GENEVA — City Council will meet today at 6 p.m. to discuss any changes to a proposed local law creating a police review board.
Residents were scheduled to speak for two and a half hours at a public hearing Wednesday evening, and Council was to discuss tonight whether to make any modifications to the local law — which has undergone months of review and discussion — based on that input.
If no significant revisions are made, Council will have the option to vote on the local law at its regular meeting Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Tonight’s meeting can be viewed at the city’s YouTube Channel: YouTube.com/cityofgenevany.
Among the provisions:
• The PRB will have authority to review the Geneva Police Department investigations of public complaints of officer misconduct and to engage in other activities as defined in the law.
• The goals of the board are to reduce racial inequities in policing in the city, to assure accountability of GPD officers, to increase transparency of GPD operations, and to improve GPD credibility.
The PRB may create and employ a disciplinary matrix in making recommendations to the police chief for discipline, subject to the applicable collective bargaining agreement and state law.
• The PRB should have the authority to assess GPD patterns, practices, policies and procedures, and make recommendations to improve its operations, based on information from a complaint investigation. The sole authority to discipline officers will remain with the police chief, under supervision of the city manager.
• The PRB will consist of nine members appointed by Council. Members will serve three years, except for the initial board, whose members will serve staggered terms.
• Members of the board must be residents of the city for a minimum of 12 months at time of appointment. Membership shall attempt to reflect the city’s diverse community, including, but not limited to, age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and source of income.
• The board will have no members who are current or former employees, or their immediate family members, of any law enforcement agency. Members also cannot be a current elected city official, or have served in that capacity within the past three years, or be an immediate family member of any incumbent elected state official, a practicing attorney, or their immediate family who represents or has represented a plaintiff or defendant in a police misconduct lawsuit within the past 10 years.
• Council shall “aspire” to appoint at least two licensed mental health professionals, one duly licensed attorney in good standing, and one member of the clergy.
• Applications will be accepted and interviews conducted by Council. The mayor will nominate one PRB member, and there will be one appointee from Wards 1 and 2, one from Wards 3 and 4, one from Wards 5 and 6, and five members from the community at large.
• Training requirements are spelled out for PRB members.
• Complaints may be made anonymously.
• The PRB shall inform complainants of their legal assistance options and the procedure for filing a notice of claim against the city.
• Within five days after the PRB receives a complaint, it shall provide a copy, with documentation, to the chief, who shall immediately begin an investigation which must be done within 45 days of receipt. The PRB shall not conduct an investigation until the police investigation is completed.
• The chief will await copies of the PRB investigation, determination and recommendation for discipline before imposing discipline on an officer, unless the chief determines the law, department general orders or exceptional circumstances requires discipline be imposed earlier. The chief may consider, but is not bound by, the PRB recommendation.
• Decisions of the PRB shall be made by at least five votes of the board. Deliberations shall by confidential and limited to the members and legal advisors.
• Retaliation by GPD officers and employees against complainants, witnesses, PRB members, GPD officers and employees, or any other person related to the participation or involvement with the PRB is prohibited.