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BYLAWS OF THE CITIZEN OVERSIGHT BOARD
Article I. Mission Statement
The Citizen Oversight Board mission is to improve fundamental relationships between the community and law enforcement and to assess the effectiveness of the Office of Independent Monitor.
Section 1. The Citizen Oversight Board shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor. The Mayor shall appoint the members of the Board for staggered terms of four years.
Section 2. Every May, the Citizen Oversight Board shall select a Chairperson to preside over the Board for the ensuing year.
Section 3. The Board shall also select one of its other members to be the Vice-Chairperson. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall exercise all the powers of the Chair.
Section 4. The Board shall also select one of its other members to be the Secretary. The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining minutes of Board meetings.
Section 5. Each Board member shall continue to serve in such capacity until the member’s successor has been duly appointed and is acting, provided, however, that that period shall not exceed 90 days past the expiration of the member’s term.
Section 6. Prior to the expiration of his or her appointed term, a member of the Board may be removed from the Board by the Mayor for cause including a persistent failure to perform his or her duties on the Board or if, subsequent to being selected as a member of the Board, information becomes known to the Mayor that, had it been known when the member was selected, the information would have disqualified him or her from being selected.
Article III. Duties and Responsibilities
Section 1. The functions of the Citizen Oversight Board shall be to:
(a) Assess the effectiveness of the Monitor’s Office;
(b) Make policy-level recommendations regarding discipline, use of force, and other policies; rules; hiring; training; community relations; and the complaint process;
(c) Address any other issues of concern to the community, members of the Board, the Monitor, the Manager of Safety, the Chief of Police, the Undersheriff, or the Fire Chief;
(d) Make recommendations as to specific cases as provided in subsection (f) of Denver Revised Municipal Code section 2-373; and
(e) Exercise such other powers and duties as are set forth in Article XVIII of Chapter 2 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.
Section 2. The members of the Board shall participate in an appropriate training program to be established by the Board and/or the Monitor’s Office so that the Board members shall possess the knowledge to perform their duties.
Section 3. The Board shall hold meetings in accordance with the provisions of Article IV below.
Section 4. The Board shall establish both qualitative and quantitative criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the Monitor.
Section 5. In order to determine whether the Monitor’s Office is effectively monitoring Police, Sheriff, and Fire investigations, the Board shall receive regular reports from the Monitor’s Office and shall be allowed to review pertinent portions of the personnel files of uniformed personnel and IAB files including statements of uniformed personnel and to make recommendations to the Manager of Safety, Chief of Police, Undersheriff, Fire Chief, and Monitor’s Office regarding investigations, determinations as to whether department rules or policies have been violated, and the appropriateness of disciplinary sanctions, if any. However, the Board shall not become the custodian of any such records and the Board shall not be allowed access to documents protected by the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine.
Section 6. The Board shall furnish reports in accordance with Article VII below.
Section 7. The Board shall publish and make available to the public such procedural rules as it may adopt for the conduct of its business.
Section 8. The Board may receive complaints filed by citizens alleging misconduct by uniformed personnel. Whenever a citizen files a complaint with the Board, the Board shall, within three business days, advise all of the other impacted agencies (the Monitor’s Office; the Manager of Safety; and the Police Department, Sheriff Department, or Fire Department) that it has received the complaint and provide a copy of the complaint to each of them.
Section 9. The Board and all consultants hired by the Board shall treat all documents and information regarding specific investigations or officers as confidential except to the extent needed to carry out their duties. Except as set forth in this document, the Board shall not discuss with any person or group the status of specific investigations or release to any person or group any information regarding those investigations. The members of the Board shall sign appropriate confidentiality agreements.
Section 10. The Board may strike four names from the names provided by the selection panel for the citizens’ pool, which, as of the date of adoption of these Bylaws, provides volunteer citizens for the Use of Force Review Board and the Disciplinary Review Board.
Section 11. The Board shall establish criteria for removing a person from the citizens’ pool, including:
(a) Failure to complete the training required to serve on a Use of Force Review Board or Disciplinary Review Board panel; or
(b) Subsequent to a member’s selection to the citizens’ pool, unauthorized disclosure of any confidential information; or
(c) Subsequent to a member’s selection to the citizens’ pool, engaging in any conduct that would disqualify him or her from membership in the citizens’ pool; or
(d) Subsequent to a member’s selection to the citizens’ pool, information becomes known to the Manager of Safety or the Board that, had it been known when the person was selected, would have disqualified him or her from being selected; or
(e) Failure to serve on any other Use of Force Review Board or Disciplinary Review Board panels for which his or her name was drawn unless the person had a valid reason for not serving on the panel.
Section 12. The Board may determine that it is in the best interest of the City for members of the citizens’ pool to serve on more than three panels during a twelve-month period.
Section 13. The Board shall provide input to the Manager of Safety for use in establishing an appropriate training program for members of the citizens’ pool so that those persons shall possess the knowledge to effectively perform their duties.
Article IV. Meetings, Quorum, Vote, Attendance of the Board
Section 1. Meetings.
(a) The Board shall conduct at least three meetings annually for public comment, including a meeting to be held not later than 30 calendar days after the issuance of the Board’s annual report and shall from time to time meet with citizens’ groups to learn of citizens’ concerns and to inform the citizens of relevant information regarding the activities of the Police, Sheriff, and Fire Departments, the Monitor’s Office, and the Board.
(b) The Board shall meet at least every other month with the Monitor.
(c) The Board shall meet at least quarterly in public with the Manager of Safety, the Chief of Police, and the Undersheriff and shall meet with any other City personnel on an as-needed basis to discuss any issues of concern and to make recommendations for ways that the Police, Sheriff, and Fire Departments can improve their relationships with the citizens and recommendations regarding policies, rules, hiring, training, and the complaint process. The Board shall have the discretion to decide whether to meet jointly or individually with the Monitor, Manager of Safety, Chief of Police, and Undersheriff.
Section 2. The Chair or a quorum of the Board may call special meetings of the Board. At least 48 hours notice of special meetings by mail or electronic mail shall be given to all members of the board. Notice of special meetings shall be posted in accordance with the Board’s standard practices.
Section 3. The Chair or a quorum of the Board may cancel meetings for cause, including by way of example and not of limitation, absence of a quorum, absence of an agenda, meeting date falls on a holiday, or an extraordinary number of regular and special meetings during the preceding 90 days. Notice of such cancellation shall be given to the members at least 24 hours in advance, if possible. No meeting may be cancelled if the Board has failed to meet during the preceding 30 days. If a regular meeting is cancelled, that fact and the cause shall be set forth in the minutes of the Board.
Section 4. The Board shall fix a time and place for its meetings.
Section 5. The Board shall provide a public schedule of its meetings with its Annual Report.
Section 6. A quorum of the Board members shall be present to conduct the business of the Board. A quorum consists of four members. Members may, in case of necessity, be present via telephone conferencing provided they are able to hear, comment, and vote on the business before the Board.
Section 7. Unless otherwise provided for by ordinance, all substantive actions of the Board must be taken by the concurring vote of four members. Procedural matters can be decided by a majority of those present.
Section 8. The Board shall maintain records of its meetings, which records shall be available to the public. Within five business days of each Board meeting, the minutes thereof shall be distributed to each member of the Board.
Section 9. The Chair of the Board shall prepare the agenda for each regular meeting. Routine matters that do not require discussion may be placed on a consent agenda to be approved by block vote. Any Board member may request that an item be removed from the consent agenda for full Board discussion, deliberation, and vote.
Section 10. All public meetings of the Board shall be subject to the provisions of Article III of Chapter 2 of the Revised Municipal Code dealing with Open Meetings.
Article V. Committees and Subcommittees
Section 1. The Board may establish committees and subcommittees as needed.
Section 2. Each committee or subcommittee shall select one of its members to be its chair.
Section 3. Committees and subcommittees are not authorized to speak for the Board on any policy matters or on matters beyond the scope of the specified subjects assigned to the committee or subcommittee. Upon the completion of an assigned task, the committee or subcommittee shall report to the Board.
Section 4. Statements regarding the committee or sub-committee issued for the information of the public shall be issued through the Board.
Article VI. Public Statements
Statements for public information or the media shall be issued by the Chair or the Chair’s designee on behalf of the Board after consent and approval by the Board. Nothing in this section shall limit or infringe on any member's right to free speech and expression as an individual; however, no individual Board member shall make public statements on behalf of the Board without prior consent and approval of the Board.
Article VII. Reports
Section 1. The Board shall furnish an annual public report to the Mayor and City Council regarding the Board’s assessment of the work of the Monitor’s Office; the Board’s activities during the preceding year; concerns expressed by citizens; the Board’s assessment of the Police, Sheriff, and Fire Department investigative and disciplinary processes; recommendations for ways that those three departments can improve their relationships with the citizens; and recommendations for changes to Police, Sheriff, and Fire Department policies, rules, hiring, training, and the complaint process.
Section 2. The Board’s annual report shall be furnished concurrently with the Monitor’s annual report to the Mayor and City Council.
Section 3. In addition to the annual report, the Board may furnish additional reports, which shall be available to the public and which shall include, among other things, patterns relating to complaints and recommendations regarding the sufficiency of investigations, determinations as to whether department rules and policies have been violated, and the appropriateness of disciplinary sanctions, if any.
Section 4. The Board shall have the ability to hire consultants to assist in assessing the effectiveness of the Monitor’s Office and in preparing the Board’s annual report and any other reports.
Article VIII. Amendments
These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Board by vote as set forth in Article IV, Section 4, provided that written notice of such amendments shall have been given at least five days prior to such meeting so long as the amendments are not inconsistent with the City Charter, City ordinance, or other governing law.