The Community Police Review Commission
The RCPA was instrumental in the creation of the Community Police Review Commission (CPRC) in 2000.
* is a 9-member volunteer commission, with a Manager hired by the City
reviews and investigates complaints
* investigates all officer-involved deaths
* makes policy and procedure recommendations to the Riverside Police Department (RPD) and City Council
* acts as a bridge between the community and the police
* has been fundamentally important in helping to improve relations between the RPD and the community
* is a work in progress that will become stronger and more effective only if the community has the political will to stay involved with it.
A ballot measure added the CPRC to the City Charter in 2004, making it a permanent part of the City’s administration. The RCPA worked hard on that campaign, resulting in 60% of all Riverside’s voters voting ‘yes’ on the measure.
The CPRC and the RCPA
The RCPA and the CPRC are fundamentally different organizations. The CPRC is a City commission whereas the RCPA is a grassroots community organization. The RCPA has kept a close eye on the CPRC's development since it was formed in 2000. Community oversight of the police is always a long-term effort and sometimes it takes years for new oversight commissions to become strong and truly independent. The RCPA has acted as a watchdog, sometimes protecting the CPRC from outside interference and sometimes critiquing its practices.
Over time, a productive synergy has marked the relationship between the CPRC and the RCPA. In 2007, the founding co-chair of the RCPA was appointed to the CPRC. Former members of the CPRC have gotten involved with the RCPA.
RCPA recommendations for the CPRC
· The CPRC needs access to independent legal counsel. Relying on the City Attorney results in conflicts of interest.
· The CPRC needs to put major, on-going effort into community outreach.
· The CPRC needs a better mechanism for pursuing its recommendations to the RPD for changes in policies and procedures.
· The CPRC should become the vehicle for carrying forward reforms within RPD, especially since the end of the Stipulated Agreement with the Attorney General.
· The CPRC office should be moved out of City Hall to an off-site location.
· The CPRC should exercise its power of subpoena and power of independent investigations more quickly and consistently.
· The CPRC annual report should be stronger and more detailed.
· The CPRC should create a set of criteria for appropriate Commission candidates and recommend its adoption by the City Council.