Mayor Lee Brand is asking the Fresno City Council for its support of his plan for a new Citizens Public Safety Advisory Board.
The proposal will be presented to the council at its meeting Thursday. The session begins at 1:30 p.m. at Fresno City Hall.
The board, which is intended to fulfill one of Brand’s major campaign pledges from last year, would be a nine-member panel to conduct grand jury-like reviews of major incidents, such as officer-involved shootings. The board will also examine policies and issue quarterly reports to the council and the public.
But community advocates including Faith in Community have concerns about the panel, and at least one councilman, Garry Bredefeld, has declared his opposition.
Brand told The Bee last week that he doesn’t need council approval to establish the board, but a second component of his plan does: making the Office of Independent Review, or police auditor, a full-time job.
Rebuilding public trust through the board’s review of officer shootings, excessive force or racial profiling “is a major step for a city that’s had a lot of problems over the years,” Brand said, noting some of the tensions in the community that followed the fatal police shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old, Dylan Noble, during a traffic stop last summer.
The board will include nine voting members, all appointed by the mayor, who Brand pledged would reflect the demographic, economic and social diversity of Fresno. It will be have a number of chores, including:
▪ Reviewing critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings, excessive-force cases or racial profiling, to recommend policies and practices to the city’s Office of Independent Review, or police auditor.
▪ Advising the police auditor in developing a community-based policing program.
▪ Developing and monitoring performance standards to measure the effectiveness of community-based policing.