Receiving a complaint from the Citizen Review Board can seem daunting, especially when the complaint is bogus. That’s where we come in. Send the letter and complaint to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon review, I will reach out to you for the details. I will ask whether reports were completed, if there was a supervisor involved and, most importantly, if there is BWC or video. This is important information in responding to the CRB, as in most instances, this information is enough to clear the complaint. I will prepare the response for you and send to the CRB. We strongly suggest that you respond, and do not ignore them.
Here is what you need to know about the CRB and their process: The CRB was created under NRS 289.380. The CRB may advise the Department on issues concerning peace officers employed by the Department, refer complaints against officers to the Department and review Internal Investigations completed by the Department, including discipline. The purpose of the CRB is to act as an advisory body to the Department. It is important to know that the CRB does not have the authority to discipline you. If the complaint is not dismissed, they will likely refer the complaint to IAB and request a complete investigation, if one has not already been done. The CRB will not provide IAB with a copy of your response. Should you be called for an interview, the PPA will provide a copy of your response, and your response may be used to clear the complaint. Why the CRB will not provide your response to IAB is a mystery — and a very questionable practice. If you have already been to IAB on the matter, IAB will turn over their case file to the CRB, even if it has been closed out as no policy violation, exonerated or not sustained. Whether or not IAB is involved, the CRB will hold a hearing panel to discuss the complaint. You are not invited to this panel. If, and that is a big if, the CRB panel requires your testimony, you will be subpoenaed. You are required to comply with the subpoena, but we will discuss that in depth if that should occur.
In many cases, the CRB will dismiss the complaint after receiving your response.
At the end of the CRB’s inquiry, they will send you a CRB Disposition Report that indicates their decision on the complaint. These are the same dispositions IAB uses; i.e., sustained, not sustained, exonerated, etc. If you are sustained, the CRB will send their findings and recommendations to the Sheriff. They may recommend discipline, but they have no authority to issue discipline. That decision rests solely with the Sheriff.
As a member of the PPA, if you receive a CRB complaint, please send it to me for a response. If you should get subpoenaed to a panel (again, that is very rare), the PPA will represent you each step of the way and will appear alongside you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me here at the PPA.