Applications for CR’s new citizen review board are now being accepted

People in Cedar Rapids rallied against systemic racism and oppression on Friday, July 3. — Michael Schodin/Little Village

The city of Cedar Rapids has started to accept applications from residents interested in serving on the citizen review board that will oversee the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

The Cedar Rapids City Council gave final approval earlier this month for the establishment of such a board, which is the second in the state of Iowa.

The board will be responsible for reviewing police data and policies and implementing a program of community outreach, as well as being a part of future police chief candidate selection committees. It will also oversee a monitoring system for tracking complaints against CRPD officers.

The board will consist of nine voting members who will be appointed by the mayor with input and approval by the city council.

Three of the members will be selected from the general public. One member must be an attorney. Three members must be employees or volunteers for a nonprofit focused on racial justice, such as Advocates for Social Justice, NAACP or LULAC. The last two members must be employees or volunteers for a service provider that “works with underrepresented segments of the population in the areas of mental health, physical health, homelessness, food insecurity, or similar social issues.”

At least five of the members will be people of color. All members must be Cedar Rapids residents.

While filling out the online application, individuals are encouraged to respond to the questions regarding gender, race, employment and volunteer activity, according to the city.

The board will have regularly scheduled meetings once a month. Each member will also be required to complete three training requirements.

The first requirement will be completing 30 hours worth of curriculum determined by the chief of police within six months of appointment. Members will also receive an additional 10 hours of training per year and will be required to accompany an off-duty CRPD police officer for at least 16 hours per year.

Member terms will be staggered, and individuals can’t serve more than two consecutive terms. Terms will normally be three years but will be different for the first set of members:

• Three members will serve a one-year term

• Three members will serve a two-year term

• Three members will serve a three-year term

The online application is the city’s general board and commission application. Applications will be accepted through Monday, May 31, which is also Memorial Day. Members are expected to be appointed in June.

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