Citizen Review of Police Complaints Working Group

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Background (Citizen Review of Police Complaints Working Group)

On April 26, 2016, City Council held a Study Session concerning the police complaint process and the topic of Citizen Review (see: Study Session Report SS 2016-22 and broadcast of CPD’s Presentation to City Council). As a result of that Study Session, Council directed the Chief of Police to form a Working Group which would be responsible for conducting research, gathering public input, and making specific recommendations for Council consideration.

In June 2016, Chief Cobb appointed eight community members to serve on a working group to review the police complaint process. Six City employees, including City Manager Dorothy David and Chief Cobb, participated on the committee, hosting and facilitating the Working Group’s bi-monthly meetings.

Committee Members included: Alissia Young, Anthony Cobb, Brian Greear, Bruce Brown, Dorothy David, Jon Swenson, Keith Thomas, Larry Lewis, Michelle Cooper, Mike Schlosser, Rachel Joy, Tod Rent, Travis Dixon and Will Cowan

Bi-monthly meeting dates and meeting notes:  Jul 12 Meeting | Aug 1 Meeting | Aug 18 Meeting | Sept 8 Meeting | Sept 15 Meeting | Oct 3 Meeting | Oct 20 Meeting | Nov 7  –  Meeting Cancellation | Nov 17 Meeting | Dec 5 Meeting

The Working Group’s meetings were open to the public and multiple community meetings were held to gain direct feedback and perspective from citizens.  Community meetings were held:

  • October 10, 2016, 6-8 PM, Mount Olive Baptist Church-808 E. Bradley Ave, Champaign
  • October 13, 2016, 6-8 PM, Centennial High School-913 S. Crescent Dr, Champaign
  • January 5, 2017, 6-8 PM, Booker T. Washington School-606 E. Grove St, Champaign
  • January 24, 2017, 7 PM, Champaign City Building Council Chambers-102 N. Neil St, Champaign *Council Meeting

Goals of the Citizen Review Working Group included:

  • Examine the current process for the intake, investigation, and review of citizen complaints and make recommendations for improvement
  • Review the Police Department’s use of force history, its process for handling internal investigations, and its process for reviewing Use of Force incidents and make recommendations for improving those processes as well
  • Evaluate Citizen Review models from comparable cities
  • Propose a process for the periodic reporting and review of citizen complaints
  • Make a recommendation to City Council as it relates to Citizen Review

Recommendations and Steps Forward:

As a result of the Citizen Review Working Group’s examination, a proposal was submitted before Champaign City Council and on July 7, 2017, Council authorized the creation of the following committees: