Implementing a Hybrid System of Civilian Oversight for Policing
The Arlington County Board took action at its May 2021 recessed meeting to modernize public safety and improve police and community relations throughout the County by considering a draft ordinance to establish a Law Enforcement Civilian Review Board (CRB) and Independent Policing Auditor for the Arlington County Police Department.
If adopted, the ordinance would authorize the creation of a seven voting member Civilian Review Board (CRB) and two non-voting members with law enforcement backgrounds with the goal of reviewing investigations, policies and disciplinary decisions by the Arlington County Police Department and offering recommendations to the Chief of Police. The draft ordinance also includes an option for the County Board to include independent investigative authority for the CRB.
During discussion, the County Board members cited the desire to continue the opportunity to engage with the community on final language for the ordinance to reach the best possible solution.
Police Practices Group
Following events involving policing and racial justice across the United States in the summer of 2020, the Arlington County Board asked the County Manager to lead a review of police policies and practices. The County Manager launched a 15 member Police Practices Group (PPG) in July 2020. The PPG divided into four subcommittees to address key issues of importance, one of which was a subcommittee charged with evaluating what type of civilian oversight of its police department Arlington County should implement. The Civilian Review Board (CRB) subcommittee focused on reviewing the different models of civilian oversight available as well as what authority and responsibilities the recommended civilian oversight body should possess.
Learning and Engagement Opportunities with County Board
- June 10 (3:00 p.m.): WATCH the County Board Work Session –
- June 22 (6:30 p.m.): County Board Hosts Civilian Review Board Community Engagement Listening Session. SIGN UP here to participate in this 90 minute interactive session with County Board Members
- July 17 (9 a.m.): County Board Public Hearing on CRB – Sign up to speak starting July 12 on the County Board website.
- Submit feedback online
Literature Review (PPG Subcommittee on Civilian Review Board-Fall 2020)
Attard, Barbara; Olson, Kathryn. 2013. Overview of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement in the United States. Eurasia Foundation.
Fairley, Shirley. 2020. Survey Says?: U.S. Cities Double Down On Civilian Oversight Of Police Despite Challenges And Controversy. Cardoza Law Review.
Finn, Peter. 2001. National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Citizen Review of Police: Approaches & Implementation, U.S. Dept. of Justice.
McConney-Moore, Kelly. 2020. Former Interim Senior Policy Counsel. For Civilian Review Boards to Work they Must Avoid Past Mistakes. ACLU Connecticut.
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. Frequently Asked Questions
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. 2016, Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement: A Review of the Strengths and Weaknesses of Various Models
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. 2016. Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement: Assessing the Evidence
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, Models of Oversight
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. 2020. Recommendations for Effective Practices
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement . 2020. Thirteen Principles for Effective Oversight.
Police Assessment Resource Center. 2005. Review of National Police Oversight Models For The Eugene Police Commission
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. 2015. Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Stephens, Darrel W., Ellen Scrivner, and Josie F. Cambareri. 2018. Civilian Oversight of the Police in Major Cities. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Virginia State Legislation
SB 5035, 1st Spec. Sess. (Va. 2020).
SB 5055, 1st. Spec. Sess. (Va. 2020).
Materials Related to CRB in Other Jurisdictions
- Community Policing Review Board, Alexandria, VA
- Community Oversight Board, Nashville, TN.
- Independent Police Auditor, Fairfax County, VA
- Independent Police Oversight Board, Houston, Texas
- Initial Police Civilian Review Board for Charlottesville, VA
- Investigation Review Panel, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Police Civilian Review Panel, Fairfax County, VA
Presentation Materials Provided to PPG Subcommittee on CRB
September 10, 2020 Limitations on civilian oversight in Virginia. Stephen A. MacIsaac, Esq. Arlington County Attorney. NOTE: Mr. MacIsaac’s presentation preceded the passing of Virginia’s civilian oversight enabling statute in Oct. 2020.
September 10, 2020 Overview of how ACPD currently handles disciplinary matters for its police officers. Captain LaTasha Chamberlain, ACPD, Member of the PPG/ CRB Subcommittee