NEWARK - The city of Newark has officially formed its first-ever Civilian Complaint Review Board for the Newark Police Department.
The board will be able to hear cases of alleged police misconduct and abuse and will have the power to investigate and subpoena members of the police department.
Rashawn Davis of the Newark ACLU helped draft the guidelines, ensuring that the board's fact-finding would be binding.
“If the review board says an officer is guilty, unless there is something obviously wrong with the investigation, the police department has to follow that recommendation,” Davis says.
There will be 11 people on the review board. It will include Newark’s inspector general, three members of City Council and eight community residents. Those eight residents will be nominated by five of the city's most prominent non-partisan groups.
Many community activists in Newark say that citizens have wanted a review board like this since the 1960s.
Leaders of Newark's Fraternal Order of Police aren't happy about the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Their president says there is a previously negotiated disciplinary procedure in place, and that agreement does not include a civilian review board.
The board should be fully selected by this summer.