A step in the wrong direction

Share:

The city council meeting last night featured a number of changes to the structure of the commission system. A number of these changes were fairly technical—standardizing the number of commissioners, standardizing the operational language. But there were some substantive changes as well. The public did not receive notice of this item until Monday morning. Fortunately, Heystek moved to table the motion and the council majority agreed.

“The Subcommittee agreed that, with the addition of a Citizen Advisory Board [CAB] to the Police Chief, a Police Advisory Committee [PAC] to the City Manager, a contract Police Ombudsman for the community and other steps underway in the police department, the Human Relations Commission should focus on issues other than police oversight.”

The problem with this proposal is that it removes the only access the public had to the police oversight process. As council argued, they put in place two bodies the CAB and PAC that will handle oversight issues. However, neither body meets in public.

Council did suggest that the public would always have the opportunity to speak before the HRC on whatever issue they wanted. But this again avoids the central problem: the HRC has no power to act on these concerns. There is now no body in Davis with any kind of power that can listen to public complaints and act on them. The city council by changing the charge of the HRC, has now completely cut off the public from the process of police oversight.

Lack of public input into the process was already a concern during our seven-part series on police oversight. Now there is yet another contact with the public that has been removed. This represents a clear step in the wrong direction.

The good news is that because of the efforts of Lamar Heystek, this issue has not been voted on. There will still be an opportunity for public input and community discussion. The council has shown themselves to be relatively unreceptive to public pressure, so we remain skeptical that this can be changed. At the very least the public needs to understand that the council threatening to cut off public input into the vastly important issue of At the very least the public needs to understand that the council threatening to cut off public input into the vastly important issue of police oversight.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

12 thoughts on “A step in the wrong direction”

  1. Anonymous

    Since it was the HRC that brought the issue to the attention of the City Council and prompted the ombudsman/committee model, the HRC’s job would be to now monitor the effectiveness of the new system. To do this, the HRC and the police department need to be working together toward the same goal – safety and protection for all Davis citizens, including our employees. I think the people chosen to be on the HRC should be well thought out – no one with a specific personal agenda should be appointed. Training in mediation, police procedure, commission policy, and other things I can’t think of, should be done. The Chair should rotate amongst the members to avoid one person becoming a scapegoat over one issue.

  2. Anonymous

    Since it was the HRC that brought the issue to the attention of the City Council and prompted the ombudsman/committee model, the HRC’s job would be to now monitor the effectiveness of the new system. To do this, the HRC and the police department need to be working together toward the same goal – safety and protection for all Davis citizens, including our employees. I think the people chosen to be on the HRC should be well thought out – no one with a specific personal agenda should be appointed. Training in mediation, police procedure, commission policy, and other things I can’t think of, should be done. The Chair should rotate amongst the members to avoid one person becoming a scapegoat over one issue.

  3. Anonymous

    Since it was the HRC that brought the issue to the attention of the City Council and prompted the ombudsman/committee model, the HRC’s job would be to now monitor the effectiveness of the new system. To do this, the HRC and the police department need to be working together toward the same goal – safety and protection for all Davis citizens, including our employees. I think the people chosen to be on the HRC should be well thought out – no one with a specific personal agenda should be appointed. Training in mediation, police procedure, commission policy, and other things I can’t think of, should be done. The Chair should rotate amongst the members to avoid one person becoming a scapegoat over one issue.

  4. Anonymous

    Since it was the HRC that brought the issue to the attention of the City Council and prompted the ombudsman/committee model, the HRC’s job would be to now monitor the effectiveness of the new system. To do this, the HRC and the police department need to be working together toward the same goal – safety and protection for all Davis citizens, including our employees. I think the people chosen to be on the HRC should be well thought out – no one with a specific personal agenda should be appointed. Training in mediation, police procedure, commission policy, and other things I can’t think of, should be done. The Chair should rotate amongst the members to avoid one person becoming a scapegoat over one issue.

  5. Anonymous

    The HRC came under fire because the commission hurt the feelings of some City of Davis employees – Davis Police Officers. The bottom line is that the HRC wouldn’t have gotten involved if the City would have done its job and provided adequate and balanced oversight. The HRC realized there was a real human relations issue and they acted on it – the City Manager, the City Council and the Police Chief all had ample time to act but they all failed to do so until the HRC got involved. I also fault the UCD Administration (specifically Larry Vanderhoef) for not applying more pressure for police oversight. At least some out of control Davis Police Officers are having an adverse impact on UCD students – the University should recognize the problem and do something about it.

    One other comment- how are you going to find anyone in Davis who does “not have a specific personal agenda”? I do not think any of those people exist in Davis.

