On June 9, 2015, the PCOC held its monthly meeting. The meeting highlights were the attendance of Mayor Betsy Hodges, Police Chief J. Harteau and several command staff officers to discuss the MPD’s body camera policies and program.
Mayor Hodges thanked the PCOC for its valuable work for the City. Mayor Hodges stated she appreciated the PCOC’s service and hard work. Mayor Hodges stated the PCOC’s service is needed, and appreciated considering the unique time in the city and the nation. Mayor Hodges reiterated that the PCOC has the authority by ordinance to review and recommend MPD policy. Mayor Hodges welcomes the PCOC’s role, and offered to assist in anyway needed. The PCOC’s service is needed; it elevates community relationships.
Chief Harteau discussed feedback for the MPD’s body camera Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Chief Harteau invited the PCOC to gather feedback on the SOP. Specifically, the MPD is looking at whether the public supports officers wearing body cameras, and policy considerations for the use. This information would be needed by October 1st. According to Deputy Chief Travis Glampe, the pilot program set a good framework. It demonstrated “what is good and what is bad” with using the body cameras, how to train, and policy considerations. Feedback is necessary to know where to make changes because the pilot program was just the framework. Vice-Chair Jennifer Singleton motioned to develop feedback on the body camera SOP by hosting three listening sessions. This feedback would be looking at local views on body cameras, and looking at national trends. The first listening session will be on June 27th at 10:00 am at the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center.
Deputy Chief Travis Glampe stated the DOJ put out a grant for body cameras. The grant can be used for training, and purchasing the cameras. The grant will be matched by the City. The MPD is looking for any letters of agreement with partner groups. The MPD has looked to the union, the City Attorney, and the OPCR. D.C. Glampe would like to include with the grant application, a letter stating that the PCOC is assiting the MPD with the implementation with the body camera program. This letter is simply reiterating the work the PCOC is already doing with the body camera program. Commissioner Laura Westphal motioned that the proposed letter be signed by the PCOC, and it was approved.
Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo provided the Commission with updates on several key policies. MPD Policy and Procedure Manual section 5-105 sections 10, 14, and, 15 guide MPD employees language usage. The thought behind the changes are to streamline the policies and make it easier to understand. No policy changes have been made yet. D.C. Arradondo stated he can bring draft language to a future PCOC meeting. D.C Arradondo stated they have been speaking to the Chief about the changes, and hope to report in a few months about new policy changes.
Additionally, D.C. Arradondo discussed in depth the policy changes to the Limited English Proficiency and Disability policies. It was revised to hone in on Title VI from the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The updated policy relects the importance of equal access to City services, and letting the public know these services are available. According to D.C. Arradondo, there are two key parts to the policy. The phone interpretation service for field officers, and an in-person service for interviews. D.C. Arradondo stated it was important to hone in on those issues. The MPD consulted with the DOJ while updating the policy. D.C. Arradondo stated that more languages will added as needed.
Commissioners discussed the cultural awareness recommendations. There currently are few trainings around cultural awareness; there are no in-depth training. Commissioner Buss stated that the recommendations are adding onto the cultural awareness training that is already in place, and eventually incorporate stand-alone training. Commissioner Buss stated he would like the PCOC to determine the important cultural awareness priorities.
Finally, the Commission discussed its monthly committee reports, and case audits. Commissioners selected cases 1, 2, and 8 for next month’s summaries. The next PCOC meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 14th at 6:00 PM.