Chapel Hill Town Council’s Community Policing Advisory Committee (CPAC), at its meeting this past week, rejected the proposal of the Town Council to have a web-site gather facts about the Yates Garage incident last November.
The reason? There would be no way of proving the veracity of submissions.
The Town Council had already nixed CPAC’s request for money to fund an independent investigator. The reason? There would be no way of proving the veracity of submissions.
This pretty much brings to an end any chance there will be a full and independent review of what happened at Yates last November.
CPAC will now use what information has already been submitted to it to undertake a review of Policing policy.
Of course, I made the point at the meeting that you can’t really have a useful review of policy unless you know what you’re reviewing and why. Which you can’t know if you don’t know what went wrong. Which you can’t know if you don’t know the facts. Enter chorus girls and dancing bear …
Indeed, the impotence of CPAC, as currently constituted, only became more embarrassingly clear throughout the evening, as, time and again, CPAC members made clear that they did not have either the information or resources they need.
Copy of Police Policy Handbook? Nope. Contact with consultant hired by Chapel Hill Town Council to review Policing policy? Nope. Idea as to progress with said consultant? Nope.
It seems to me that CPAC, at the moment, is ‘advisory’ only in the sense that no-one advises them of anything.
And that is where I think this whole process should end up. One of the primary recommendations of CPAC should be that it, or another body, be given proper powers and resources, so that it, or the other body, can become a fully-functioning, properly-constituted entity, exercising recognizable and respected Citizen Oversight of Policing policy and strategy in our community.