Arlington County Creates Civilian Police Oversight Board After Year-Round Debate | WDVM25 and DCW50

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) – In May, Arlington County Council debated establishing a Civilian Review Panel. On Wednesday night, they voted to move forward and make this advice a reality.

Under a Virginia law passed last year, localities can establish civilian commissions with the power to subpoena police and make disciplinary decisions, including dismissed officers. It is about resolving the trust issues that exist between the police and the community. The Oversight Board will hold the Arlington County Police Department accountable for any wrongdoing and may review police investigations that have already been completed.

“[It is] a strong community watchdog that includes subpoenas in cases after collaborative work. But if necessary, the subpoena power is in the advised ordinance so that we can make sure there is that real scrutiny and real oversight that our communities of color have asked for, ”said Matt de Ferranti, president of the Commission. Arlington County Board of Directors.

Arlington County Council does not have an exact date when it will review progress on its proposal, but council members say it could happen in less than 2 years. Ferranti thinks this is a step in the right direction; however, he thinks they need 3 more pieces of legal authority from Richmond and will request them with their state delegation.

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