Arlington County Community Oversight Board
NOTE: formerly referenced as Civilian Review Board
On July 21, 2021, the Arlington County Board established a Community Oversight Board (COB) and Independent Policing Auditor. In an effort to improve transparency and accountability in the Arlington County Police Department. The COB will have independent investigative and subpoena power. The ordinance also calls for an accompanying Independent Policing Auditor to work with the Community Oversight Board.
The Oversight Board will consist of seven voting members who are residents of the County and reflect the demographic diversity as well as two non-voting members with prior experience in law enforcement, all of whom will be appointed by the County Board. This COB and the Independent Auditor will be charged with conducting concurrent investigations where warranted, reviewing citizen complaints and recommending/reviewing police disciplinary actions and policy reviews, among other duties. The ordinance also calls for an accompanying Independent Policing Auditor to work with the Oversight Board.
Early Fall 2021:
- National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) training for County Board Members
- County Board begins solicitating Community Oversight Board (COB) candidates
- Draft General Assembly legislation
Late Fall 2021:
- County Board appoints inaugural members of COB
- Within 30 days, COB meets to begin establishing practices and procedures, by-laws, and MOU
- Begin recruitment for Independent Policing Auditor (IPA)
- COB passes resolution that it is ready to begin its work (after sufficiently staffed, initial training concluded, etc.)
Related Historical County Board Background Materials
- Read the July Board Report
- READ the Summary Notes from a County Board Hosted Engagement Listening Session.
Police Practices Group
In 2019, 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.
PPG Products related to Civilian Review Board
- Initial Civilian Review Board subcommittee Recommendations
- CRB Subcommittee’s Modified-Clarified Recommendations L0 Perspective on Ordinance Chart (Updated 7-7-21)
- Comparative Models for CRB Investigatory Authority County Board Work Session (CRB Subcommittee Comments – Updated 7-7-21)
- ACPD – Auditor – COB Flowchart (7-6-21)/ Presentation Version Flowchart: ACPD – Auditor – COB
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