Fresnans for the Independent Police Auditor (Fresno IPA)
We, the citizens and residents of the City of Fresno, wish our elected officials on the City Council and the Office of the Mayor to know that we strongly support the creation of the office of the Independent Police Auditor; and that we urge the adoption of this office as soon as possible; and request that it be configured as follows: THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE OF INDEPENDENT POLICE AUDITOR WILL BE SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT OF THE FRESNO POLICE DEPARTMENT, IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEWING POLICE INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATIONS OF COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICE OFFICERS TO DETERMINE IF THE INVESTIGATION WAS COMPLETE, OBJECTIVE AND FAIR. 1.The Independent Police Auditor (IPA) shall report directly to the Fresno City Mayor and Fresno City Council; shall be hired with the consent of the mayor and the City Council, and may be terminated only by a two-thirds vote of the city council. 2. The IPA shall review police internal affairs investigations of complaints against police officers to determine if the investigation was complete, objective and fair. This will include all complaints against police officers which allege excessive or unnecessary use of force , and accusations of retaliation for filing of complaints as well as a minimum of twenty percent of all other complaints. 3. The IPA shall have the authority to audit officer-involved shootings, and all critical incidents involving serious injury or death (taser related deaths, serious force cases, vehicle pursuits) . . . whether or not a complaint is filed. The IPA will be called and have the authority to respond to the scene of officer-involved shootings and all Fresno Police department related in-custody death incidents. 4. The IPA shall have joint authority with internal affairs to classify complaints. 5. The Independent Police Auditor shall attend the Internal Affairs interview of any witnesses including but not limited to, police officers and shall have the power to subpoena witnesses. 6. The Independent Police Auditor will be given full access to Fresno Police Department records, including personnel files, and information pertinent to complaints being investigated and shall have the power to subpoena such records. 7. The Independent Police Auditor shall comply with all state laws requiring the confidentiality of Police Department records and information as well as the privacy rights of all individuals involved in the process. No report to the City Council or the public shall contain the name of any individual police officer, complainant, or witness. 8. Any person may file a complaint against any member of the police department directly to the Fresno Police Department and/or to the Independent Police Auditor. Complaints made to either party shall be made available to both parties. 9. The Independent Police Auditor shall provide timely updates within 60 days on the progress of Internal Affairs investigations to any complainant who so requests. 10. The Independent Police Auditor shall make a request, in writing, to the Police Chief for further investigation whenever the Police Auditor concludes that further investigation is warranted. Unless the Independent Police Auditor receives a satisfactory written response from the Police Chief within five business days. The IPA shall have the authority to investigate and will report the findings to the City Council and Mayor. 11. The Independent Police Auditor shall file annual and mid-year public reports with the City Clerk for transmittal to the City Council and to the mayor. These reports shall include: a statistical analysis documenting the number of complaints by category, the number of complaints sustained, and the actions taken. The report will also analyze trends and patterns and make recommendations. A response to the recommendations shall be required within 90 days. 12. The Independent Police Auditor shall, at all times, be totally independent, and requests for further investigations, recommendations and reports shall reflect the views of the Independent Police Auditor alone. 13. No person shall attempt to undermine the independence of the Police Auditor in the performance of the duties and responsibilities set forth in this document.