The city of Geneva’s Police Accountability Board will hold the first of three community forums Thursday to seek input on its proposed complaint form and the procedures for using it.
“We are very interested in hearing from the community,” PRB Chair Jess Farrell said in anticipation of the Community Forums. “We want to know if community members feel that the Complaint Form we have developed will meet their needs and if the Complaint Form Instructions are clear and easy to follow.”
The local law establishing the PRB lays out some conditions for the submission of complaints. In addition to listing the various mechanisms through which complaints can be submitted (telephone, mail, email, web form, and in person), the local law includes a provision that complaints can be received anonymously and that all complaints must ultimately be reduced to writing, whether by the complainant themselves or someone who is assisting them. Furthermore, the local law states that: “Every effort shall be made to simplify the procedure for submitting complaints.”
“Our goal is to ensure that we create a form that everyone in our community feels would be easy to use should they need to submit a complaint, and the best way to do that is to get community feedback and make changes based on the suggestions we hear,” Farrell explains. “We already have plans to translate the final version of the form into Spanish and to make a large-print version, but we are interested in other ideas from the community about how we can make this process as accessible as possible.”
The first Community Forum will take place as a public comment period during the PRB’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday December 2 at 6:30 p.m. in Conference Room B of the Geneva Housing Authority. The other two Community Forums will be stand-alone events, the first taking place Saturday December 4 at 4 p.m. in Conference Room B of the Geneva Housing Authority and the second taking place on Tuesday December 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club’s Carter Road location.
Community members can sign up to deliver their comments via Zoom for the two forums at the Geneva Housing Authority (December 2 and December 4) by emailing [email protected] in advance. Anyone attending a forum in person can simply sign up to speak upon arrival. All speakers will be asked to limit their comments to 2 minutes.
These Community Forums will be specifically focused on feedback about the proposed Complaint Form and Instructions. More general feedback will be welcome via a comment box at the forums or via email.
The PRB has edited the Complaint Form and Instructions following their November monthly meeting when they met with GPD Chief Mike Passalacqua.