Salt Lake City, UT Police Civilian Review Board
Status: Adopted in 2003
Source File: http://184.108.40.206/UT/Salt%20Lake%20City/index.htm (Select Chapter 2.72)
POLICE CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD
The best interests of the city and its residents will be served by civilian oversight of certain complaints and internal police investigations regarding conduct of the police. As such, the police civilian review board will audit and review all cases in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force and such other cases as the board in its discretion may request. Such audit and review are intended to foster trust between the community and law enforcement personnel and to assure fair treatment to police officers.
For the purpose of this chapter, unless otherwise apparent from the context, certain words and phrases used in this chapter are defined as follows:
A. "Administrator" means the independent board investigator/administrator appointed pursuant to section 2.72.060 of this chapter.
B. "Board" means the police civilian review board created under this chapter.
C. "Board advisor" means the board advisor appointed pursuant to subsection 2.72.030D of this chapter.
D. "City" means Salt Lake City Corporation, a Utah municipal corporation.
E. "Council" means the city council of the city.
F. "Internal affairs unit" means the internal affairs unit of the police department.
G. "Mayor" means the duly elected or appointed and qualified mayor of the city.
H. "Member" or "member of the board" means a person appointed by the mayor who is duly qualified and acting as a member of the board.
I. "Panel" or "board review panel" means a panel of board members described in section 2.72.180 of this chapter.
J. "Person" means an individual.
K. "Police chief" means the chief of police of the city.
L. "Police department" means the police department of the city.
2.72.030 Board Appointments; Term Of Office; Board Advisor:
A. Creation: The board is hereby created.
B. Appointments By Mayor: The mayor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall appoint fourteen (14) civilians as members of the board. Included in this number shall be two (2) from each council district. The mayor shall make such appointments with a goal of providing geographical, professional, neighborhood, racial, gender and ethnic diversity to the board so that balanced community representation is achieved. Officers or employees of the city shall not be appointed to the board.
C. Term Of Office: All members of the board shall serve for a three (3) year term, provided that the terms of the initial appointees shall be staggered so that not more than seven (7) terms shall expire in any one year. Each member's term of office shall expire on the first Monday in September. A member shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive full terms.
D. Board Advisor: The mayor shall appoint, as board advisor, a person with prior police experience, who is not at the time employed by the police department or any other law enforcement agency, to provide input and advice to the board. The board advisor shall have the same term of office as members of the board and shall not serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms. The board advisor is not a member of the board and does not have a vote on the board.
2.72.040 Policies And Procedures:
The board shall adopt policies and procedures, not inconsistent with this chapter, for the conduct of its meetings, for the conduct of meetings of panels, and for any other purposes it considers necessary for its proper functioning.
A. Officers: The board shall annually select from its members a chair and a vice chair.
B. Staff: The mayor shall appoint a full time investigator/administrator for the board, as provided in section 2.72.060 of this chapter. The city shall additionally provide staff to create written minutes from any board and panel meeting recordings.
C. Attorney: The city attorney shall be the attorney for the board. In the event of a conflict of interest, any legal advice or assistance shall be obtained, as directed by the office of the city attorney.
2.72.060 Independent Board Administrator:
A. Appointment; Removal: In the interest of legitimate civilian oversight, the mayor shall appoint a full time independent administrator for the board. In making such appointment, the mayor shall consider any recommendations of the board regarding who should be appointed. The administrator shall operate out of the city's department of management services. The administrator shall be an at- will employee and shall be subject to removal by the mayor, with or without cause, but only after the mayor considers any recommendations of the board regarding such removal.
B. Required Qualifications: The administrator shall have the following qualifications:
- Experience in public sector labor and employment law (preferably relating to police and firefighters), Utah civil service law, and civil rights law, or the ability to quickly learn applicable legal principles.
- Strong interpersonal and supervisory skills.
- Objectivity toward police and community interests.
- No felony convictions or misdemeanor criminal convictions in cases involving violence or moral turpitude. The administrator shall not be under a pending felony indictment or information when appointed. A felony conviction or indictment or information, or a conviction of a misdemeanor involving violence or moral turpitude after appointment, shall be a basis for removal.
- Strong writing skills.
- Verbally articulate.
- Strong interviewing skills.
- Strong investigative skills.
C. Desired Administrator Qualifications: If possible, the administrator shall have the following qualifications:
- Mediation training and mediation experience.
- History of community involvement and public service.
- Administrative and management skills.
- Ability to positively interact with citizens, police officers, and the community.
- Trial or appellate experience.
