A draft Chapter for the establishment of our Citizen Review Board is currently being reviewed by the City Council and members of our community. See the draft legislation. We encourage any concerned members of the community to join the conversation at the next City Council meeting.
Citizen Review Board
In late May and June of 2020 Mayor Cherie Wood, City Council members, and Police Chief Jack Carruth began discussions on the creation of the South Salt Lake (SSL) Citizen Review Board.
A draft ordinance was presented and discussed at the September 30, 2020 City Council Meeting. Discussion on the formation and duties of SSL's Citizen Review Board continues with the South Salt Lake City Council. See meeting dates and agendas on the City Council Meetings page.
The Citizen Review Board is designed to improve communication between the Police Department and the community, to help ensure police accountability and credibility with the public, and to create a review process that is free from bias and informed of actual police practice to provide independent civilian oversight of the City of South Salt Lake Police Department.
Selection of the Citizen Review Board Members:
Mayor Cherie Wood’s City Council Meeting Comments 10/28/2020
On Monday, June 8, 2020 and following a weekend of protests which erupted after the news of George Floyd’s death, I made a statement reflecting those speaking out against acts of police brutality and systemic racism around the U.S., "We have no tolerance for racial or any other injustice in South Salt Lake. Everyone deserves to feel safe no matter the color of your skin, your gender or identity. Our work will not be finished until we all feel safe.”
At that time, we as a City set the wheels in motion to create an Independent Citizen Review Board. State code defines one of my duties as Mayor to appoint all boards of the City. My objective for tonight is to share with residents and the City Council a clear and transparent 5-Step Process for selecting members for this board. Along with the valued advice and consent of the City Council, I will uphold the Law by appointing a fair, unbiased and qualified Citizen Review Board. The members of the board will apply and be interviewed by a Selection Committee. At the close of their work, the Selection Committee will send their recommended members to me. I can then present these recommendations to the Council.
Over the last several months, I am pleased with what is happening, the issues and concerns that are being raised, and believe we are moving forward in the right direction in the development of a Citizen Review Board.
Before we proceed, I would like to reiterate that both City and State Code make it clear that one of my duties and responsibilities as Mayor is to appoint members of all statutory boards for the City. As an elected official, I have sworn to uphold the law as well as represent the needs and desires of constituents of our community, and believe strongly in not only investing in people, but in listening to them.
And since June, I have been listening and evaluating comments and concerns from City Council meetings and concerned citizens to better understand what is desired for an independent review board. I have spent much time researching existing and successful review boards from within the state and across the Country. In addition to the proposed 5-Step Process, I do need to point out that the Citizens Review Board will require funding from our City’s budget. In order to achieve the fair and thorough results we seek, the board will need resources, expertise, staff support, and I ask the Council for their shared support here.
Now onto the 5-Step Process for the Selection of the Citizen Review Board Members
Step 1. Promote the Process. All goals of the Citizen Review Board will be publicly announced along with the opportunity for involvement on the Citizen Review Board. Announcements will be made:
- In Utility Bills
- The OTM Monthly Newsletter
- City and Mayor’s Social Media Channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)
- And The City’s Website: sslc.com
- Word of mouth and personal invitations, and I encourage all of you to share and help get the word out.
Step 2. Call for Citizen Review Board Applications.
This will be available on:
- The City Website: sslc.com
- Via phone or email request to the Mayor's Office and a Virtual Public Information Session Announcement will include an outline of time allocated and questions to be addressed. We will mail printed copies if needed.
Step 3. Virtual Information Session. Invitations will be sent to those applicants who express interest in serving on the Citizen Review Board.
- Information session will review the determined duties/responsibilities/time requirements of the Citizen Review Board.
- A participant Q&A session will be included.
Step 4. Appoint Selection Committee members.
- The independent Selection Committee will include a combination of subject experts in the areas of racial justice, equity, civics, community involvement and/or public safety.
- To ensure an unbiased and independent Selection Committee it will not include current residents or employees of South Salt Lake.
- Additionally, the Mayor and City Council members will not serve on the Selection Committee.
- The Selection Committee will review all applications, conduct interviews and make recommendations to Mayor Wood.
Step 5. Appoint Citizen Review Board Members.
I will review the Selection Committee’s recommendations and submit the slate to the City Council for advice and consent.
I think we can all agree that a Citizen Review Board will make our City stronger, and is ultimately for the benefit of all our residents in promoting justice, maintaining safety, and excellent local law enforcement.