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We Don’t Need a Citizens Review Board

September 22, 2019

There is a lot of talk lately about creating a Citizens Review Board for the Phoenix Police Department. This is a bad idea. Instead we should hold management’s feet to the fire. Whenever you create “review” boards for police, you inevitably reduce the authority of the police chief. This is a problem for every major police department in the country. Well publicized bad results have occurred in places like New York and Chicago, but Phoenix has, so far, escaped the corruption that happens when management fails. I was chairman of the Phoenix Civil Service Board back in the 1980s. We heard appeals of disciplinary actions and I saw firsthand the negative effects of taking authority away from the chief when we overruled management too frequently.

We have enough “review” within the Police Department and with the CSB now if we just insist that everyone does their job.

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