Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, along with City Council President Shannon J. Hardin, accepted the recommendations from the Civilian Review Board Work Group. The Work Group was charged with developing the framework for a Civilian Police Review Board to provide oversight of the Columbus Division of Police. In November, Columbus voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the city charter to establish a civilian police review board and Inspector General for the Division of Police.
“Columbus is the only major metropolitan area without any kind of civilian oversight of law enforcement, which continues to erode trust between the community and police,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “With the passage of Issue 2 in November and the recommendations from the Work Group, we are well positioned to make it a reality in 2021.”
“Rebuilding trust and improving accountability in the Division of Police is a critical component to reimagining safety in Columbus,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “Council appreciates the Civilian Review Working Group for providing recommendations on structural questions for how the Review Board should operate. Council will engage in a deliberative process to review these recommendations and work with Mayor Ginther to stand up the Civilian Review Board in 2021.”
The work group comprised of community members representing diverse backgrounds, experiences, ages, races and skill sets worked for several months to review best practices from other cities and to recommend what would work best for Columbus. Their recommendations include:
- A nine-member Civilian Review Board, with staggered three-year terms
- Board appointments by Mayor Ginther in consultation with Columbus City Council
- Board diversity in race, age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and a majority of its members must live in the city of Columbus.
- Board will receive ongoing training in police tactics, constitutional law, de-escalation, implicit bias, and other important subject matters
- The Board should be given broad investigative powers, including subpoena powers.
- The minimum qualifications for the new inspector general will be set by the board.
Applications for the Civilian Review Board are being accepted now through Jan. 15, 2021.