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City Council extends CRB application deadline by one month

Charlottesville City Council has extended the deadline to apply for the Police Civilian Review Board by one month.

Councilor Heather Hill announced the extension during the panel’s meeting Monday.

The council notified the 14 applicants on Thursday that it would not conduct interviews before the meeting as previously planned.

Hill said the applicants are still under consideration and do not have to reapply.

Hill and Councilor Wes Bellamy have said that the interview process was delayed so that applicants could cover the criteria set for CRB members.

The council approved the ordinance and bylaws for the police oversight panel in November amid public outcry that the final structure was too weak.

The board’s purpose is to improve trust between the Charlottesville Police Department and the community in the aftermath of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally.

The board will include seven voting panelists and one nonvoting member.

Four of the voting members must meet certain guidelines and it’s unclear if the applicants meet those criteria.

Three people will be appointed from a historically disadvantaged community or will live in public housing.

One member will represent a racial or social justice organization. That member can live or work in the city. All other board members must be city residents.

The nonvoting member will be someone who has policing expertise or experience, according to board documents.

Members cannot be city employees, candidates for public office, former Charlottesville Police Department employees or immediate family members of an employee of a current law enforcement agency.

The applicants are Lucas Beane, Bellamy Brown, Nancy Carpenter, Stuart Evans, Elliott Harding, Vicki Hawes, Kevin Healy, Jaree Magee, Jehu Martin, William Mendez, John Pfaltz, Claudia Sencer, Anthony Wasch Jr. and James Watson.

Applicants used the standard application for city boards and commissions and didn’t differentiate which seat they might qualify for.

In an email to the City Council on Monday, Pfaltz said he is “disappointed” in the council’s decision to delay the appointment of the board. He was critical of the call from the People’s Coalition to extend the deadline and said the council could be seen as “pandering to a special interest group.”

“My sense is that the 14 members who volunteered to serve represent a rather diverse, and representative, subset of the population,” he wrote. “There was ample opportunity for individuals [the coalition] would have preferred to step up to the plate, had they really been interested in assuring fair policing in our city.”

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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