Brackney explains complaint process to Civilian Review Board

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney gave a presentation at Tuesday's Civilian Review Board meeting going over the department's complaint and Internal Affairs process.

She explained ways complaints can be filed, such as in-person, by e-mail, or anonymously. After filling out a Citizen Complaint form, the complaint then goes through Internal Affairs to be investigated.

Judy Sandridge came to the meeting to hear Brackney out, but she said her worries are not with the chief herself.

"I like what she's coming up with," said Sandridge. "She just has to get the rest of the group to follow through with her."

Sandridge said she is trying to trust Brackney's confidence in her newly-appointed Internal Affairs team, Lieutenant Michael Gore and Sergeant Robert Haney.

"The two guys that she said were very trustworthy that she put in Internal Affairs, she has a lot of confidence in them," said Sandridge.

A complaint should be solved within 45 days unless investigators ask for an additional 30 days from Brackney for more time to investigate. Investigators can ask for extensions in 30-day increments.

"We may not always meet their timelines," said Brackney, "but know that we're working really diligently to thoroughly investigate cases so that we can have the best outcome, the most truthful outcome, and the most accurate outcome of whatever that encounter was between one of our citizens and one of our officers."

Brackney said in 2017 there were 29 complaints, and in 2018, there were 31.

"Which is actually a really low level of complaints for the number of interactions that our officers have," she said. "But it's not to indicate that we couldn't do better. Particularly around the demeanor, explaining what we do, how we do it, and how we police is often the first step in alleviating concerns about are you being treated differently, is there discourtesy or is there rudeness."

Sandridge said Brackney still has to earn the trust of the people and she believes that can happen by working with the Civilian Review Board.

"They want to help her," said Sandridge. "And I think she's beginning to realize that they want to work with her instead of against her. Because it's going to take them all together to get it straight."

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