DC Budget Office threatens funding for Office of Citizen Complaint Review
Related Links

Office of Citizen Complaint Review open for business 01/05/01

OCCR Fact Sheet 01/05/01

GLAA renews call for increased budget for CCRB 04/17/00

Schwartz supports GLAA on CCRB funding 04/04/00

NAACP Task Force Calls for Increased Budget for CCRB 03/31/00

GLAA calls for adequate CCRB funding, criticizes city budget planning 03/30/00

GLAA Endorses Sainte-Andress for CCRB 11/08/99

GLAA on Public Safety

DC Budget Office threatens funding for Office of Citizen Complaint Review

See related letter to Judiciary Chair Kathy Patterson

The Metropolitan Police & Criminal Justice Review Task Force
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
District of Columbia Branch
1000 U Street, N.W., Suite 100
Washington, D.C. 20001

January 31, 2001

The Honorable
Anthony Williams, Mayor
The District of Columbia
441 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

By Messenger
Re: FY 2002 Funding for the Office of Citizen Complaint Review

Dear Mayor Williams:

The NAACP Task Force requests an urgent meeting with you to discuss the proposed underfunding of the newly established Office of Citizen Complaint Review.

The Office of Budget and Planning (OBP) reportedly is recommending that the Office of Citizen Complaint Review (OCCR) be funded at $734,893 for FY 2002, a 45.8 percent reduction in that agency's budget compared to FY 2001. This recommendation must be nipped in the bud.

First, the OBP recommendation appears to have been made without reference to what is required to operate the Office of Citizen Complaint Review. OBP has disregarded the requirements of the statute and funding information from other jurisdictions that have successfully operated systems of citizen review of complaints of police misconduct similar to the District's. To undercut this agency before it has had a chance to establish itself is irresponsible. If we have learned anything from the history of citizen review in the District of Columbia, it is that it will fail if the OCCR is not able to keep up with its case load. Under-funding the OCCR is "penny wise and pound foolish" in the extreme. The District will ultimately spend much more in civil liability damages if there is not an effective system of citizen review. To presume to cut an agency by almost 46 percent before we know what its case load will be and before we know where economies can legitimately be effected defies reason.

Second, we are upset that OBP would attempt to reverse decisions of OCCR made with the required approval of the authorizing District officials concerning the agency's lease and hiring of a Deputy Director. Second-guessing of this type not only is wasteful, but it wrongly questions the competence of the agency's leadership. The budget process must be administered in a more responsible manner.

As you know, the NAACP Task Force was in the forefront of advocating for a reformed citizen review system for the District of Columbia. Indeed, the statute that was enacted incorporates many of our proposals. The entire community, citizens and police officers alike, have a real stake in the success of citizen review. For our part, we shall do whatever we can to assist in making the system work. We are counting on you to help make that a reality.

We look forward to meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Mark Thompson, Chair

cc: John Koskinen, City Administrator/Deputy Mayor
Margaret Kellems, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety
Kathleen Patterson, Chair, Committee on the Judiciary



The Metropolitan Police & Criminal Justice Review Task Force
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
District of Columbia Branch
1000 U Street, N.W., Suite 100
Washington, D.C. 20001

January 31, 2001

The Honorable
Kathy Patterson, Chair
Committee on the Judiciary
Council of the District of Columbia
441 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

By Messenger
Re: FY 2002 Funding for the Office of Citizen Complaint Review

Dear Chairwoman Patterson:

The NAACP Task Force requests a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss a funding proposal of the Mayor's Office of Budget and Planning that would effectively sink the newly established Office of Citizen Complaint Review before it has had a chance to begin work.

Our concerns are spelled out in the enclosed letter to Mayor Williams, with whom we are also seeking to meet.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Mark Thompson, Chair

Enclosure


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