The Riverside, Ca., Community Police Review Commission last year fielded 95 complaints, investigated three fatal shootings involving officers and recommended several policy changes to the police department, the Los Angeles Times reports. This year’s goals include improving relations with the police department and police officers union and making the commission’s work better known to residents.
The City Council established the panel in 2000 after four officers shot and killed Tyisha Miller in December 1998. Miller, 19, had passed out in her car with a loaded gun on her lap. Police, seeking to get her medical aid, shattered a window. Three officers said later that she reached for the gun.
The nine-member panel has a budget of nearly $300,000. The police union has opposed it since its inception, and four council members have concerns about its role and its budget.
Of the 95 complaints reviewed last year, the commission agreed with 10% of the 188 allegations against officers. The department is writing a policy on shooting at moving vehicles and improving training on when officers should fire their weapons. The department is reviewing a recommendation to record every encounter with a civilian; now, every officer-initiated contact is tape-recorded. The police are considering a suggestion to make investigations by its internal affairs division more aggressive.