NOTE: Individually-addressed letters similar to the following were faxed to all members of the D.C. Council.
July 1, 1998
The Honorable Linda Cropp
D.C. Council Chair
441 4th Street, N.W.
Washington, D. C. 20001
Dear Mrs. Cropp:
On behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA), I am writing to urge you to vote for Bill 12-521, the Civilian Complaint Review Act of 1998, scheduled for first reading on July 7.
Virtually every other major city in the country now employs some sort of system for civilian review of complaints about police misconduct and abuse. Unfortunately, Washington has lacked any such system for the past three years. Although the old Civilian Complaint Review Board was plagued by a host of problems, it was a serious mistake to abolish it altogether rather than to address those problems. Bill 12-521 establishes an entirely new system that we believe avoids the mistakes of the past while drawing on the experience of successful civilian review systems around the nation.
At the same time, we realize that after passing this legislation, the Council must be committed to vigorous oversight of the new civilian complaint review system to uncover and correct any problems before they become overwhelming.
GLAA has a long, constructive history of trying to maintain good relations between our community and our police force. We are convinced that a new CCRB is an essential ingredient in keeping those relations in good order. We hope we can count on your vocal public support.
Richard J. Rosendall
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance