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Police Oversight Board Recommendations Coming in August

building facade
The Richmond Police Department headquarters in downtown. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

The task force charged with establishing independent oversight of the Richmond Police Department will get more time to present its recommendations to city council.   

Council members Michael Jones and Stephanie Lynch proposed extending the deadlines earlier this month.  

The Civilian Review Board Task Force will now have until July 28 to provide a progress report to the Governmental Operations Standing Committee. And the Task Force will submit to City Council its final recommendations, including a proposed annual budget for the Civilian Review Board, no later than August 30, 2021. The original deadlines for those reports were January 4 and March 1, respectively.  

The task force was established by a city ordinance adopted last July in the midst of racial justice protests and was supposed to begin its work in the fall. But the 9-member task force didn’t have its first meeting until March 15 because council delayed approving membership. 

“We were slow and methodical, purposefully, in putting together a process to select the task force,” Jones said during  a Wednesday committee meeting. “And just by way of the selection process, it pushed them past their possible date of getting their report back to us.” 

The task force now meets electronically every Wednesday at 6:30 via Zoom. All of the meetings and related documents are subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.  

The CRB is expected to have the power to subpoena documents and witnesses and investigate citizen complaints of police misconduct. The police department currently handles those complaints internally.  

The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in October giving local governments authority to create citizen oversight panels with investigative powers.  

The task force is holding an in-person town hall this Friday, June 25 at 6 p.m. It’s at the Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton.