January 2024 Meeting SummaryJanuary 4th, 2024 PAB Meeting Summary
Observed by Deborah Rice Gordon
A recording of this meeting can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGc1PY3pLBo
The minutes from the December 7th Board meeting were approved with one change.
Interim Executive Director Sherry Walker-Cowart gave the staff report:
- Case Management continues to take in reports; 15 were received this month. On average, each manager is handling 60 cases. Interviews will be held next week for a case manager position.
- The Policy and Oversight team submitted our right to know proposal legislation to city council. PAB and City Council are waiting for an official response from Police Chief Smith, which was due on December 27th.
- The Public Affairs and Community Engagement team is revising some of the job listings to provide a more complete description of roles and responsibilities, which will need to be approved by Human Resources. A hiring decision for a community engagement specialist position will be made next week. Work will begin with the Policy and Oversight team on the upcoming protest policy.
- The Operations team continues to work on identifying a new office location for PAB. They are working with Cyberworks to digitize charter-mandated training so new hires can be trained on-line. They are also working with the police department to schedule mandated department training for a Spring time frame. Training will also be provided by the National Association of Oversight of Law Enforcement. Interviews for the Web Master position will begin soon. Several candidates were interviewed for the training manager position, but the position is currently on hold. Few applications were received for the language access coordinator position and that may need to be reposted.
- A press release on December 26th announced PAB’s investigation of the shooting death of a Rochester resident on December 24th. PAB was on site during the investigation. The Board is asking anyone who may have information to please file a report or call the PAB hot line.
- On December 26th, PAB was removed from the staff duty list serve, which is real-time email communication of police activity. It is sent to media outlets and city council, among others. One of the responding officers to the shooting on the 24th, asked that PAB be removed. The request then came from Police Chief Smith and Lieutenant Bello without giving a reason for the removal. PAB is following up with city council on being restored to the list serve.
- The review panel will continue assessing cases and using the disciplinary matrix.
- PAB is starting the new year in a stronger place than last January thanks to the work of staff and Interim Executive Director Sherry Walker-Cowart. At some point this year PAB will have a new Executive Director. Preliminary budget work is underway.
- The east district seat has been unfilled for nearly a year. If anyone from the east district has an interest, you are encouraged to apply for the seat.
- City Council had their leadership elections and Miguel Menendez Jr. remained president and Shay Harris was elected as vice-president. Larry Knox and Board members will be meeting with City Council and the public is urged to support PAB in their communications with Council members.
- Training will be held next week to enable new members to participate in case reviews.
- An offer to contract with a search firm for the Executive Director position was made. City Council must approve the offer.
- Retention policies pertaining to documents and other information were discussed. The functioning and use of body worn cameras were also discussed. A motion to approve the retention policy passed.