July 29, 2021

UPDATED: City Seeks Public Comment on the Issue of Civilian Oversight of Police Conduct

The newly formed Citizen Review Panel Task Force is seeking public comments on the issue of civilian oversight of law enforcement activities. Residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions at two public meetings to be held Monday, Aug. 9 and Monday Aug. 16 starting at 6 p.m. in building 19 at the Municipal Center, 2416 Courthouse Drive.

Community leaders invited by the task force will receive five minutes to speak. All other citizens will receive three minutes.

To register to speak, contact the City Clerk's Office at 757-385-4303. Written comments may also be submitted to City Clerk Amanda Barnes at ABarnes@VBgov.com.

City Council voted to establish the Citizen Review Panel Task Force in April (see p. 92 of linked document). The task force has been charged with researching and reviewing the impacts of extending investigative powers to a civilian body that has police oversight, including reviewing charges of police misconduct.

The City's existing Investigation Review Panel reviews investigations conducted by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Division regarding claims of improper police conduct but does not have independent investigative authority or disciplinary powers.

City Council appointed the 11-member Citizen Review Panel Task Force to research and present recommendations on the following items:

  • Differences between investigatory power and subpoena power; whether investigatory power can be utilized w/o subpoena power
  • Purpose and designation of a budget for the Citizens Review Panel (CRP)
  • Impact of CRP on Police Department
  • Identify best CRP model for adoption
  • Other pertinent topics regarding development of CRP

The task force's recommendations are due to City Council on Aug. 31.

Update: *Please note that the resolution was updated on July 6 to change the due date of the report and recommendation to City Council from June 1 to Aug. 31.

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