Citizens’ Review Board looking for applicants

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The city of San Diego is looking for a few good men and women to oversee police department practices. It’s called the Citizens’ Review Board, or the CRB, and it’s essentially the eyes and ears of the SDPD.

The CRB looks at cases of false or excessive force arrests, officer involved shootings, and in-custody deaths.

The CRB is essentially the watchdog for the SDPD’s internal affairs division, and with the recent scandals plaguing the department, a department short of bodies of late, the board is more crucial than ever.

Doug Case said, “The way you build confidence is for police to act appropriately, but also for the city to know if there is inappropriate behavior. There is somebody else other than just the police taking a look at it and it really is important in terms of the public confidence of the the police department”.

Doug Case’s day job is Testing Coordinator for San Diego State University, but every Wednesday morning, he and his citizens review board team meet at the police department to review cases and complaints.

“We go down to internal affairs, review everything, all interviews, any videotapes, correspondence, documents, evidence. We look through it all, and decide if we agree or disagree with internal affairs,” he said.

The CRB reviews have led to additional charges against police officers, and the discipline has ranged from verbal warning to dismissal.

“Have to look at it through the eyes of the police officer who had to make a split second decision to say what would a reasonable person do in that situation within department policy. Also have to look at it from the eye of the complainant,” said Case.

Prospective members or trainees must live in the City of San Diego, be available at least 20 hours a month and pass a background check.

There are 23 people on the CRB, and members can serve eight, one-year terms.

The board has been in existence since 1988.

Interviews will be held at the end of October, and the mayor expects to appoint new prospective members to the Citizens’ Review Board, this November or December.

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