On November 9th, 2021, the Virginia Beach City Council held a public hearing on the proposed policies and procedures for an independent citizen review board of the Virginia Beach Police Department. 14 individuals spoke with the vast majority of them stating they are in favor of the city council adopting all of the recommendations in the task force report which was released earlier in the year.
1. Will this board be truly independent? The board coordinator will be appointed by and report to the city manager as opposed to being hired by the board and the board will be dependent on city council for funding. The board should be enabled to hire its own coordinator.
2. There are too many hoops to jump through to obtain a subpoena, including the requirement for a supermajority vote. Issuing a subpoena should require a simple majority
3. The board’s disciplinary powers are unclear. The General Assembly enabling legislation allows the city to grant the board the ability to directly discipline officers, however the city’s proposal only allows the board to concur with or publicly oppose the police department’s decisions in any specific case.
You can watch the full video of the public hearing below.