2.72.070 Criminal Conviction Or Pending Indictment:
No person may be appointed as a member of the board who has: a) any felony convictions, pending indictments or information; or b) misdemeanor criminal convictions, pending indictments or information in cases involving violence or moral turpitude. A felony conviction, or a conviction for a misdemeanor involving violence or moral turpitude after appointment to the board, shall be a basis for removal from the board.
2.72.080 Voluntary Service; Immunity From Liability:
Board members and the board advisor shall perform their services on or for the board without pay or other compensation, except for payment or reimbursement of expenses actually and reasonably incurred as approved in writing, in advance, by the mayor. Board members and the board advisor shall be deemed volunteers as defined in title 67, chapter 20, Utah Code Annotated, as amended, or any successor statute, and, as such, shall be defended by the city attorney, but shall be immune from any liability with respect to any decision or action taken in the performance of their duties and responsibilities on or for the board as provided by title 63, chapter 30b, Utah Code Annotated, as amended, or any successor statute.
2.72.090 Removal From Office:
Any member of the board or the board advisor may be removed from office by the mayor, for cause, prior to the normal expiration of the term for which such member or advisor was appointed.
2.72.100 Vacancy Filling:
Any vacancy on the board shall be filled for the unexpired term of the vacated member in the same manner as the member whose position has been vacated was appointed.
2.72.110 Members' Ethics:
Members shall be subject to and bound by the provisions of the city's conflict of interest ordinance, chapter 2.44 of this title, or any successor ordinance. Any violations of the provisions of said chapter shall be grounds for removal from office.
2.72.120 Eligibility For Membership; Training:
A. Eligibility: To be eligible to be appointed as a member of the board, a person shall be at least twenty one (21) years of age and shall be a resident of the city.
B. Training: After being appointed to the board, but prior to functioning as a member, each member of the board shall receive the following training regarding the duties of the board and regarding police practices and procedures:
- A specific training course, as determined by the police chief and the mayor, regarding police practices and procedures, duties of the board, and cultural diversity.
- At least one 3-hour ride along in each of the city's police sectors.
- Meetings with selected community groups and persons who have an interest in police oversight, as determined by the police chief and the mayor.
- Two (2) hours of training provided by the internal affairs division.
- A supplemental training course containing elements from subsections B1 through B4 of this section, as determined by the police chief and the mayor, within thirty (30) days after commencing the second year of the three (3) year term.
The mayor shall revoke the appointment to the board of any member who fails to complete such training within six (6) months after such member's appointment to the board; provided that the mayor may extend such training deadline if, in the mayor's judgment, such an extension is appropriate.
2.72.130 Meetings Of Board:
A. Regular Meetings: The board as a whole shall hold regular meetings at least once every three (3) months.
B. Panel Meetings: Board review panels may meet as necessary to review cases.
C. Open Meeting Law Compliance: Notice of meetings of the board and panels shall be provided, and records of board and panel meetings shall be kept, as required in the open and public meetings act, title 52, chapter 4, Utah Code Annotated, as amended, or any successor statute. The board and panels may close a meeting if allowed under section 52-4-5, Utah Code Annotated, as amended, upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the board or panel present in an open meeting for which notice is given, provided a quorum is present. When a meeting of the board or a panel involves the discussion of the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual, including any police officer, privacy rights are involved, and it is hereby recommended that the board or panel close such meeting under the open and public meetings act unless, in their sound discretion, they determine that such meeting should be open to the public. Subject to the open and public meetings act, the board and panels shall keep written minutes of their meetings, and records of all of their examinations and official actions.
D. Special Meetings; Notice: Special meetings of the board or panels may be ordered by the chairperson of the board, a majority of the members of the board, a majority of the members of the council, or the mayor. The order for a special meeting must be signed by the person or persons calling such meeting and, unless waived in writing, each board member not joining in the order must be given not less than three (3) business days' prior notice of the meeting. Such notice shall be served personally or left at the board member's residence or business office.
E. Location Of Meetings; Record Of Proceedings: Meetings shall be held at such public place as may be designated by the board. The board and panels shall cause any written minutes of their proceedings to be available for inspection in the office of the city recorder, except with respect to matters not subject to public disclosure under the Utah government records access and management act, title 63, chapter 2, Utah Code Annotated, as amended, or any successor statute. The board and panels shall record the yea and nay votes of the board or panel members on any action taken by them. The board and panels may suspend the rules of procedure for their meetings by unanimous vote of the members of the board or panel, as applicable, who are present at the meeting. The board or panel shall not suspend the rules of procedure beyond the duration of the meeting at which the suspension of rules occurs.
