§ 2-A. The Board of Citizens  

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  • The board will include a diverse array of seven individuals, from a cross-section of the Cincinnati community, who have the requisite education and experience to impartially review evidence and render judgments on alleged officer misconduct. The mayor will accept nominations from the City's fifty-two community councils, business, civic, social service and other agencies and organizations. The mayor also will accept applications from individual City residents. The members will serve for a maximum of two terms of two years each, except that three of the initial appointees will be appointed for one year. Those three shall be limited to a single second term of two years in order to ensure that the board has staggered terms. In the event of the resignation, removal, death, or incapacitation of a member of the panel, any replacement member shall serve the remainder of that term.

    1. Applicants for a position on the board shall execute a signed release authorizing a thorough background check, including a criminal check. No person may serve on the board who has been convicted of a felony, assault on a police officer, or any crime of dishonesty. The results of the background check for any person appointed to the board shall be a matter of public record and shall be retained for five years.

    2. The board shall select a chairperson from among its members, who shall serve for a term of one year.

    3. The board and the executive director, in consultation with the city manager, shall develop Standards of Professional Conduct and a comprehensive training program for board appointees. Said standards shall be approved by the city manager. Before assuming office and prior to beginning their duties, each member of the board shall be required to complete a basic course of training, including courses at the Cincinnati Police Academy, instruction in constitutional and criminal protections, and ride-alongs with members of the CPD assigned to patrolling the City, in order to fully and adequately inform each board member of the training and duties of Cincinnati police officers. Each appointee must promise to abide by the Standards and satisfactorily complete the training as a condition of appointment and prior to service on any cases. The mayor, after consultation with the other board members, may remove an individual from the board for cause, including failure to strictly abide by (including action inconsistent with) the Standards or failure to properly discharge the duties of the office. The mayor shall seek to act in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the other board members.

    4. The CCA will not commence operations until each member of the board has satisfactorily completed the training program and promised to abide by the Standards. Until that time, OMI and the Citizens Police Review Panel shall continue in their current roles. Thereafter, new appointees to the board shall be afforded up to a maximum of ninety (90) days to complete training and promise to abide by the Standards. The CCA shall assume jurisdiction over all of the police cases pending before OMI and the CPRP at the time of the transfer. There shall be no break in civilian review as a result of this transition.

    5. The board and executive director shall develop the specific procedures necessary for the CCA to carry out its mission, including the procedure to convene hearings on cases, procedures for investigations, procedures for coordination of work with CPD, and other operating procedures. Consistent with the City Charter, any procedures affecting the administrative service shall be approved by the city manager.

    6. Board members shall be compensated at the rate of $100 per meeting. The chairperson shall be compensated at the rate of $125 per meeting.

    7. The city solicitor shall provide legal counsel on a routine basis to the CCA. The city solicitor shall designate an assistant city solicitor for the CCA who shall maintain independence from and not be involved with any other legal work involving the CPD or individual police officers. If the board determines on an individual case that it requires outside counsel, it shall notify the city solicitor. The solicitor will respond to and cooperate fully with the board to employ counsel whenever the solicitor determines in the exercise of her professional discretion that there is the need for such outside counsel. If the city solicitor determines that there is no need for outside counsel she shall explain her determination to the city manager, who shall relay it to the board.

(Ordained by Ord. No. 149-2002, eff. May 15, 2002)