Fairfax County’s Police Civilian Review Panel has implemented a screening process to better assess whether complaints have merit.
The panel, which reviews complaints of misconduct by the Fairfax County Police Department, uses the process to determine if a request should be reviewed by the entire panel, thereby expediting its other cases.
“I don’t mean to disparage anyone who brings complaints, but sometimes they are simply unfounded, and it is not necessary for the entire panel to devote our resources to viewing a complaint,” panel member Jimmy Bierman said during the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ May 17 public safety committee meeting.
The panel formally introduced the reform in September, creating a subcommittee of three members to determine whether allegations rise to the level of serious misconduct or abuse of authority, according to an annual report published Feb. 28.
A four-year review from the panel released in 2021 recommended that a “summary judgment”-like process be codified in its bylaws by the Board of Supervisors. The panel has been using subcommittees since 2019 to help handle growing number of complaints, the annual report said.
The process led to the dismissal of a complaint related to an alleged shoplifting at a since-closed Office Depot in Merrifield. The incident happened in May 2020 at 2901 Gallows Road, according to the panel.
According to Bierman, a female shoplifter hid in the Office Depot, tried to shoplift after it closed and later called 911 for help to get out when she couldn’t leave through the front door.
The subcommittee spared the panel from reviewing the complaint against police, who asked her to show a receipt, Bierman said.
However, the decision to dismiss the complaint wasn’t unanimous, as former panel member Hansel Aguilar argued that the full panel should have reviewed it. Aguilar is now the first executive director for Charlottesville’s police civilian oversight board.
The added subcommittee is just one of the changes that Fairfax County’s civilian review panel has made in recent months, including the addition of an executive director in February.
Overall, the panel received 28 complaints against the FCPD in 2021, including 14 initial complaints and 14 requests for a review of an investigation. Two initial complaints and 11 review requests were rejected, and reviews were ongoing for eight cases, as of Dec. 31.
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.
Similar to FEMA’s