Thursday, 21 April 2022 15:23

Saratoga Springs Releases Proposal for Civilian Police Review Board

SARATOGA SPRINGS ­— Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino this week released his long-awaited draft proposal for a civilian police review board, or CRB. 

The bulk of the proposal mirrors recommendations of the city’s ad hoc Police Reform Task Force in 2021, as well as incorporating some public feedback the city has received since that time, Montagnino said. 

The city Police Department is tasked to help create and maintain a safe environment for citizens and visitors of the community and is a role that requires the trust and respect of the community, according to the six-page document. The CRB is intended as an aid to maintain that trust and respect and provide availability for effective procedures to resolve any issues that may arise, thereby supplying an integral component of a relationship grounded in mutual trust and respect between the public and the department. 

The proposal calls for a five-member CRB to “receive, process and, whenever possible, amicably resolve grievances regarding the conduct of employees of the Department. The CRB shall also act as a vehicle for generating and expressing informed opinions relating to public policy regarding law enforcement in our city.” 

The city mayor is tasked with appointing the CRB chair – who will serve a two-year term – and city council members will appoint the board’s additional members, subject to majority council approval. Board members chosen should represent “a fair cross-section of the Saratoga Springs community with regard to age, sex, sexual orientation, cultural background and socio-economic background,” according to the document. 

The mayor is also responsible for providing adequate budget and training to ensure proper functioning of the CRB. The six-page document may be viewed on the city website at Saratoga-springs.org

“By the time of the next City Council meeting, I do plan to have changes in the form of paragraph section and sub-section numbers added, but without any substantive changes to the language,” Montagnino said.   

A public hearing will be held regarding the draft CRB proposal at the next council meeting on Tuesday, May 2. 

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