Tell your City Council Member NO on Independent Civilian Oversight Ordinance Proposal
This Proposed Ordinance was specifically designed to provide the strongest possible oversight allowed under state law.
Section (d) granted the Oversight Commission “the power to subpoena and require attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers pertinent to its investigations and to administer oaths.” Section (e) provided for the hiring of independent contractors to conduct the investigations for the Oversight Commission. This would not only be less expensive than hiring permanent city employees, but it would also be more effective, as non-city employees would have a greater degree of independence from city politics and pressure.
Also, subsection (g) of the Proposed Ordinance is designed to give the Oversight Commission “the same standing as presently held by officers of the Police Department to appeal a decision of the Chief of Police in imposition or non-imposition of discipline.” Currently the only party with standing to appeal the Chief of Police’s decision is the officer himself, making the appeal process fairly one-sided.
No system is perfect, but the Civilian Ordinance would at least give the City Council the tools it needs to investigate and discipline problem officers if it chooses to use it, and provide much needed checks and balances on how the Police Department is currently being run. This would give the City the tools it needs to remove those officers permanently before they cause significant exposure to the taxpayers, not to mention unnecessary injury or loss of life.
Also, the Civilian Oversight Ordinance would provide as much transparency as currently provided under state law. Even before the recent changes to state law, many Oversight Commissions (such as the County of San Diego) were able to provide annual summaries to the public detailing the nature of claims made against officers of their Department, and the result of the investigation.
Kelly Thomas was killed nine years ago. I would like nothing more than to put that chapter of our City’s history behind us. Until meaningful reform takes place to ensure that law enforcement officers are accountable to the people, what happened in Fullerton and Minneapolis will continue. Sean Paden article in Fullerton Observer June 30, 2020
To view the Civilian Police Oversight Commission proposal go to: https://fullertonrag.com/proposal-for-a-fullerton-police-commission/
To view the Orange County Grand Jury recommendations for Oversight of Law Enforcement Agencies go to: http://www.ocgrandjury.org/pdfs/citizenoversight.pdf
The difference between the two?
The Civilian Police Oversight Commission is staffed by “volunteers” appointed by the City Council and subject to bias or agenda of that City Council.
The OC Grand Jury recommendation is for an independent consultant to provide “best practices” policies and training plus oversight reporting.
We do not want a “biased” commission. We want to continue the independent consultant Lexipol currently used by our Fullerton Police Department. https://www.lexipol.com