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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Boston's Mayor Creates a Civilian Board to Review Police Misconduct

From bostonglobe.com: Boston's Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday he will appoint a three-member civilian board to review police misconduct cases, breaking a stalemate over civilian oversight in the Boston Police Department.

The appointees on the Civilian Review and Mediation Board will serve as representatives of the public, with powers to examine internal police investigations of officers accused of wrongdoing, city officials said.

The board will review all allegations of serious misconduct, such as assault or illegal drug use, that are dismissed by the department's Internal Affairs Division, the officials said. It will also look into less serious cases if a member of the public appeals the decision by Internal Affairs.

The board members will be paid, part-time ombudsmen who can ask Internal Affairs investigators to do further work on complaints and make recommendations to the police commissioner about the disposition of cases, but they won't have the power to conduct their own investigations or to issue subpoenas. Their work will remain largely confidential, in order to protect those involved, according to the city's corporation counsel. The board will make an annual report to the mayor.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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