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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Outlines Details for His Proposed Citizen Oversight Board


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 08-30-2022

Akron, Ohio, August 30, 2022 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced his proposal for the creation of a Citizen Oversight Board. Mayor Horrigan intends to present this legislation to Akron City Council when they reconvene. If passed by Council, the Citizen Oversight Board would receive, refer and monitor citizen complaints of the Akron Police Department (APD), routinely assess and make recommendations on the quality and effectiveness of APD’s hiring, training, investigatory and disciplinary processes and outcomes, and collect community input and facilitate police-community communication.

To read the full proposed ordinance language including all Board duties, click here.

The ordinance has a stated long-term goal of “creating a November 2023 ballot initiative which, if approved by the citizens of Akron, would permanently enshrine the Citizen Oversight Board as an amendment to the City Charter.”

Mayor Horrigan and city leadership have taken the citizen oversight recommendations of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce under careful consideration and have reviewed a variety of oversight models from cities across the nation in order to propose a thoughtfully considered citizen oversight framework, which can be successfully implemented in Akron.

The proposed framework of the Board would be as follows:

  • Mission: To review local policing policies and procedures of the Akron Police Department, to engage in community outreach and facilitate meaningful communication between the citizenry and APD, and to act in an advisory capacity to the City government in connection with citizen oversight of APD.
  • Composition: The Board will have eleven members, appointed by the Mayor only with the consent of Council. The Board will broadly reflect the diversity of Akron and include at least one resident from each ward within the City. 
  • Qualifications: Every member of the Board must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the City of Akron.
    • After appointment to the Board, members will strive to have completed APD’s citizen academy (or any subsequent similar program) and/or completed forty (40) hours of APD “ride-alongs” within 1-year of taking office.

In addition to the creation of the Board, the legislation would also create an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to be overseen solely by the Board. The OIG would consist of a full-time Inspector General, an Assistant Inspector, and an Administrative Specialist. The OIG would provide support functions to the Board as they conduct their work. The OIG’s duties would include managing Board records and accounts, facilitating meetings, conducting review and research, and generating reports, presentations, and public-facing dashboards/platforms. The authority to direct the OIG would be delegated solely to the Board.

“While my long-term goal is to amend our City Charter to cement a Civilian Oversight Board into Akron’s foundation, I also recognize the need to approach the creation and implementation of this type of board carefully and thoughtfully so that we are successful in making real, sustainable change in our city,” said Mayor Horrigan. “This Board will improve engagement with our Akron Police Department and ultimately establish a better line of communication and trust between our citizens and APD. I want to again thank the members of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce for their recommendations in this regard and I look forward to further feedback as we work towards the Board’s creation.” 

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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