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File #: 1169-2021    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 5/4/2021 In control: Rules & Reference Committee
On agenda: 7/12/2021 Final action: 7/15/2021
Title: To enact Chapter 235 to codify the composition of the Civilian Police Review Board and Department of the Inspector General for the Division of Police; to supplement the City Charter by conferring expanded authority to the Board and the Department of the Inspector General to exercise certain duties and responsibilities, including the authority to develop administrative rules; receive, initiate, review, and cause the investigation of complaints of misconduct; make recommendations on resolutions of complaints; make recommendations on discipline; and in specific circumstances, to subpoena witnesses and evidence; and to declare an emergency. (AMENDED BY ORD. 0490-2022; PASSED 2/14/2022)

In January 2020, the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission presented final recommendations for police reform focused on areas such as de-escalation, crisis intervention, and implicit bias training; use of force policies; diversity recruitment and retention; and early intervention and officer wellness programs. Their recommendations were informed by and consistent with an independent operational review of the Columbus Division of Police conducted by Matrix Consulting.

Among their recommendations, the Commission called for the establishment of an independent civilian review board, and an amendment to the City Charter to create a city-funded, operationally independent, professionally-staffed, public-facing entity empowered to participate fully in criminal or administrative investigations involving Division personnel. The Commission also recommended the City implement a process for independent investigation of 1) officer use of force, including but not limited to, officer use of force resulting in death, officer involved shootings, and in-custody injuries and deaths; and 2) complaints about serious Columbus Division of Police officer misconduct.

In July 2020, consistent with the recommendations of the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission, Mayor Ginther and City Council announced their intent to place an issue on the November ballot to amend the City Charter to establish a civilian police review board and a Department of the Inspector General for the Columbus Division of Police. On November 3, 2020, Columbus voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment by nearly 75 percent.

Also consistent with the Community Safety Advisory Commission Civilian Review Board recommendations, the City established the Civilian Review Board Work Group to develop the board’s roles and responsibilities. In December 2020, the work group provided their recommendations to the Mayor which form the basis for this ordinance.

In April 2021, Mayor Ginther appointed...

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