2.72.140 Quorum And Vote:
A. Quorum: No business of the board as a whole shall be conducted at a meeting without at least a quorum of eight (8) members. No business of a board panel shall be conducted at a meeting without at least a quorum of three (3) members.
B. Vote: All actions of the board shall be represented by a vote of the members. A simple majority of the voting members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be required for any action to be taken. All actions of a board panel shall be represented by a vote of the participating members. A simple majority of the panel members present at each meeting at which a quorum is present shall be required for any action to be taken.
C. Effective Date Of Decision: Any decision of the board or any panel shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.
2.72.150 Investigations By The Board:
A. In General; Notice: The administrator shall have access to all internal affairs unit investigations in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force, together with such other investigations as the board in its discretion may request. The police department shall notify the board through the administrator when cases are initiated by the internal affairs unit.
B. Citizen Requested Investigations: Any person who files with the police department a complaint about a police officer, whether or not claiming that the police officer used excessive force, may, within four (4) business days after filing such complaint, file with the board a request that the board investigate the complaint. At the time a person files such a complaint with the police department, the police department shall notify such person orally or in writing of the person's right, within four (4) business days after such filing, to request a board investigation of the complaint. The board, in its discretion, may grant or deny such request, and the board shall promptly notify the person making the request of the board's decision to grant or deny the request. If the board grants the request, it shall promptly notify the internal affairs unit thereof, and the administrator shall have access to the internal affairs unit's investigation of such complaint.
Any person who files a complaint against a police officer under this section, knowing that such complaint is frivolous, malicious or false, shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor. In addition, any person who files a complaint against a police officer knowing that such complaint is frivolous, malicious or false, shall be civilly liable for all costs and expenses incurred in investigating and otherwise responding to the complaint. A complaint is frivolous if it has no reasonable basis in fact. The board may adopt rules that allow it to dismiss any claim that it deems frivolous, malicious or false.
C. Administrator's Database: When the administrator is notified that a complaint is filed with the internal affairs unit, or when the board agrees to investigate a complaint at the request of a person pursuant to subsection B of this section, the administrator shall ensure that all pertinent data concerning the complaint is collected and entered into a computer database for future analysis.
D. Administrator's Access To Files: The administrator shall have access, via computer database network, to all police department files on its network, except those files that are confidential by law. The administrator shall not discuss with or release the contents of those files to any person other than members of the board, the board advisor, the police chief or his or her designee, the internal affairs unit, the mayor or his or her designee, or the office of the city attorney. A breach of this confidentiality obligation by the administrator or any related staff shall be grounds for removal from office, as well as civil and criminal liability pursuant to any applicable city, state or federal law.
E. Administrator's Access To Internal Affairs Investigation: The administrator shall have unfettered access to the internal affairs unit investigation process. The administrator may inquire of the commander of the internal affairs unit or the applicable assistant police chief about the status of any open case.
F. Administrator; Interviews:
- Access To Internal Affairs Interviews: The administrator shall have access to all interviews scheduled by the internal affairs unit. The police department shall notify the administrator when interviews related to: a) investigations in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force or b) investigations that the board in its discretion has requested to review are scheduled so that the administrator may be present, at his or her discretion. The administrator may participate in questioning the witnesses. The administrator may request that the internal affairs unit interview witnesses or collect evidence, as he or she deems appropriate. If the administrator requests that the internal affairs unit interview a witness and the internal affairs unit denies that request, the administrator may independently interview that witness. In that event the administrator shall invite internal affairs unit personnel to be present at the interview and such personnel, if they choose to attend, may participate in questioning the witness.
- Disclosure To Witnesses: If the administrator participates in any portion of the interview process, he or she must clearly communicate to all participating witnesses that he or she is an independent investigator/administrator affiliated with the board and not with the police department.
- Compelling Attendance Of Witnesses And Police Officers: If the administrator desires to interview a witness or a police officer in connection with an open internal affairs unit investigation that the administrator is investigating or reviewing pursuant to this chapter, and if such person declines to be interviewed, the administrator may ask the mayor to compel the witness or police officer to meet with and be interviewed by the administrator pursuant to chapter 2.59 of this title.
- Presence Of Internal Affairs Unit Investigator: Except as provided in subsection F1 of this section, the administrator shall have no contact with any witness or accused employee, except when an internal affairs unit investigator is present or invited to be present.
- Forwarding Of Information To Internal Affairs Unit: Any information relevant to internal affairs unit investigations of which the administrator becomes aware shall be forwarded immediately to the commander of the internal affairs unit.
- Protection Of Constitutional Rights: The administrator is bound to the same extent as the police department and the city to protect the rights of officers and witnesses under the Utah constitution and the United States constitution.
