Police Oversight

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Starting in 2017, the City of Davis conducted a process to develop a new system of civilian oversight for the City of Davis Police Department. Work continued through 2018, and a new Independent Police Auditor and the Police Accountability Commission started work at the beginning of 2019.

Background Information and Review Process

In early 2017, the long-time police auditor informed the City that he would not seek a contract renewal for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. The police auditor position has been a part of police department oversight for more than a decade. With the auditor’s departure, various community members stepped forward requesting a community dialogue regarding the future of police oversight in Davis. Some community members also asked specific questions regarding policing in Davis and raised concerns suggesting the need for stronger oversight in Davis in light of an event involving City of Davis police officers that occurred during Picnic Day 2017.

On July 11, 2017, following a discussion on police oversight, the City Council directed staff to hire a short-term consultant to complete the following:

  1. Review current system, historical documents, and recommendations from the Human Relations Commission.
  2. Participate in up to five public or sponsored forums (sponsored forums could be for vulnerable groups who may not be willing to come to public forums) as content expert. Forums should be used to solicit community input on the goals of oversight, guiding principles, and key desired processes for oversight.
  3. Recommend 1-3 options that would seem to fit in Davis given size, history of policing, and community needs.
  4. Include model contract and scope of work for ombudsman/auditor and details of the role of any other entities and how they might change from what is currently in place.

The City Council further requested that the consultant and staff present the results in a comprehensive report to the City Council for decision making on a preferred model upon completion of the work above.

On November 7, 2017, the City Council authorized the City Manager to execute a contract with Barbara Attard of Accountability Associates and Kathryn Olson of Change Integration Consulting, LLC to complete a police oversight process.

Their proposal is divided into three phases:

  • Phase I - Information Gathering and Review (complete by mid-February, 2018)
    Review historical information and gather information through community meetings, interviews with stakeholders, etc.
  • Phase II - Report Preparation (complete by the end of March, 2018)
    Analyze information and prepare report with recommendations and findings for Davis.
  • Phase III - Present Findings (complete by the end of April, 2018)
    Present findings to the City Council.

On April 10, 2018 the City Council had their first review of the Police Oversight Recommendations Report. At that time, the City Council appointed a subcommittee of Mayor Robb Davis and Councilmember Lucas Frerichs to further research the recommendations of the consultants and return to the City Council on June 12, 2018 with a proposed plan for moving forward with a police oversight model.

On June 12, 2018 the subcommittee of Mayor Davis and Councilmember Frerichs proposed the following:

  1. Consider recommendation that involves a dual oversight structure, including a revised and enhanced Independent Police Auditor position and the creation of a Davis Police Accountability Commission.
  2. Direct staff to return to the City Council with documents necessary to create the Davis Police Accountability Commission and to recruit for an Independent Police Auditor.

On July 31, 2018, the City Council took the following action:

  • Approved a Scope of Services and authorization for the City Manager to initiate a search for an Independent Police Auditor.
  • Approved a resolution establishing the structure and purpose of a Police Accountability Commission.
  • Appointed two councilmembers to serve as council liaisons to the Police Accountability Commission.

On September 20, 2018, the City of Davis issued a Request for Proposals for an Independent Police Auditor.

On December 4, the City Council appointed members to the newly created Police Accountability Commission. The commission held its first meeting on January 30, 2019.

In January of 2019, Michael Gennaco was appointed as the new Independent Police Auditor, to assist with concerns about the police department and to make recommendations to improve the delivery of police services. The Police Auditor reviews personnel complaint investigations, takes personnel complaints about the Police Department from people who do not feel comfortable going directly to the Department, and interacts with community members and organizations.. He may be contacted by email at policeauditor@cityofdavis.org or by phone at 323-412-0334.

For more information about this process, please contact the City of Davis City Manager's Office at cmoweb@cityofdavis.org or 530-757-5602.