Proposal for Changes to City Citizens Review Board Delayed For November Ballot Consideration

The group proposing the changes says they believe it has a better chance of passing during a presidential election

"Time to Rebuild Trust”: Members of Women Occupy San Diego held signs bearing that message while the city of San Diego's Rules Committee heard their request Wednesday for a ballot measure to change the city’s Citizens Review Board.

The signs referenced the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB), a watchdog board consisting of volunteer citizens who review cases of police misconduct.

Some of the proposed changes include having independent investigators for the review board, more diverse board members and opening all of the board meetings to the public.

Women Occupy San Diego submitted the proposal last week for consideration to be added to the June ballot.

On Wednesday, Martha Sullivan, an Occupy member, told City Council President and Chairperson Sherri Lightner the group rethought the timing on the measure and now believes November, during the presidential election, makes more sense for the ballot proposal to be voted on by the public.

Outside the hearing, former CRB board member Judith "Jude" Litzenberger told NBC 7 Investigates she was encouraged that the rules committee "saw how important the reform of the Citizens Review Board really is.” She also said she was impressed “there was such a diverse array of interested citizens” at the meeting.

Litzenberger is executive director of the California Veterans Legal Task Force and has been an outspoken critic of the board's oversight of the SDPD. She said she feels the council can help "create a more effective board that provides credible oversight" which should include public input.

The board and the role it has overseeing the SDPD was the focus of NBC 7 Investigates stories, in which two former board members described the review process as “flawed.”

Click here to see the complete investigation.

Staff members from the City Attorney's office and current CRB board members also attended the hearing.

The council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee will review the ballot proposal next. After the review, it goes back to the Charter Review Committee, then to the Rules Committee and finally to the full City Council for a vote.

If approved by the council, the public will have an opportunity to vote on the measure in November.

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