Re: Tempe, AZ police chief backs citizen advisory review board FWD

mikala bembery (
Wed, 26 May 1999 14:57:59 PDT

Hey Now!

There is a group in Rhode Island who went to the police & requested the 
complete incident report file for the last calendar year( they charge you 
and you have to wait up to a week but they must furnish it). In looking over 
the reports they found that in all of the incidents people reported-the 
police were found to be in the right. So, this group of courageous citizens 
went to the police and sAID "In all of these cases your officers were never 
wrong?" The group is called DARE (notD.A.R.E.) and they are out of 
providence if any courageous folks out there are interested I'll get the 
e-mail address for you.  They have made the police in their community 
accountable and  quite frankly I am in awe!

>From: Tom Boland <>
>Subject: Tempe, AZ police chief backs citizen advisory review board  FWD
>Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 05:45:48 -0700 (PDT)
>If your commumnity has a citizen review board to monitor police, has the
>board helped to reduce mistreatment of vulnerable citizens, such as
>homeless people?
>See related article below:
>By Elvia Diaz
>The Arizona Republic
>May 4, 1999
>Tempe's police officers may soon find themselves under greater scrutiny by
>the public.
>That's because Police Chief Ron Burns is asking the City Council's blessing
>of a plan to create a citizen advisory board to review internal police
>Burns first brought up that idea more than a year ago. Now, after obtaining
>suggestions from council members and the mayor, he is coming back to the
>council with a proposed ordinance to create the citizen panel.
>The panel, made up of 15 residents and two Police Department employees,
>would examine all police shootings and incidents resulting in serious
>injury, those requiring hospitalization or death.
>Tempe's most recent police incident took place in March, when police Sgt.
>John Schaper was wounded while fellow officers were arresting a homeless
>man. The gunman was killed by police.
>The citizen review board would automatically examine cases like the Schaper
>shooting, Burns said.
>"We need to open up," Burns said about the need of a citizen advisory
>group. "We felt it was necessary to create the panel without being prompted
>by the community."
>In 1997, the city received 185 complaints against Police Department
>employees, Burns said. Those complaints ranged from employees being rude or
>damaging property to false arrests and excessive force by officers.
>The department conducts its own investigations of complaints and then
>prepares an annual report to the City Council, Burns said.
>Panel members would review findings of Police Department investigations of
>unsustained, unfounded or exonerated citizen complaints, when requested by
>the person making the accusation.
>Further, the panel would review any department incident at the request of
>the chief.
>After reviewing each case, the panel would either agree or disagree with
>police findings and advise the police chief whether further investigation
>was warranted.
>When examining a police force incident, the panel would conclude whether
>the excessive force was within department policy.
>The panel could make recommendations to the chief on such things as
>training programs and could offer suggestions on revising department
>However, the panel would not recommend or review disciplinary actions
>against police officers. As police chief, Burns would have that power.
>The 15 members of the advisory panel would be appointed by the mayor with
>the consent of the City Council, while the police chief would designate the
>two employees.
>Councilman Joseph Lewis said he welcomes greater public input into city
>police dealings.
>"Typically, communities react to bad things," Lewis said. "But we're being
>proactive here."
>Vice Mayor Ben Arredondo and Councilman Leonard Copple said they also
>support the proposed ordinance.
>"It's a bit restrictive," Copple said. "The board will just review
>investigations. I just don't know whether that would be enough."
>Burns plans to ask the City Council this week to schedule two public
>hearings in early June on the proposed ordinance.
>**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
>distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior
>interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and
>educational purposes only.**
>5,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
>Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy

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