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Officer Conduct Review Board (OCRB)

 

APPLICATION TO DEPARTMENTAL POLICIES:

      The Department of Public Safety has policies in place that set out expected standards of conduct for the officers and security personnel of the department.  Included among these policies is a Use of Force Policy that addresses both lethal and non-lethal use of force.  The policy complies with applicable law and current professional standards and has been thoroughly reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).  The Department also has guidelines and procedures to insure that each event involving the use of force by an officer is properly reported.  Further, the Department has well documented procedures for filing, investigating and resolving complaints regarding alleged officer misconduct.  Such complaints may be filed in-person, by mail, telephone, third party, or via e-mail.  The procedures contained within this policy are designed to coordinate these activities with the OCRB .

PURPOSE:              

      The OCRB is established to serve as a body for the review of Department of Public Safety's investigation and disposition of complaints filed by students, faculty, staff and members of the public.  In addition, the OCRB shall conduct a review of incidents or allegations involving the use of force that results in serious bodily injury and incidents when an officer has discharged a firearm.

MEMBERSHIP:

      The President will appoint an OCRB of nine members. The membership will consist of the following: three faculty members, three administrators, two students, and one individual not affiliated with Brown University who has professional experience in law enforcement.  Initial appointments shall be one, two, and three year terms with subsequent appointments of three year terms for faculty and administrators, and two year terms for the external and student members, such that approximately one third of the appointments shall expire each year. Each year the President will name one of the members of the Board as its Chair. 

      Although OCRB membership does not include a representative of the Department of Public Safety, the OCRB shall consult with and seek the participation of the Department of Public Safety in the conduct of its reviews.

      The OCRB shall be separate and distinct from other offices, committees, or grievance procedures responsible for addressing issues relating to employee conduct.  Once each year, all members will participate in an educational workshop relating to Department of Public Safety policies, including the use of force policy and procedures for conducting  reviews of a complaint alleging misconduct by an officer (including the requirement of confidentiality).

COMPLAINT REVIEW:

      Persons who believe that they have been subjected to a misuse of force, abuse of authority, or other misconduct by an officer or security personnel may file a complaint with the Department of Public Safety in accordance with its published policies.  

      It is the policy of the Department of Public Safety to accept and investigate all complaints against the Department and its employees.  The processing, investigation, and disposition of complaints filed with the Department of Public Safety shall be accomplished in accordance with the department's Internal Affairs Investigations policy.

      If a complainant is dissatisfied with the disposition of their complaint, they may petition Brown's Vice-President for Administration for a review by the OCRB of the Department of Public Safety's investigation and disposition of the complaint.  A petition for review by the OCRB will normally be allowed when, in the judgment of the Vice-President for Administration, the original complaint contains allegations of use of excessive force or other allegations of serious misconduct or abuse of authority.  A review of a decision by the Department of Public Safety generally will not be allowed when the allegations contained in the complaint do not have a significant impact on the overall safety of the university community or when the alleged conduct does not represent a significant breach of the authority and powers entrusted to the Department.

      If a petition for review is granted by the Vice-President for Administration, the OCRB shall conduct a review of the Department of Public Safety's investigation and disposition of the complaint.  Based upon its review the Board shall report in writing to the Vice-President for Administration its findings regarding the reasonableness of the disposition of the complaint by the department and, if applicable, recommendations regarding officer sanctions and/or other appropriate personnel actions.   The Vice-President for Administration, in consultation with the Chief of the Department of Public Safety, shall consider the recommendations, if any, and take such actions as are appropriate.

INCIDENT REVIEW:

In addition to serving as a body for conducting a review of complaints of significant incidents or allegations as specified above, the OCRB shall conduct reviews of the following matters regardless of whether a complaint has been filed with the Department:

i. incidents or allegations involving use of force resulting in serious bodily injury, and

ii. incidents involving the discharge of a firearm by an officer.

      The Vice-President for Administration, in consultation with the Chair of the OCRB, shall determine when the alleged injuries are sufficiently serious to warrant a review by the OCRB.  A review of a firearm discharge shall be automatic.  In each such matter reviewed, the OCRB shall issue a written report to the Vice-President for Administration.  The report shall contain the OCRB's findings regarding the appropriateness of the officer's conduct (taking into account the facts of the situation, Department of Public Safety policies, and other relevant information) and, if applicable, recommendations regarding officer sanctions and/or other appropriate personnel actions.  The Vice-President for Administration, in consultation with the Chief of the Department of Public Safety, shall consider the recommendations, if any, and take such actions as are appropriate.

 

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