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Virginia Beach's new task force seeking public comment on civilian oversight of police conduct

Generic: Virginia Beach Police Headquarters
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 28, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The City of Virginia Beach's newly formed Citizen Review Panel Task Force wants to hear from you.

The task force is seeking public comments on the issue of civilian oversight of law enforcement activities, and residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions at two public meetings on Monday, Aug. 9 and Monday Aug. 16 starting at 6 p.m. The meetings will take place in Building 19 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, located 2416 Courthouse Dr.

Community leaders invited by the task force will receive five minutes to speak, and all other citizens will receive three minutes to make their comments heard.

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.

Members of the Virginia Beach City Council voted to establish the Citizen Review Panel Task Force in April. 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 Virginia Beach 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 the council on Aug. 31.