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Recommendations for municipal police boards

Here are ten recommendations from the 2003 report on municipal police board governance from the Justice Institute of BC. There are many more recommendations listed in Appendix A of the report. Here, I’ve simply picked a few of the more interesting ones:

1) The Police Services Division should establish an annual plan for how they will provide effective support to municipal police boards.

2) Municipal police boards should adopt an agenda format that focuses discussion on issues of substance and that other matters be presented in the form of reports, which are supplied in pre-meeting reading package.

3) Municipal police boards should take steps to minimize discussion and time spent on matters that are for information only and focus discussion on issues that directly pertain to governance of the police department.

4) Municipal police boards should discuss, in public and within the confines of privacy legislation, both positive and negative agenda items.

5) Municipal police board meetings should be held regularly in public locations, where the public has free and unfettered access.

6) Municipal police boards should actively discuss and review their policy on which matters are moved to the in-camera portion of the board meeting.

7) The Police Services Division should allocate dedicated staff and resources such that reports of municipal police board in-camera meetings are reviewed in a timely manner.

8) The Police Act should be amended such that the Chair of the municipal police board be elected from within the board.

9) The Police Act should be amended such that the Mayor be an ex officio, non-voting member of the municipal police board.

10) Municipal police boards and police departments should actively seek out opportunities and venues in which the work and the contribution of the board might be better publicly recognized and acknowledged.