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Under Georgia Code, direct hiring and firing and supervisory authority for public safety units rests with the head of each of those units (Police Chief, Warden, etc.). The board may provide recommendations regarding incident responses, but does not hold personnel management authority.
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This group will review, evaluate and make recommendations regarding policies and procedures of the ACCGov Police Department, Probation Services, Sheriff’s Office, and Corrections Department. They will also process and ensure investigation of complaints lodged by members of the public regarding alleged abuse of authority, appropriate action required, abusive language, conduct unbecoming, discrimination, failure to provide identification, false arrest, false imprisonment, harassment, use of excessive force, misconduct, retaliation, serious body injury, violation of department standard operation procedures, and/or death that is alleged to be the result of the actions of a sworn employee of one of the public safety units noted above.
The group will initially work to prepare a recommendation to the Athens-Clarke County Commission’s Government Operations Committee detailing staffing levels necessary to support this work. More details are available in the ordinance that established the board.
The board will include nine residents selected by the Mayor and Commission through an interview process, and will include ex-officio support from the ACCGov Attorney’s Office, the Chief of Police, the Sheriff, the Warden of the Corrections Department, the Chief Probation Officer, and a member of the Athens-Clarke County Commission.
Training for the board will include – but not be limited to - the ACCGov Citizens Police Academy, as well as additional training regarding ordinances governing the board, a range of law enforcement practices and procedures, confidentiality requirements, ethics training, and public records and public meetings laws.
The board will generally meet monthly, with the first meeting in the winter or spring of 2022. The members will determine the days and times of meetings. Pending hire of the supporting staff, the board will be supported by the ACCGov Manager’s and Attorney’s office.
Yes. Public Safety Civilian Oversight Board members receive a stipend of $25.00 for each regular meeting that they attend.