing and determining the date of final passage of the ordinance.
Staff is recommending that Council adopt the proposed ordinance establishing an Independent Community Policing Review Board on first reading, set the ordinance for public hearing on March 13, 2021 and, after public hearing, adopt the final ordinance.
Will tonight’s recording be available for download?
Can you quickly share the URL for the webpage?
All materials prepared for the process of drafting and reviewing the ordinance for the Community Policing Review Board, as well as all public input gathered, questions and answers, presentations and recordings of the public meetings will be posted to the webpage dedicated to this effort.
The word ""incident"" seems so passive/minor/insignificant. Better term: ""case?"" ""tragedy?"""
"GRANTING A CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD THE STATE POWER TO PURSUE SUBPOENA OF THE BOOKS AND RECORDS OF PRIVATE CITIZENS IS A BAD IDEA. YET THAT IS WHAT THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE DOES. SUCH POWERS SHOULD ONLY BE GRANTED, TO A CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD BY AN IMPLEMENTING ORDINANCE IF THERE IS A COMPELLING NEED TO PROVIDE SUCH POWERS, AND SUCH POWERS SHOULD BE NARROWLY TAILORED BY THE ORDINANCE TO ADVANCE THE COMPELLING PURPOSE. THE ORDINANCE DOES NOT MEET THAT STANDARD AND THEREFORE UNNCESSARY THREATENS FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENRY.
BOOKS AND RECORDS OF THE CITY ARE AVAILABLE TO THE BOARD, AND THAT SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT. IN FACT, THERE ARE MORE PROTECTIONS CONCERNING DISCLOSURE OF THE CITY BOOKS AND RECORDS THAN THERE ARE PROTECTIONS CONCERNING THE BOARD’S RIGHTS TO COMPEL ORDINARY CITIZENS TO TURN OVER THEIR BOOKS AND RECORDS. THIS BOARD HAS POWERS TO EVALUATE POLICIES AS WELL AS SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF MISCONDUCT. YET THE POWER OF SUBPOENA OF PRIVATE BOOKS ND RECORDS IS NOT LIMITED TO SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF MISCONDU" "NOT LIMITED TO SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF MISCONDUCT. IT COULD ATTEMPT TO SUBPOENA BOOKS AND RECORDS OF ORDINARY CITIZENS SIMPLY TO HELP IT CONDUCT RESEARCH FOR POLICY EVALUATIONS. EVEN THOUGH A COURT ISSUANCE OF A SUBPOENA PROVIDES SOME ELEMENT OF 4TH AMENDMENT PROTECTIOSN AGAINST A REVIEW BOARD’S UNCECSSARY SUBPOENA, THAT WILL REQUIRE THE CITIZENRY TO OBTAIN LEGAL COUNSEL TO EFFECTIVELY PROTECT RIGHTS TO QUASH IMPRUDENTLY SOUGHT AND ISSUED SUBPOENAS."
Also, not just ""citizens,"" community members."
How about a Community Police ""Advisory"" Board, and not a ""review"" board? We need to preview police actions, as a community team effort, not define ""oversight"" as ""review."" I want to draw a blueprint for the police force that Alexandria needs, not review the existing policies. I want us to build the police force we need before a civilian dies. Timely is NOT review, it's prevention."
Shouldn't the City have other means in place in order to assist with this Police review - Body Worn Cameras, Dash Cameras, and so forth in order to ensure a more transparent process. The Review Board is a great idea but I feel it should be part of a multi-faceted approach.
Experienced relative to duties? Huh? Who doesn't have experience relative to defining the police in their community?"
A resident of Alexandria - I live in Potomac Yards. - Thank you so much for this webinar. Thank you both Sarah and David for the presentation.
Strongly agree with use of the word “policing” as opposed to “police.” Thank you for that.
Great that Alexandria may be "first;" however, it's long overdue. Please admit that fact.
And I beg people to stop saying "things won't change overnight." We know. Again, I've been waiting my lifetime (nearly 60 years). We've all been waiting hundreds of years.
thanks for answering my question! I appreciate your efforts on this
Thank you both for this presentation specifically as well as the tremendous amount of work you’ve put into this (and especially for Ms. Taylor’s work during many months).
Really? This is very disappointing! They need to be informed of what (Councilman Seifeldein’s proposed changes) are. Community feedback is needed. A reference to changes is not the same as what the changes are. This is how we engage with the community?
Would be helpful to describe location of translated streams on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.
Also what is thinking regarding the board's influence on disciplinary decisions? There seems to be public acknowledgment if the Board's recommendations are not followed, but how about giving the Board one collective vote in disciplinary decisions for example
Looking for trends has merit but the only way to change the culture is to hold individuals accountable.
Great answer Monica. We need more officers like you. Intelligent and polite.
Thank you for the presentation and the thoughtful answers to all of our questions. I appreciate your dedication to our community.
Thank you that is helpful
I second Mr. Burns comment. Thank you for the presentation and thoughtful answers. They were all very informative and helpful
Excellent webinar. Well organized and great answers. I love my community.
Thank you everyone!
Thank you, community members.