Updated at 1:29 p.m. Friday, April 23 to add meeting video at bottom:
The Lawrence Community Police Review Board will meet Thursday evening to review responses to a community survey about a proposed ordinance that would broaden the board’s abilities.
The board will first receive a brief status update on the analysis of its draft ordinance. Assistant City Manager Brandon McGuire told Lawrence city commissioners at their April 6 meeting that staff might want to encourage the CPRB to delay finalizing the ordinance until a consultant-led top-to-bottom review of the Lawrence Police Department, which is currently underway, has been completed.
The CPRB previously sought public feedback on the draft ordinance through a survey. At a recent meeting, the board divided up the questions for each member to review and summarize community members’ responses.
Multiple summaries note that many survey respondents said LPD already has an Office of Professional Accountability whose job it is to investigate complaints against officers, the CPRB should “let the trained professionals do their job,” and similar sentiments.
Here are the survey questions the board members will review, with links to each summary:
Question No. 1: “What other responsibilities, if any, should the CPRB undertake to promote positive and fair community-police relations in Lawrence?”
Question No. 2: “How important is it that the CPRB review all community member complaints about the Lawrence Police Department?”
Question No. 3: “What other kinds of training, if any, would help the CPRB promote positive and fair community-police relations?”
Question No. 5: “The proposed complaint review process entails a confidential review of each investigation conducted by the Lawrence Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA). The CPRB may vote to affirm the findings of the OPA, to reject those findings, or to return the file to the OPA for further investigation. When a further investigation is found by the CPRB to be insufficient, the CPRB may request that the City Manager appoint an independent third-party investigator to investigate the community member complaint. How fair do you think this proposed complaint review process is?”
Question No. 6: “To be appointed to the CPRB, a person must have no conflict of interest related to the duties of the Board, submit to a criminal background check, and sign a confidentiality agreement regarding complaints and their investigation. How well will these requirements help the CPRB reflect community diversity?”
Question No. 7: “What else would you like to tell us about the suggested revision of Ordinance No. 9324?”
To provide public comment during the meeting, register to attend via Zoom at this link. Written public comment must be submitted by noon on the day of the meeting. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop written comments marked for the CPRB in the utility billing drop box at Sixth and New Hampshire streets.
The board did not take any action during its meeting Thursday evening. Two of the seven members were absent.
However, board members requested that the city attorney be available during their next meeting — set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13 — to answer questions about what they can and cannot include in the ordinance.
Here’s the video of the meeting: