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Cedar Rapids City Council approves Citizens’ Police Review Board

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After more than six months of planning and discussion, the Cedar Rapids City Council, unanimously approved and set in motion the creation of a Citizens’ Police Review Board, making it only the second of its kind in Iowa.

Members of the Advocates for Social Justice, like Amara Andrews, have been working towards this end goal for months, gathering community input, research and meeting with city officials almost weekly.

”Cedar Rapids is really sort of on the cutting edge of diversity equity and inclusion. It’s an amazing accomplishment. We should be really proud of the work the community has done and the work the city has done to get this done,” Andrews said.

Andrews said the board will be a means to examine police accountability in certain cases. Members will have the power to investigate citizen complaints of alleged officer misconduct, recommended discipline, and also serve on the committee that hires the police chief.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said in a statement to KCRG-TV9: “The Citizen Review Board will promote transparency and increase the level of trust between the police department and our community.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department is committed to providing outstanding service and this process will illuminate the outstanding work the men and women do.”

Andrews said that ASJ will keep up efforts on its other six demands to the city, including decriminalizing minor marijuana crimes and more investments in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, adding ”Figuring out what our next priorities are, and using the way that we negotiated the CRB model, we hope to do the same with some of the other demands.”

Applications for board member positions will be open through May and members will be approved over the summer.

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