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South Salt Lake Journal

South Salt Lake Civilian Review Board seeks applicants to help build rapport between public and the police

Mar 04, 2024 11:48AM ● By Jesse M. Gonzalez

Blue skies over South Salt Lake City Hall. (Jesse M. Gonzalez/City Journals)

Applications for advisory board members are underway for the South Salt Lake Civilian Review Board (CRB). Finalized in 2022 to create more transparency and rapport between the community and the SSL police department, the South Salt Lake Civilian Review stills holds the same values today. The CRB is only established in two other cities in Salt Lake County (Salt Lake City and West Valley City).

Public trust in law enforcement has dwindled in recent years due to the tragic and nationwide felt murder of George Floyd as well as the civil unrest and protests that followed, among other caveats and episodes of police brutality. That is why the CRB has stepped up to act.

“Supporting these efforts is the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement,” said Joy Glad, chair member of the CRB who is working with outreach coordinator Joseph Dane to promote the CRB and to implement the public’s input. NACOLE is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting independent civilian oversight of policing for the last 25 years via training, resources and support to local communities.

The CRB consists of seven voting members, two non-voting members, and one advisor, who is obliged by ordinance to have prior law enforcement experience though not currently employed by the city. “The CRB voting and non-voting members are not allowed, by ordinance, to have been or to be current law enforcement. The board ensures a diverse representation that reflects the community it serves,” Glad said.

Through civilian oversight, trust between the police department and the community they are sworn to protect is a primary goal for the CRB. “By facilitating a review process that is free from bias and grounded in real-life police practices, the CRB provides independent oversight and analysis of cases related to police use of force and vehicle pursuit,” Glad said. 

Since its establishment, the CRB has “Reviewed over 250 cases associated with police use of force or vehicle pursuit in both 2022 and 2023…as mandated by regulations, the CRB submits quarterly and annual reports on all the cases reviewed to the City Council, ensuring transparency,” Glad said. Public access to these reports can be found on the city’s website.  

The Civilian Review Board did release their 2023 end of the year report in February to enhance and maintain transparency, which did yield some positive results, such as “the absence of any formal requests for change in the [police] department,” Glad said. 

As for the CRB’s search for new members, applicants need only one qualification: “Applicants must either be residents of South Salt Lake or representatives of businesses located within the city’s boundaries,” Glad said.  

“Board members are compensated for their time at each monthly meeting at a current rate of $70. It’s not the money that persuades community members to join this cause; it’s the ability to do something positive and hold institutions accountable and knowing you are part of the solution,” Dane said.   

Who is the ideal candidate? “The CRB is looking for team members that are dedicated to learning and growth. We encourage diversity in our workforce and value a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Working in an environment of transparency, we prioritize open communication and collaboration,” Glad said. 

“Overall, the CRB’s monthly meetings follow a structured format that combines open and closed sessions. This allows for both public input and internal deliberations, facilitating a fair and inclusive decision-making process. This ensures that they are able to fully explore the details of each case and consider all relevant factors before making decisions,” Glad said. 

From addressing training needs to proposing changes to policies, the Civilian Review Board is on a path of continuous progression to enhance its interaction with the community and the police department, with its two main focal points being the recruitment of new members and creating more community involvement so it can track and measure the public’s trust. 

“It’s been the same board members since it started in 2021, and the board needs a stable set of revolving members when tenure is met,” Dane said. “There is only good news and good things coming from the CRB, thanks to Joy and the other advisory board members.” λ