G. No Interviews By Board: The board and panels shall not call or interview witnesses.
H. Completion Of Administrator's Investigation: The administrator shall complete his or her investigation of each case within two (2) days after the completion date of the internal affairs unit's investigation.
I. Report Of Administrator: Within five (5) business days (or such longer period of time approved by the city's chief administrative officer after consultation with the police chief or his or her designee) after his or her receipt of the case file from the internal affairs unit, the administrator shall provide to the board review panel a written report that summarizes the case and such investigation, and states the administrator's recommendations regarding the case.
J. Board's Access To Administrator's Records: Upon request, the administrator shall provide to the board the administrator's notes and other records regarding cases investigated by the administrator.
K. Administrator's Attendance At Predisciplinary Hearings: The administrator may attend the predisciplinary hearing of a police officer who is the subject of the administrator's report under subsection I of this section. If, after attending the predisciplinary hearing, the administrator decides to prepare a second report that contains a different recommendation regarding the police officer, the administrator shall submit that second report to the board review panel not less than five (5) business days after the end of the predisciplinary hearing.
L. Board's Access To Files: Except as required by law, members of the board shall not discuss with or release the contents of police department files to any person other than members of the board, the board advisor, the administrator, the police chief or his or her designee, the internal affairs unit, the mayor or his or her designee, or the office of the city attorney. A breach of this confidentiality obligation by a member of the board shall be grounds for removal from office, as well as civil and criminal liability pursuant to any applicable city, state or federal law.
2.72.160 Outside Agency Criminal Investigations Concerning Police Use Of Force:
In cases involving the review of police officer actions by the Salt Lake County district attorney's office, the Utah attorney general's office, or the United States department of justice, the administrator shall review the case only after the review by such outside agency is completed, unless: a) the board, in consultation with the applicable outside agency, directs otherwise, and b) if the internal affairs unit determines to commence an investigation before completion of the outside agency review. When the review is completed, the administrator shall have access to all materials provided to the internal affairs unit by the Salt Lake County district attorney's office, the Utah attorney general's office, or the United States department of justice.
2.72.170 Internal Affairs Unit Case File:
At the completion of an internal affairs unit investigation: a) in cases in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force, b) in other cases that the board in its discretion has requested to review, or c) in cases in which the board agrees to investigate a complaint at the request of a person pursuant to subsection 2.72.150B of this chapter, a copy of the internal affairs unit case file shall be forwarded immediately to the administrator, who shall make it available to the board review panel.
2.72.180 Board Review Panels:
The board shall assign a board review panel to review: a) each internal affairs unit case in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force, b) such other cases the board in its discretion may request, and c) cases the board agrees to investigate at the request of a person pursuant to subsection 2.72.150B of this chapter. Each panel shall consist of five (5) randomly chosen members from the full board. A new panel shall be selected for each new case. The panel shall review the administrator's report on the case delivered to the board pursuant to subsection 2.72.150I of this chapter. 2.72.190 Board Review Panel Reports:
A. Majority Report: At the completion of a panel's review of a case pursuant to section 2.72.180 of this chapter, the panel shall prepare a report and immediately forward a copy of that report to the police chief. The panel's report shall contain, at a minimum, recommendations concerning case disposition and any other recommendations to the police chief in terms of the individual case or general practices or policies. The report shall be filed as promptly as possible, considering the time needed for the filing of minority reports and the police department's deadline for completing its final determination regarding complaints, after the administrator receives the internal affairs unit's case file on the case pursuant to section 2.72.170 of this chapter, but in all cases at least ten (10) business days before the police officer's predisciplinary hearing. After attending the predisciplinary hearing, the administrator may submit to the panel a second report containing a recommendation different than the administrator's initial recommendation. If, after reviewing the administrator's second report, the panel decides to prepare a second majority report that contains a recommendation less favorable to the police officer, the panel shall submit that second majority report to the police chief not less than five (5) business days after receiving the administrator's second report.
B. Minority Report: If less than all of the panel members join in either an initial or a second majority report described in subsection A of this section, any member not joining in the majority report may file with the police chief a minority report, setting forth such person's conclusions regarding the case. Any minority report must be filed within five (5) business days after the filing of the majority report.
2.72.200 Communication Of Case Disposition:
All reports containing a case disposition or recommended case disposition shall contain the classifications consistent with police department policy: "unfounded"; "exonerated"; "no determination is possible"; and "sustained". In addition to the classification, a definition of each term shall be included in the report. The definitions are as follows: a) "unfounded": the reported incident did not occur; b) "exonerated": the employee's actions were reasonable under the circumstances; c) "no determination is possible": there is insufficient evidence to support a conclusion as to whether or not the employee violated policy; d) "sustained": the employee's action(s) are in violation of policy or procedure of the police department.
