Long Beach is now accepting applications to fill seven open positions on its new Police Oversight Commission, which will help guide a new police oversight director on potential reforms for the Long Beach Police Department.
The commission was created when Long Beach voters approved the dissolution of the 13-member Citizens Police Complaint Commission and replaced it with the new Police Oversight Commission in 2022.
Members of the new commission will be able to make recommendations for the director to audit within the Long Beach Police Department, but unlike its predecessor, this commission will not conduct parallel investigations of alleged police misconduct. Those investigations are now done entirely by the department’s internal affairs.
While the new director will have the ability to investigate high-profile incidents like in-custody deaths and shootings by officers, this will be dependent on the city manager’s office requesting an investigation. The City Council appointed the city’s first police oversight director, Francine Kerridge, in September.
“Serving on the Police Oversight Commission is a unique opportunity to make a real difference in our community,” Mayor Richardson said in a statement. “I encourage all interested Long Beach residents to apply.”
Any Long Beach residents can apply for the positions online, where they’ll be asked to submit general information and personal references. Applications will be accepted between Nov. 7 and Dec. 6.
Applicants will also be asked to answer three questions, including how they’ve participated in community organizations in the past and what types of reforms or improvements would increase public safety in the city.
The final question asks the applicant to describe what healthy community-police relations look like to them. Then they are asked to list strategies that could improve those relations in Long Beach.
Mayor Richardson will nominate commissioners who then must be approved by the City Council.
Those who are chosen to fill the positions will have to complete a Livescan background check, complete at least two police ride-alongs each year, attend the quarterly meetings of the commission, complete mandatory training for all commissioners and be able to complete about 10 hours of outside preparation work aside from scheduled meetings.
Commissioners can be compensated $200 per meeting to serve. While the city amended its pay structure for commissioners to be able to opt out of compensation, members of the Police Oversight Commission will be considered “city officers” since the commission is part of the City Charter.
The new commission is likely to begin meeting in March 2024, according to Richardson’s announcement.
To access the application page for the commission click here.