Campus Police Review Board holds 1st public meeting in 2 years

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Members of the campus Police Review Board held their first public meeting in two years Friday to discuss their annual report, which summarizes the activities of the board since then.

The board comprises representatives from campus faculty, law enforcement and the UC Berkeley student community. The meeting, designed as an opportunity for the public to voice its concerns about UCPD, was sparsely attended with only one member of the public present.

“We must be doing something right,” faculty representative Laura Kray said at the meeting.

The responsibilities of the PRB include considering the appeals made by UCPD regarding civilian complaints and monitoring departmental policies and procedures.

“The Police Review Board is a collection of eight people, some have a connection to law enforcement but others just have a connection to campus,” said the chair of the Police Review Board and associate dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, Charles Weisselberg. “We are a board that is set up to review the department, and we all bring different sets of expertise.”

UCPD made four appeals over the last two years, two of which were remanded and sent back to the department. The other two appeals were affirmed by the board.

The annual report also reviewed progress and initiatives made by the PRB in areas such as sexual assault and racial profiling after survivors of campus sexual assaults raised concerns about department policies at the board’s May 2014 meeting. In response to the concerns raised, PRB helped to facilitate a meeting between sexual assault survivors and UCPD Chief Margo Bennett the next week.

Racial profiling at traffic stops represents another issue addressed by members of the public during the 2014 meeting. The department, in partnership with Alameda County, has been collecting data on this trend for more than 15 years.

After the meeting, UCPD analyzed the data gathered between January 2014 and June 2015. The data showed that twice as many men as women were stopped, however, no racial trends were found.

The department continues to  work toward the goal of understanding the traffic stop data and is currently using the aid of a campus statistician to further examine these numbers.

Contact Anjali Banerjee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @abanerjee_dc.