MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Morgantown City Council held a discussion regarding the Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board this evening in council chambers.
Officials with the city said after going through legalities regarding the board’s investigative powers, the city and those filing a grievance sat down and negotiated an agreement that the advisory council will remain, but its investigatory powers will no longer exist. The council unanimously approved a second reading of the ordinance to approve and establish the advisory board.
“The council is in the process of making appointments to that board and as soon as that board is formally created, and the members have been identified then they can start there, they’ll will have to sit down and kind of outline the bylaws and the rules of the committee and how they’re going to conduct business,” said Kim Haws, Morgantown City Manager.
The Citizen Police Review and Advisory Board provide for citizen participation in reviewing the police department policies, practices, and procedures; promotes the availability of data relating to police practices and procedures; and provides a prompt, impartial, and fair review of misconduct complaints relating to the Morgantown Police Department in a manner which protects the rights of individuals who have contact with the Morgantown Police Department while acknowledging the rights of police officers as established by state law.
“From the perspective of the organizers it was important in order to feel that they had some handle on any complaints that were received from the public in terms of conduct by the police department,” Haws said. “The city has its own internal review system and policies in place of conduct for all employees not just the police department. And so, we already have that in place, but members of the community felt that there needed to be a group of citizens who would have that same kind of opportunity to review complaints that were filed against the police department and make recommendations.”
The City of Morgantown is currently accepting applications for the Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board. The Board shall consist of nine members appointed by the city council.