(Photo by Flickr user Jeffrey, used under a Creative Commons license)
Delaware for Police Oversight (DEPO) wants to give members of the community in Delaware the power to review law enforcement policies, collect data, and hold police accountable through proper disciplinary actions via a statewide Community Review Board that would consist primarily of private citizens.
In conjunction with Network DE, the Center to Dismantle the New Jim Crow and Building People Power, DEPO has launched a petition, which will be submitted to Gov. John Carney, Attorney General Kathy Jennings, Wilmington City Council and the Delaware General Assembly to start the process.
Goals for the Community Review Board cited in the petition include:
- Proactively prevent police violence, brutality, and/or use of force in Delaware communities
- Prevent over policing in majority black, brown, and poor communities
- Create a robust, community informed accountability process for when police violence, brutality, and/or use of force does occur.
- Establish alternatives to police presence in our communities
- Review policing policies and make recommendations for changes
- Provide a level of transparency for the public to police practices, policies, and operations
- Access, analyze and interpret data on policing to make recommendations and for public consumption
- Ensure officers are regularly held to the highest standards, and those who fail to meet that standard are reprimanded appropriately
In addition, through the forming of these committees, Delawareans should expect that:
- A majority of the formation committee be private citizens who are included at every step of the process
- The final product and committees consist of a majority of private citizens
- Leadership roles on the final review board only be held by private citizens
- Funding be set aside to guarantee the sustainability of the final oversight committee through stipends for its members
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