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Tuesday Aug. 16, 2022

Charlottesville’s Police Civilian Oversight Board on Friday launched an online portal where residents can submit complaints of alleged misconduct by Charlottesville City Police officers.

Complaints will go directly to the new board for investigation. The portal can also be used to request the PCOB review CPD internal affairs investigations, submit recommendations to improve CPD or the PCOB itself, and to share compliments and positive feedback for CPD.

More about the PCOB’s new online complaint portal >

Credit: Zack Wajsgras/Chalottesville Tomorrow

It took five years, but the board of civilians that oversees the Charlottesville Police Department has its first case

The launch of an online portal is the latest step to jump start the newly operating board. Charlottesville’s Police Civilian Oversight Board was formed after the 2017 “summer of hate,” but it took nearly five years for the city to adopt the necessary bylaws, operating procedures and local ordinance for it to begin functioning.

state law about civilian review boards took effect last summer allows police review boards in Virginia to conduct investigations and make disciplinary determinations. However, Charlottesville’s board has opted only to make recommendations.

“From the beginning it was clear that the City Council had little enthusiasm for placing the careers of police officers in the hands of a volunteer, amateur board,” said Board Chair William Mendez. 

The police chief must provide a written explanation if she or he chooses not to take the civilian board’s recommended actions.

Credit: Charlotte Rene Woods/Charlottesville Tomorrow

From the archives: Charlottesville Civilian Review Board finds its footing

This is Charlottesville’s second civilian oversight board. The first, which was called the Police Civilian Review Board, formed in 2018 and spent 18 months working out how it would function before their terms expired. Members of the current board were appointed between 2020 and 2021. We checked in with the inaugural board in June 2019.

Thanks for reading!

Jessie Higgins, managing editor

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I'm Charlottesville Tomorrow's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org.