The Tampa Citizens Review Board (Tampa CRB), with assistance from the Policing Project, has launched an online survey that invites members of the Tampa Bay community to give feedback on the practices and performance of the Tampa Police Department (TPD).
The survey will remain open until December 15, 2017, and all residents of the Tampa Bay area are encourage to participate at: TampaCRBSurvey.org.
The Tampa CRB was formed in 2015 to help foster transparency and enhance communication between the TPD and the community. The Tampa CRB consists of a volunteer panel of citizens. To date, their primary role has been to conduct independent reviews of completed police disciplinary cases. But with the help of the Policing Project, the Tampa CRB is moving from solely back-end review, to taking a proactive role in evaluating issues of importance to the Tampa Cay community. This survey is an essential first step in that process.
The Policing Project has also partnered with the TPD and Chamberlain High School to pilot a version of the Policing Project’s youth program.
The Policing Project’s work with the Tampa CRB is part of the Policing Project’s broader efforts to harness existing civilian oversight entities as a means to bring community voice into policing. In this effort, the Policing Project has partnered with several organizations including the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), a national organization that brings together individuals and agencies dedicated to civilian oversight of police officers.
As part of this joint project, NACOLE and the Policing Project will seek to creatively leverage existing civilian oversight mechanisms to achieve one of the major recommendations of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing – that law enforcement agencies to collaborate with community members to develop policing policies and strategies that reflect community values. Specifically, the partnership will engage with NACOLE member agencies and a broad range of stakeholders to develop a promising practices playbook for engaging communities and facilitating their input into policing policy development. These practices will address a broad range of issues related to empowering community input, including how best to: create a collaborative environment, facilitate a progress-oriented discussion, and balance the need for transparency with law enforcement operational concerns.
The Policing Project and NACOLE will pilot the implementation of these promising practices in approximately 5 jurisdictions across the country, and will then conduct a process evaluation, the results of which will be used to refine the playbook. NACOLE and the Policing Project will then host a training based on the final playbook for all interested NACOLE agencies. All training materials will be made publically available.