Civilian Review Board
The establishment of the City of Aurora’s Civilian Review Board is a result of the City’s CHANGE Reform Initiative, launched by Mayor Richard C. Irvin on June 9, 2020, following the local, national and global civil unrest and calls for systemic police reform and unprecedented racial reckoning.
After months of dialoguing with the community during 15 community listening and recommendation sessions, conducting in-depth research of like boards in cities throughout the country, and comprehensive planning by an ad hoc committee of internal and external members:
On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the Aurora City Council approved Resolution 20-0232: A Resolution Directing the Preparation of an Ordinance Establishing a Civilian Review Board to Review Matters Involving the Police Department
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, the Aurora City Council approved Ordinance 20-0710: An Ordinance Creating a Civilian Review Board to Review Matters Involving the Police Department.
THE PURPOSE OF THE AURORA CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD IS TO:
• Add an outside perspective to the evaluation of civilian complaints;
• Review and evaluate the administration and consistency in the imposition of discipline within the department with respect to civilian complaints;
• Provide a timely, fair, and objective review of civilian complaints, the manner in which they are investigated and a recommendation to the chief as to proposed discipline prior to imposition; and
• Review, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the police department’s activities and efforts in promoting and achieving equity with respect to racial, gender, and cultural diversity in officer recruitment and training;
• Review, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the department’s overall relationship with the public;
• Provide a systematic means to achieve continuous improvement in the interactions between the public and police.
DUTIES WITH RESPECT TO COMPLAINTS
With respect to community complaints, the Aurora Civilian Review Board will:
• Receive complaints from members of the public as to allegations of misconduct by members of the department and shall refer the same to the department for review;
• Receive information as to the disposition of civilian complaints that did not result in the commencement of a formal investigation received by the board;
• Review the written findings and recommendations of formal investigations arising from civilian complaints for the purpose of determining whether the investigation was complete, thorough, objective, and fair, based on the following factors:
- The thoroughness with which each allegation has been investigated;
- The extent to which witnesses or persons are known to have information, knowledge, or evidence pertaining to the allegation(s) were contacted or interviewed;
- The extent to which appropriate interviews were conducted with the complainant, witnesses, involved officers or employees, and any other persons having knowledge relating to the allegations;
- The process of seeking, collecting, and maintaining evidence pertaining to the investigation; and
- The appropriateness of any recommended sanctions;
• Prior the imposition of any discipline resulting from a formal investigation of a civilian complaint, prepare a written report to the chief as to the board’s findings and recommendations as to discipline;
• Receive a timely report from the chief as to the ultimate disposition of the formal investigation, including the discipline imposed and whether the disciplined member of the department has sought review of the decision as may be provided in a collective bargaining agreement.
• Conduct its deliberations in closed session as allowed by the Open Meetings Act.
In the exercise of its duties under this section:
- Review the written report of the department’s informal inquiry or formal investigation of the civilian complaint;
- Review any documentary evidence in the possession of the department of the incident that is the subject matter of the civilian complaint, including but not limited to incident reports, interview transcripts, and audio and video evidence; and
- Review all formal recommendations made to the chief by department personnel or bodies with respect to discipline to be imposed as a result of a civilian complaint prior to the making of its recommendation.
• In conjunction with city staff, to compile statistics concerning department interactions with the public
• To provide periodic written reports and recommendations to the city council, the department, and the public regarding matters within the board's scope of authority
• To provide written recommendations to the department as to changes in policies, practices, and procedures aimed at developing a stronger relationship between the department and the public
• To provide written recommendations as to methods of recruiting underrepresented persons to become members of the department;
• To conduct its duties in accordance with all provisions of applicable law and ordinance, including but not limited to the Open Meetings Act, and the ethics ordinance
• To develop rules and procedures necessary to carry the forgoing duties into execution.
• Upon approval, the board secretary 6 shall forward a copy of the board’s rules and procedures to the mayor who shall then refer them to the city council, or any committee thereof, for presentation as an informational item.
APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS
• The board shall consist of nine (9) members appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the city council.
• At its first meeting following the commencement of the terms of board members in July, the board shall elect from its membership a chairperson and such other officers as it deems necessary who shall serve a term of one year. The chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the boards.
• In making appointments under this section, the mayor shall give due consideration to candidates who reflect the diversity of the community, whether through their race, ethnicity, age, gender, sex, education, socio-economic status, professional experience, or other relevant traits.
• In making appointments under this section, the mayor shall make reasonable efforts to ensure an appropriate geographic representation of the entire city. At least two (2), but no more than four (4) members of the board shall be appointed from each of the following areas:
- That portion of the city located in Kane County west of the Fox River;
- That portion of the city located in Kane County east of the Fox River or in Kendall County; and
- That portion of the city located in DuPage County or 10 in Will County.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERS
• All members of the board, at the time of their appointment and during their service, shall be qualified electors of the city;
• No person shall serve more than two full terms as a member of the board;
• No person presently serving as an elected officer or employee of the city shall serve on the board;
• No person presently employed as a peace officer shall serve on the board;
• No attorney actively engaged in the practice of criminal law or in the prosecution or defense of litigation 17 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;
• No person convicted of a crime of dishonesty shall serve on the board within the last ten (10) years shall serve on the board;
• No person who has failed to complete the training required shall 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 shall serve on the board
TERMS OF OFFICE
• The mayor shall appoint each member of the board to a term of three (3) years to commence on July 1 and until a successor has been appointed and qualified as provided under this article.
• In the event of the death, resignation, removal, or incapacity of any member of the board, or if a vacancy occurs for any reason, the mayor shall with the advice and consent of the city council appoint a successor to complete the unexpired term.
• Members shall attend all regularly scheduled board meetings. If a member is absent for three (3) successive meetings or a cumulative of three (3) meetings during any twelve (12) month period without notification or good cause, the mayor may determine that the members have constructively resigned from office and proceed to appoint some other person to complete the unexpired term as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
• The mayor may remove any member on a written charge 6 whenever the mayor is of the opinion that the interests of the city demand the removal. The mayor shall report the reasons for the removal to the city council at its next meeting held more than two (2) full business days following the removal. If the mayor fails or refuses to report to the city council the reasons for the removal, or if the city council by a two-thirds vote of all aldermen elected disapprove of the removal, the member thereupon shall be restored to the office. Upon restoration, the member shall a take a new oath of office. No member shall be removed a second time for the same offense.
• Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, in 2021 the mayor shall appoint three (3) members for a term expiring on June 30, 2022, three (3) members for a term expiring on June 30, 2023, and three (3) members for a term expiring on June 30, 2024. The successors of each member appointed under this paragraph shall serve terms in accordance with paragraph of this section.
All persons appointed to the board shall, prior to taking office, complete a training curriculum consisting of the following:
• An overview of the organization and operation of the department;
• A “ride-along” with a police officer to acquaint the member with the geography of the city and the real-world application of departmental policies;
• An overview of departmental policies regarding the use of force by police officers, including authorized compliance and de-escalation techniques and the circumstances where their use is appropriate;
• An overview of the equipment and weapons carried by police officers and their purpose and methods of use, which may include practical training in the operation and use of firearms;
• An overview of laws governing the interaction between peace officers and members of the public;
• An overview of this ordinance and the ethics ordinance
• Completion of the Open Meetings Act training required by law.
• The board shall adopt rules requiring continuing training for its members at such intervals it deems appropriate.
The application period for membership is 8 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1 through 12 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22.
Make sure to select 'Civilian Review Board' in the 'Which board would you like to apply for?' section.