Antioch Council forms Police Oversight Commission on split votes

Commissioners can have criminal record, but no former Antioch cops or family members allowed

By Allen D. Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday, May 24, the Antioch City Council voted 3-1 to form a seven-member Police Oversight Commission with District 3 Councilwoman voting no and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica absent. The item was the second reading for the commission’s creation which passed on a 3-1 vote during the last meeting when Ogorchock was absent and Barbanica voted no.  Resolution forming Antioch Police Oversight Commission ACC052422

According to the staff report, “Civilian oversight of police departments is an evolving governmental function designed to provide the community with a means to influence police department policies and to help ensure that policing is conducted in a manner that is constitutional, effective, and responsive to the standards, values, and expectations of those served by the police department.

The City Council directed City staff to research and make recommendations to the City Council Police Oversight Standing Committee on the potential formation of an Antioch Police Oversight Commission (‘Police Commission’). City staff researched (1) police oversight commissions and boards in general law and charter cities; (2) the differences between police oversight commissions in general law cities and charter cities; and (3) solutions that can be achieved under each type of government within state and local laws and policies.

City staff has prepared an ordinance forming the Antioch Police Oversight Commission with the aim of strengthening trust, transparency, accountability, and police-community relations in the City of Antioch by ensuring that the Antioch Police Department’s policies, practices, and customs meet or exceed national standards of constitutional policing.

The purpose of the Antioch Police Oversight Commission is to strengthen trust, transparency, accountability, and police-community relations in the City of Antioch by ensuring that the Antioch Police Department’s policies, practices, and customs meet or exceed national standards of constitutional policing.

The Police Commission shall advise the City Council, City Manager, and Chief of Police on the administration of the Antioch Police Department and on policy matters concerning public safety within the City of Antioch. The Police Commission shall facilitate community participation and oversight by reviewing and recommending policies, procedures, practices, and programs designed to result in community policing that is effective, responsive, and sensitive to the diverse needs of the residents of the City.

The Police Commission shall promote and encourage open communication and cooperation between the Antioch Police Department and residents of the City, recognizing that policing the City of Antioch is a shared responsibility.

The Police Commission shall develop, review, and make policy recommendations aimed at informing the community of its rights and responsibilities when interacting with police officers.”

Purpose of Commission

Also, according to the resolution adopted by the council, “The purpose of the Police Commission is to advise the City Council, City Manager, and Chief of Police on the administration of the Antioch Police Department and on matters of public safety within the City of Antioch to ensure that the Antioch Police Department’s policies, practices, and customs conform to national standards of constitutional policing.

The Police Commission shall facilitate community participation and oversight by reviewing and recommending policies, procedures, practices, and programs designed to result in community policing that is effective, responsive, and sensitive to the diverse needs of the residents of the City.

The Police Commission shall promote and encourage open communication and cooperation between the Antioch Police Department and residents of the City, recognizing that policing the City of Antioch is a shared responsibility.

The Police Commission shall develop, review, and make policy recommendations aimed at informing the community of its rights and responsibilities when interacting with police officers.”

Commissioners Can Have Criminal Record

The adopted resolution also includes details on membership of the commission.

“The Mayor and the City Council shall strive to appoint and confirm at least:

(a) one (1) representative from each of the four (4) councilmember voting districts of the City;

(b) one (1) representative of the Antioch faith-based community;

(c) one (1) representative of the Antioch business community; and

(d) one (1) employee or student of the Antioch Unified School District.

(D) No one shall be excluded from the Police Commission because he or she has a criminal record.

(E) The following shall not be eligible to serve as a Police Commissioner:

(a) current sworn police officer or his/her spouse;

(b) current City employee or his/her spouse;

(c) former Department sworn employee or his/her spouse; or

(d) current or former employee, official, or representative of an employee association representing sworn police officers or his/her spouse.”

Commissioners Training

The resolution also includes training for the commissioners.

“The City shall provide appropriate funding for introductory training of new Police Commission members as well as continuing education for all members. Training shall cover all of the following, but not be limited to:

(A) The ordinance establishing the Police Commission;

(B) National standards of constitutional policing;

(C) Department operations, policies, procedures, practices, and programs;

(D) Laws governing local public records and public meetings, confidentiality, police officer rights, arrestee rights, and excessive force; and

(E) Police policies, practices, and procedures around stops, arrests, use of force, detention, large-scale protests, and marginalized communities.”

 

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Resolution forming Antioch Police Oversight Commission ACC052422


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