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Public Safety Committee to Discuss Rules and Regulations of Police Oversight Commission

Published on Monday, February 8, 2021 | 5:00 am

The City Council’s Public Safety Committee will discuss the rules and regulations of the city’s Police Oversight Commission at 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

On Jan. 25, several City Council members expressed concerns regarding details on confidentiality, the appointment process of the commission members chosen by community-based organizations, and attendance parameters. 

Last month, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution  allowing the city to pay members of the city’s police oversight commission $100 per meeting. The resolution also allows each councilperson to decide how they will choose their appointed commissioner.

The commission will consist of 11 members to be appointed by the City Council and community organizations. All 11 members must be residents of Pasadena, but council nominees need not reside in the nominating council member’s district.

The city is currently accepting applications for commissioners and a police auditor. 

At that meeting, Councilmember Steve Madison expressed concern over the confidentiality of personnel files.

“The minimal job would be to safeguard everyone’s rights. That would be the bare minimum,” said Madison after expressing concerns about commissioners and the independent auditor possibly accessing confidential information.

“I can see all sorts of unintended consequences,” Madison said.

According to the rules and regulations being presented on Monday, commissioners would be required to sign a confidentiality oath and take an oath of office before being sworn in.

According to a staff report included with the committee’s agenda, the Pasadena Municipal Code requires commission members to “preserve the privacy of Police Department employees [and] the confidentiality of their personnel files … to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

The rules could also prohibit matters from being placed on the commission’s agenda if it would compromise pending criminal and personnel investigations.

That could prevent the commission from agendizing officer-involved shootings for several months or even longer as criminal and personnel cases wend their way through the city’s investigative process.

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