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Civilian Oversight Board

In January of 2022, the Rockford City Council approved the creation of a Civilian Oversight Board. The board, which will be made up of seven Rockford residents reflective of our community, will review the completed internal investigation of citizen complaints and certain use of force incidents. The board will be tasked with working with the Rockford Police Department, the Mayor and City Council to identify areas for improvement and offer solutions in order to continue building trust between the police department and the community.

DUTIES OF THE BOARD

  • Timely review of the completed internal investigation of all citizen complaints and use of force incidents above a Force Level 4 as defined in the department’s General Order 1.16.
  • The purpose of the board’s review is to determine whether the investigation was complete, thorough, objective, and fair and whether the outcome was appropriate, based on the following criteria:
    • Thoroughness of the investigation
    • The extent to which witnesses or persons known to have information, knowledge, or evidence pertaining to the allegation(s) or incident were contacted or interviewed
    • The extent to which appropriate interviews were conducted with a complainant, witnesses, involved officers or employees, and any other persons having knowledge relating to the incident
    • The process of seeking, collecting, and maintaining evidence pertaining to the investigation; and
    • The appropriateness of discipline, if applicable
  • The board will have access to pertinent records in order to complete its review with appropriate redactions to protect privacy and confidentiality.
  • The board shall provide a written report summarizing its findings as to each investigation.
  • The board shall conduct deliberations as allowed by the Open Meetings Act, including convening into closed session where appropriate.
  • Receive citizen complaints as to allegations of misconduct by members of the department and refer the same to the department’s Office of Professional
  • Monitor the processing of all citizen complains through timely updates on case status and outcome from the Office of Professional Standards.

EXPECTATION OF BOARD MEMBERS

  • Members must commit to fair, unbiased and impartial review to ensure that all parties involved, including the community, have confidence in the process.
  • Members will undergo rigorous training to become knowledgeable on topics that will be critical in case reviews.
  • Members must commit to spending several hours each month to train, review cases and attend board meetings.

QUALIFICATIONS OF BOARD MEMBERS

  • All members, at the time of their appointment and during their service, shall reside within the corporate boundaries of the City of Rockford.
  • No more member shall serve more than two full three-year terms.
  • No member shall be a current peace officer or have an immediate family member or household member employed as a peace officer. A former peace officer or immediate family member may serve if said officer resigned or retired in good standing and has not been employed as an officer for at least 10 years.
  • No member shall presently serve as an elected officer or employee of the City.
  • No person convicted of a criminal or misdemeanor charge of domestic or sexual violence, violation of a civil no contact order, stalking, or violation of an order of protection shall serve on the board.
  • No attorney actively engaged in criminal defense or prosecution or defense of litigation brought pursuant to 42 USC §1983 and involving governmental entities shall serve on the board.
  • No person convicted of a forcible felony shall serve on the board, unless said person has had no new criminal convictions for at least 10 years following the expiration of his/her mandatory supervised release. However, no person convicted of first degree murder, second degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnaping, kidnaping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement or any similar offense in any other jurisdiction shall serve on the board.
  • No person convicted of a crime of dishonesty within the last ten (10) years shall serve on the board.
  • No person who has failed to complete the training required in subsection E in Sec.13-70 serve on the board.
  • No person who is ineligible by federal or state law or rule to have access to law enforcement data required for use by the board.

TIMELINE (Subject to Change)

Application Period: February 15 – May 1

Staff Review Complete/Followup with Applicants/Finalists Determined: June 15

City Council Approval: July 15

TO APPLY

To apply, applicants should submit the following by May 1:

  • A current resume
  • A statement of no more than 600 words addressing how they believe this board can improve our organization, why they want to be appointed to the board and how their presence will enhance the board.

Applications should be delivered to the Mayor’s Office:

  • In person or mail: Mayor’s Office, City of Rockford, 425 East State, Rockford, IL 61104
  • E-mail: [email protected]