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Proposed Civilian Review Board Would Independently Investigate Police Misconduct Complaints

City Councilors Andrea Campbell (District 4) and Ricardo Arroyo (District 5) proposed a civilian review board during this weeks City Council meeting. If passed, the civilian review board would replace an existing oversight panel that currently operates within the Boston Police Department. The proposed ordinance joins one of many city council proposals to address police reform in the City of Boston.

City Council discussed the creation of a Civilian Review Board to replace an existing oversight panel in the Boston Police Department. Photo by Alyssa Nations.

The civilian review board would have the power to review and investigate police misconduct reports and the Boston Police Department’s internal affairs investigations, as well as subpoena power. It would also have the authority to recommend disciplinary action and changes to the department’s policies, procedures, and practices.

The review board would be allowed to collect and publish data available to the public on a monthly basis. The reports would include information such as police department complaints, actions taken to resolve cases, police stops, arrests, use of force, and demographics of the police department.

Filing complaints would become more accessible, offering ways to file online or in-person.

Under the proposed ordinance, there would be an office created to support the board with resources and staff so that it will “truly be independent from the police department.”

Board members would be appointed by the City Council and the Mayor’s Office.

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3 Replies to “Proposed Civilian Review Board Would Independently Investigate Police Misconduct Complaints

  1. Doesn’t really address the complaints in this neighborhood, which are mainly there are two few cops, not enough to provide sufficient patrol. Sounds like the City is out of touch with the local public and trying to address problems in Minnesota. Seems like the Councillors need to stop watching NBC and pay attention to what’s happening locally.

    1. As the article said, “The civilian review board would have the power to review and investigate police misconduct reports and the Boston Police Department’s internal affairs investigations, as well as subpoena power. It would also have the authority to recommend disciplinary action and changes to the department’s policies, procedures, and practices.”
      This is a great idea for all cities and towns, including Boston. Just as the US military has civilian oversight, all police forces should, as well. Having a civilian review board is not an insult or interference to police any more than having a civilian Commander-in-Chief and civilian Secretary of Defense and Secretaries of the various armed services is an insult or interference to the US military. The idea in both cases is to keep the police and the military close to the populace, not entities apart from the populace.

      1. One way to avoid the judgement of a review board composed of people who have binged watched Law & Order, is to do nothing at all. And that is what you will get. There is no review for failure to act. Police will avoid situations that are difficult, butt covering will be job 1.

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