2.72.210 Police Department Response To Case:
Absent exigent circumstances in which the police chief, in his or her sole discretion, determines that a discipline decision must be made before he or she receives a majority and any minority reports pursuant to section 2.72.190 of this chapter, the police chief shall review and consider such majority and minority reports prior to making a discipline decision in the related case. However, the decision to discipline or not to discipline an officer, as well as the appropriate discipline, is within the sole discretion of the police chief. Immediately following a decision of the police chief to discipline or not to discipline a police officer for the alleged use of excessive force and in any other case the board has designated for review or investigation pursuant to section 2.72.150 of this chapter, the police chief shall submit to the board and the administrator a report outlining the case disposition. If the board disagrees with the case disposition, the board may communicate the disagreement to the police chief in written format, with a copy to the mayor.
2.72.220 Audits By Board:
A. Semiannual Audits: Not less than once every six (6) months, the board shall audit and review the reports of the board review panels with respect to all internal police investigations commenced since the completion of the next preceding audit involving cases in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force, together with such other cases as the board in its discretion may request. The board may also obtain and review any records or reports of the administrator or the internal affairs unit.
B. Semiannual Reports:
- Majority Report: After it finishes each audit, the board shall prepare a semiannual advisory report highlighting the trends in police performance and stating its findings, conclusions and recommendations regarding changes in police policy and procedures. Patterns of behavior, unclear procedures, policy issues, and training needs may be identified for review. A report shall be completed and filed with the mayor, the council, and the police chief within thirty (30) days after each of the board's semiannual audits.
- Minority Report: If less than all of the members of the board join in the majority report of the board, any member not joining in the majority report may file with the mayor, the council, and the police chief a minority report, setting forth such person's conclusions regarding the audit. Any minority report must be filed within seven (7) business days after the filing of the majority report.
- Confidentiality Of Reports: No semiannual advisory reports shall contain the names of any individual persons. Except during a closed session of the board, no individuals shall be mentioned by name in any verbal or written statements by the board or the members thereof.
- Copies Of Semiannual Advisory Reports: Copies of such reports shall be provided to the mayor, each member of the council, and the police chief.
- Staff Support: The police department and the mayor's office shall cooperate with the administrator to ensure that the board obtains all information and resources necessary to gather information for its reports.
2.72.240 Confidentiality Of Records:
Records and reports under this chapter shall be kept in compliance with the government records access and management act, title 63, chapter 2, Utah Code Annotated, as amended, or any successor statute.
2.72.250 Cooperation And Coordination:
A. In General: All city officers and employees, including those of the police department, shall provide complete and prompt cooperation to the board in the discharge of its duties. The board and other city officers and employees shall coordinate their activities so that such officers and employees and the board can fully and properly perform their respective duties.
B. Police Department: It is recognized that the memorandum of agreement between the city and the Salt Lake Police Association contains a deadline by which the police department must notify police officers of the disposition of any internal police department disciplinary investigation and of any disciplinary action to be administered. The police department and the police chief are encouraged to complete their internal investigations in such a manner and time that the board and board review panels have sufficient time to perform their duties and issue their majority and any minority reports prior to such deadline in the memorandum of agreement, in order to allow the police chief to consider such reports prior to making a decision regarding case disposition or discipline.
2.72.260 Board Actions Shall Not Bind The Mayor Or Police Chief:
The recommendations of the board shall not be deemed to bind the mayor and the police chief in their determinations. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to be a delegation of the mayor's responsibility and authority regarding the police department.
2.72.270 No Creation Of Legal Standard Or Third Party Rights:
Nothing in this chapter shall create any legal standard regarding conduct by the city, the board, the administrator, or the police department, nor create any third party rights whatsoever, except as specifically provided in this chapter.
2.72.280 Publicizing Of Investigation And Review Procedures:
The police department and the mayor's office shall publicize: a) that the board investigates all internal affairs unit investigations in which it is claimed that a police officer used excessive force, and such other investigations as the board in its discretion may request, and b) the availability of the citizen requested investigation procedure described in subsection 2.72.150B of this chapter, and shall educate the public regarding where and when to file requests for review or investigation. In order to publicize the review and investigation procedures, the police department and the mayor's office shall develop brochures and other written publicity materials, and shall provide for dissemination of information through other forms of media, which are not limited to written information, within budgeted appropriations.