Modesto to interview for new police review board. What are backgrounds of the applicants?
A City Council committee soon will start interviewing the Modesto residents who want to serve on the city’s new nine-member Community Police Review Board.
Seventy-three people applied for the board, and 47 met the qualifications as spelled out in the review board’s bylaws.
The 73 people represent a wide swath of the community. They include a school principal, E.&J. Gallo security officer, the Chamber of Commerce president-CEO and the local NAACP president. Because the city would not provide the names of the 47 who cleared the first round, it’s not possible to know if these applicants will be going through interviews.
An IT manager, registered nurse, social worker, Faith in the Valley community organizer, dairy nutritionist, the City Ministry Network community care director, a Neighborhood Watch coordinator, property manager and a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who is now a pastor also are among the 73 applicants.
While the city provided The Bee with the applications of the 73 people in response to a California Public Records Act request as well the number who meet the qualifications, it did not provide the names of the 47 applicants who are advancing to interviews.
The city expected to notify them Friday that they can interview for one of the seats on the review board. City spokeswoman Diana Ruiz-Del Re said the applicants will need to schedule an interview with City Council’s Appointments Committee.
The committee meets March 30 and April 3 for interviews. The meetings are open to the pubic and are hybrid so the public can attend in person or over Zoom.
The Appointments Committee will recommend nine of the people it interviews to the City Council for appointment to the review board. (The committee had also planned to meet March 31, but that meeting has been canceled. It’s not clear whether it will be rescheduled to a later date.)
The City Council approved forming the board and hiring an independent police auditor in December as part of its police reform effort called Forward Together. Modesto is in the process of recruiting for and hiring an auditor.
The review board will hold monthly public meetings and review the auditor’s annual report of such matters as use-of-force incidents, officer-involved shootings and other major incidents, according to the board’s bylaws.
The board also will “conduct regular community engagement and outreach,” according to the bylaws, and its members will take part in events that raise awareness of the board and events “focused on youth and improving police-community relationships.”
More information about the board and its duties is available at www.modestogov.com/2908/Community-Police-Review-Board. The review board and independent auditor will make recommendations on how to improve policing in Modesto.
The Appointments Committee could meet beyond its upcoming meetings. The committee “will also consider inviting the highest ranking of all 47 eligible applicants to a second interview,” Ruiz-Del Re, the city spokeswoman, said in an email.
She said the date for the second interviews has not been scheduled. There also is not yet a date for when the City Council would considering appointing the nine review board members. But Ruiz-Del Re said the Community Police Review Board is tentatively scheduled to hold its first meeting June 15.
City officials have said board members would undergo training before their first meeting. Members serve without pay and for four-year terms.
Ruiz-Del Re said the reasons for an applicant not being eligible may include that he or she lives outside of Modesto, is not registered to vote or works for a law enforcement agency. (Current, former and retired Modesto Police Department employees cannot serve on the review board. City employees also cannot serve.)
She said some applicants did not complete the fingerprinting process and others chose to drop out.
The March 30 meeting starts at 4 p.m. The April 3 meetings start at 8 a.m. The Appointments Committee will meet in the Del Puerto Room, Room 2001-40, on the second floor of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St. The meeting’s Zoom ID is 869 4597 0570 and the passcode is 84326.