Community Police Review Board to review UI, Iowa City Police policies

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 9:53 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - In light of the death of George Floyd while in police custody, many departments are reviewing their police department policies, including Iowa City.

The city's Community Police Review Board is leading the effort to review the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Police Department’s policies.

“Locally things have seemed to go pretty smoothly but as this week progressed it was like wow, locally we need attention too,” said Monique Galpin, outgoing Chair of Iowa City’s five-member Community Police Review Board. “I think it’s an opportune time to take that university and community spotlight and have some transparency and accountability."

The board reviews reports prepared after an investigation of complaints about alleged police misconduct. The recommendations that they’ll be reviewing include ones that were part of President Barack Obama’s Police Use of Force Project and the #8CantWait project.

“Some of the recommendations from campaign are banning chokeholds and stranglehold’s requiring de-escalation, requiring warnings before shooting,” said Galpin. “Initially, when I started on the board, it was after campaign zero’s first set of recommendations in 2016 after the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, so hopefully the campaign zero recommendations can be integrated into this.”

The board may recommend modifications after a review. As the outgoing chair says she won’t get to be part of the end result but from her work on the board over the years, she thinks these boards have been an effective tool.

“It’s effective in a sense that we’re seeing what the community is, what their complaints are and we’re able to review footage so maybe we can see any patterns that emerge,” said Galpin.

One of the things they’re working to strengthen though is seeing what comes of their review.

"Say we have a complaint and then we sustain one of the allegations that then goes back up to the Chief and you don’t necessarily always see the results of that so that’s something we’ve been trying to kind of work through what that looks like on the other end of it because that’s not necessarily something that under our jurisdiction. That’s under the city council jurisdiction sometimes as part of police unions,” Galpin added.

However, she says having more of a relationship with the city council will help. As far as a timeline, the city will be setting a separate meeting between the City Council and board.

TV9 reached out to the Iowa City Police Department asking if they would be reviewing their policies. They responded,” Details about policy review changes are still in the development stage. As a plan is developed and put into place, information will be shared with the community."

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