Prof. Pearson: Civilian Review Board Needs a Higher Profile
November 17, 2017
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
In an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, Bridal Pearson, lecturer in the University of Baltimore's School of Health and Human Services and chair of the Baltimore Civilian Review Board, writes in The Baltimore Sun that the board must attain a higher profile and be granted additional authority if citizens are going to rely on it as an active repository for complaints against alleged police misconduct.
"The Civilian Review Board ... is the only entity authorized to conduct independent investigations of alleged police misconduct filed by members of the public, yet we appear to have a public relations problem," Pearson writes. "I am the presiding chair of the CRB; I find it imperative to make known a few of my observations about the board as they relate to the public and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).
"Many throughout Baltimore's impacted communities possess minimal knowledge of the CRB's existence, even though the new board has been in operation for five months. They are not aware that complaints can be filed with the CRB instead of the BPD relative to police misconduct."
Prof. Pearson says it is imperative that public understanding of the board's work increase, especially in light of the U.S. Office of Civil Rights' recent report on city police and ongoing efforts to achieve reforms within that department.
"The CRB is well-positioned to fulfill its purpose if we receive the authority and resources needed," Prof. Pearson says.
Read the op-ed.