    Steve Hayes

  6. Anonymous

    The HRC came under fire because the commission hurt the feelings of some City of Davis employees – Davis Police Officers. The bottom line is that the HRC wouldn’t have gotten involved if the City would have done its job and provided adequate and balanced oversight. The HRC realized there was a real human relations issue and they acted on it – the City Manager, the City Council and the Police Chief all had ample time to act but they all failed to do so until the HRC got involved. I also fault the UCD Administration (specifically Larry Vanderhoef) for not applying more pressure for police oversight. At least some out of control Davis Police Officers are having an adverse impact on UCD students – the University should recognize the problem and do something about it.

    One other comment- how are you going to find anyone in Davis who does “not have a specific personal agenda”? I do not think any of those people exist in Davis.

    Steve Hayes

  7. Anonymous

    The HRC came under fire because the commission hurt the feelings of some City of Davis employees – Davis Police Officers. The bottom line is that the HRC wouldn’t have gotten involved if the City would have done its job and provided adequate and balanced oversight. The HRC realized there was a real human relations issue and they acted on it – the City Manager, the City Council and the Police Chief all had ample time to act but they all failed to do so until the HRC got involved. I also fault the UCD Administration (specifically Larry Vanderhoef) for not applying more pressure for police oversight. At least some out of control Davis Police Officers are having an adverse impact on UCD students – the University should recognize the problem and do something about it.

    One other comment- how are you going to find anyone in Davis who does “not have a specific personal agenda”? I do not think any of those people exist in Davis.

    Steve Hayes

  8. Anonymous

    The HRC came under fire because the commission hurt the feelings of some City of Davis employees – Davis Police Officers. The bottom line is that the HRC wouldn’t have gotten involved if the City would have done its job and provided adequate and balanced oversight. The HRC realized there was a real human relations issue and they acted on it – the City Manager, the City Council and the Police Chief all had ample time to act but they all failed to do so until the HRC got involved. I also fault the UCD Administration (specifically Larry Vanderhoef) for not applying more pressure for police oversight. At least some out of control Davis Police Officers are having an adverse impact on UCD students – the University should recognize the problem and do something about it.

    One other comment- how are you going to find anyone in Davis who does “not have a specific personal agenda”? I do not think any of those people exist in Davis.

    Steve Hayes

  9. Doug Paul Davis

    Steve Hayes is correct, as we’ve reported, the city has never been interested in working with the HRC on this issue. It’s now clear that they do not want the HRC to deal with this issue. And that’s fine–IF and this is a huge if, they create a place for the public to have their voices heard. Because what has happened through the disbanding of the HRC and now this is that the public voices that have been are being silenced.

    The council instead of dealing with the problem of police oversight, have dealt with the problem of unwanted advocacy and scrutiny. The bodies involved in overseeing the operations of the police are not public and the public bodies have been removed. This is no accident.

    Doug Paul Davis

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    Steve Hayes is correct, as we’ve reported, the city has never been interested in working with the HRC on this issue. It’s now clear that they do not want the HRC to deal with this issue. And that’s fine–IF and this is a huge if, they create a place for the public to have their voices heard. Because what has happened through the disbanding of the HRC and now this is that the public voices that have been are being silenced.

    The council instead of dealing with the problem of police oversight, have dealt with the problem of unwanted advocacy and scrutiny. The bodies involved in overseeing the operations of the police are not public and the public bodies have been removed. This is no accident.

    Doug Paul Davis

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    Steve Hayes is correct, as we’ve reported, the city has never been interested in working with the HRC on this issue. It’s now clear that they do not want the HRC to deal with this issue. And that’s fine–IF and this is a huge if, they create a place for the public to have their voices heard. Because what has happened through the disbanding of the HRC and now this is that the public voices that have been are being silenced.

    The council instead of dealing with the problem of police oversight, have dealt with the problem of unwanted advocacy and scrutiny. The bodies involved in overseeing the operations of the police are not public and the public bodies have been removed. This is no accident.

    Doug Paul Davis

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    Steve Hayes is correct, as we’ve reported, the city has never been interested in working with the HRC on this issue. It’s now clear that they do not want the HRC to deal with this issue. And that’s fine–IF and this is a huge if, they create a place for the public to have their voices heard. Because what has happened through the disbanding of the HRC and now this is that the public voices that have been are being silenced.

    The council instead of dealing with the problem of police oversight, have dealt with the problem of unwanted advocacy and scrutiny. The bodies involved in overseeing the operations of the police are not public and the public bodies have been removed. This is no accident.

    Doug Paul Davis

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for