Police review commission initiatives filed
Chris Durant The Times-Standard
Eureka Times Standard
EUREKA -- Initiatives to create police review commissions in Arcata and Eureka were filed with the county Wednesday.
In a press conference on the steps of the Humboldt County Courthouse Wednesday, Coalition for Police Review spokespeople Christina Allbright and Greg Allen said they hope to have petitions circulating
by the end of the month.
“This isn't about us and them, it's about good government,” Allbright said.
Ideally, the commissions will be made up of seven volunteers from specific groups like low-income, disabled and minorities, Allbright said.
They will review complaints about police officers or departments filed by the public, investigate them and pass their decision on to the appropriate city councils and city managers.
“It's not just for complaints,” Allbright said. “People can talk about policies and behavior in general.”
About 1,200 signatures are required to get the initiative on the November ballot in Arcata and 1,450 signatures are required for Eureka.
Both said the commissions are an opportunity for police officers too; a chance for them to clear their name and have the facts investigated by an independent entity.
“By creating a vehicle to monitor local policing, we will have a chance to make local police departments more responsive to the community,” Allen said. “Police review ultimately creates better relations between the police and the community, and we look forward to working with law enforcement to make our local policing even better.”