City officials on Tuesday announced the release of a new survey asking community members what they’d like to see from the first-ever police oversight director, which could be named by the end of the year.
The police oversight director will report directly to the City Council and will be tasked with auditing patterns in policing and recommending systemic changes to the department now that the Citizens Police Complaint Commission (CPCC) has been dissolved.
“The selection of a Director of Police Oversight is a historic opportunity to foster a culture of public trust, accountability, and best practices,” Mayor Rex Richardson said in a press release Tuesday. “We look forward to carefully choosing a leader with the expertise, integrity, and dedication necessary to uphold the highest standards of public service.”
The CPCC had been the body that investigated community complaints against LBPD officers who were accused of wrongdoing, carrying out parallel investigations to the department’s Internal Affairs, and recommending discipline when it found allegations were upheld.
However, after the civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, city leaders pledged to overhaul the CPCC, which had been criticized for years for its inability to deliver the police accountability advocates believed it would.
Voters approved a new model in November, which will see the new director and a new Police Oversight Commission replace the CPCC.
To conduct the search for a suitable candidate, the city has partnered with Wendi Brown Creative Partners, a minority- and women-owned firm. But as part of the recruitment process, officials are also encouraging community members to share their recommendations on desirable qualities and characteristics they want to see in a director.
The city’s survey asks a series of eight questions that include what seven characteristics community members would like to see from the new director and what initiatives or new areas of focus they think need to be reviewed.
In addition to the survey, officials will reach out to various local community groups, community-based organizations and neighborhood associations for feedback.
Community members can also give feedback live at a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, July 12, from 6 to 7 p.m., or at a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 25, at 3 p.m.
The recruitment process is expected to be finalized by September of this year.
Once a director is hired by the City Council, the city will still have to hire additional staff that will work under them, and then the new seven members of the Police Oversight Commission would have to be appointed by the mayor.
The survey, which is available in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog is available through 5 p.m. Friday, June 30.