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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Civilian police review board hears just five complaints this year, announces two vacancies

Posted by on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 2:40 PM

David Harris
  • File photo
  • David Harris

Durham's Civilian Police Review Board announced this week it is seeking to fill vacancies left by two exiting members. Long-time member and former board chairman Ethan Hertz is stepping down, as well as member Francine Less, said current board Chairman David Harris. Less has been on the board less than six months. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 30.

This year (July 2009 -June 2010), the board heard five complaints from members of the public against the Durham police, Harris reported. One complaint resulted in a hearing in April, and the officer was exonerated, he said.

This continues the trend of few complaints being brought to the board that was highlighted in an Indy story from the fall, which found that the board holds little power. It may not hear complaints unless the police department has first investigated the claims, and the board also may not initiate its own complaints or investigations. No board policies or procedures were changed this year, Harris said.

The board will hold its first meeting of the fiscal year at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, in the second-floor committee meeting room at City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza, downtown Durham.

Read more application details after the jump.

From a city announcement:

The city of Durham is currently seeking applicants to fill two vacancies on the Civilian Police Review Board. The board reviews the Professional Standard Division handling of complaints made against employees of the Durham Police Department. Members of the Civilian Police Review Board are appointed by the city manager.

To be eligible, all applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of your application for membership;
- Must reside in the corporate city limits and have consistently maintained residency for at least three years prior to your application; and
- Be current in the payment of your local property taxes at the time of your application and throughout your term.

The member will be required to attend the Durham Citizen Police Academy and additional training on legal issues surrounding arrest, search and investigation in North Carolina provided by the police attorney’s office. Board members serve a term of four years.

Please Note: Individuals with a felony conviction or plea of nolo contendere to a felony will not be eligible to serve. Also, individuals with a class A1, 1, or 2 misdemeanor conviction within three years of their nomination for appointment shall not be eligible to serve.

Applications may be obtained from the city clerk’s office, located at 101 City Hall Plaza, 2nd Floor of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, contact 919-560-4166.

The application deadline is Friday,
July 30, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

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