Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Police review panel has openings

By William A. Weathers bweathers@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As their panel nears extinction, members of the Citizens Police Review Panel on Monday urged citizens to apply for positions on the agency that will replace it.

        “I think it's appalling,” said panel member Dr. Walter T. Bowers II, reacting to a report that there have been less than a dozen applications for positions on the new Citizens Complaint Authority.

        The new seven-member Citizen Complaint Authority, which must be empaneled by Aug. 9 under an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, will investigate alleged police misconduct. The agency replaces the Citizens Police Review Panel and the Office of Municipal Investigation.

        The new authority has much more power and more resources, said panel member Paul M. DeMarco.

        “Part of the problem we have here was the lack of resources and lack of independence — no budget of our own.”

        The panel suspended operations in March for those stated reasons.

        The new authority will have an executive director and it's own professional investigators.

        “It's a fabulous opportunity,” said panel member the Rev. Paula M. Jackson.

        Dr. Bowers said he has applied for a position on the new authority. Panel members Mr. DeMarco, the Rev. Ms. Jackson, and Steve Tutt said they will not apply. Panel member Nancy J. Minson was not present at Monday's meeting.

        The application deadline for the Citizen Complaint Authority is May 31.

        The Citizens Police Review Panel will hold at least one more meeting, during which it will present recommendations to the city manager on how the new panel should operate, the Rev. Ms. Jackson said.


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