West Valley City to alter how it reviews its police

New rules • Panel now will have to report on its operations; police will have no role in appointments.
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West Valley City • A board that reviews complaints against police will begin issuing quarterly and annual reports on its operations under changes approved Tuesday by the City Council.

In addition, citizens will be able to comment at the beginning of monthly meetings of the West Valley City Professional Standards Review Board (PSRB), the police will no longer have a role in appointing the body's members and all seven members will be civilians. The police department had been appointing one of the members; now, no city employee can serve on the board.

The City Council voted 7-0 to approve the ordinance with the changes. Other provisions mandate annual training by the West Valley City Attorney's Office on all topics suggested by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement and set the terms of board members at two years, with reappointment allowed.

PSRB members are appointed by the city manager with the advice and consent of the City Council. They review all uses of force by the police, vehicular pursuits and internal-affairs investigations of officers and make recommendations to the police chief on whether to take disciplinary action.

The council had called for better police oversight after prosecutors dismissed dozens of drug cases earlier this year because of problems with evidence handling by the now-disbanded Neighborhood Narcotics Unit.

The changes also were spurred by criticism over the fatal officer-involved shooting of Danielle Willard in November during an alleged drug bust and the handling of the unsolved 2009 disappearance of Susan Powell.


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC