Iowa City, IA Police Citizen's Review Board

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Iowa City, IA, US

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Type: Program

Status: Established in 1997

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Established in 1997, the Iowa City Police Citizens Review Board consists of five members appointed by the City Council. The PCRB has its own legal counsel.

The PCRB reviews reports prepared after investigation of complaints about alleged police misconduct. It then issues its own written reports that contain detailed findings of fact and conclusions that explain why and the extent to which complaints should be sustained or not sustained. The PCRB maintains a central registry of complaints against sworn police officers and prepares annual reports to the City Council on the disposition of these complaints.

The PCRB reviews police policies, procedures, and practices, and may recommend modifications to them. It may recommend that the City Council hold public forums and/or hearings designed to encourage citizens to provide information, recommendations, and opinions about police policies, procedures, and practices.

The PCRB has only limited civil administrative review powers and has no power or authority over criminal matters or police discipline. It is not a court of law and is not intended to substitute for any form of legal action against the Police Department or the City.

The Complaint Review Process

  • The PCRB receives a completed citizen complaint form and immediately forwards a copy to the Police Chief for internal affairs investigation. (If the complaint is about the Chief, the City Manager will conduct the investigation.) The Chief completes the investigation within 90 days and issues a detailed written report that concludes with a finding that the complaint is "sustained" or "not sustained." The PCRB will grant extensions, from this deadline for good cause shown.
  • Copies of the Chief’s report are sent to the PCRB and to the complainant, the police officers, and the City Manager.
  • The PCRB reviews the Chief's report and may conduct additional investigation or request that the Chief do so. Within 45 days of receipt of the Chief’s report, the Board issues a written report that contains detailed findings of fact and a conclusion that explains why and the extent to which the complaint should be "sustained" or "not sustained." The City Council may grant extensions, upon written request.
  • Copies of the PCRB's report on the Chief's investigation are sent to the complainant, the police officers, the City Manager, and the City Council.
  • The PCRB may recommend that the Chief reverse his findings if it determines that they are unsupported by substantial evidence; are unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious; or are contrary to Police Department policy or practice, or any federal, state, or local law.