One Fairfax and the Police Civilian Review Panel

In November 2017, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County School Board jointly adopted the One Fairfax Policy, which is a social and racial equity policy that provides a framework based on equity for all decision-making in the county, ranging from transportation and land use, to recreation and public safety.  The goal of the policy is to ensure equitable access to opportunities and success regardless of an individual's race, gender, ability, or income.  The Police Civilian Review Panel is committed to upholding the values of the One Fairfax Policy and is actively finding ways to further promote One Fairfax through its work.

One Fairfax logo

 

How the Panel Promotes One Fairfax

The Panel's mission as stated in its Bylaws is to enhance police legitimacy and to build and maintain trust between the community, the Board of Supervisors, and the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) by reviewing certain FCPD investigations to ensure they are accurate, complete, thorough, objective, and impartial.  The Panel's mission and work supports One Fairfax specifically related to Focus Area 6 of the One Fairfax policy and embodies the themes of access, accountability, and engagement.

Focus Area 6

The Panel's mission and work specifically promotes the One Fairfax policy as encompassed by Focus Area 6.  Focus Area 6 of the One Fairfax Policy is defined as:

"Community and public safety that includes services such as fire, emergency medical services, police, health, emergency management and code enforcement that are responsive to all residents so everyone feels safe to live, work learn and play in any neighborhood of Fairfax County."

The Panel builds trust between the community and the FCPD through its review process.  When the Panel conducts a review of a completed FCPD investigation, the Panel provides an independent assessment of the investigation to determine whether the investigation was accurate, complete, thorough, objective, and impartial.  Through this process, the Panel can assure the complainant and the public that the FCPD's investigation into the complaint was conducted properly, or the Panel can request the FCPD conduct additional investigation.  As an oversight body for the FCPD, the Panel helps to build the community's trust and confidence in the FCPD.

Access

The Panel's work is conducted in public meetings, which assures access by all members of the community to the complaint process and transparency of the review process. The Panel is an intake venue for complaints independent of the FCPD and Panel Members follow the complaint's progress through the investigation process to ensure timely completion of the investigation.  In order to provide further access, the Panel distributes brochures to the community which provide information about the Panel, the complaint process, and include a complaint form.  Brochures are available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese allowing members of the community, regardless of their native language, the ability to understand the Panel's role in oversight of the FCPD.  Through the Panel's public meetings and public reports, the community can observe the Panel's work and see the results of reviews of investigations and inquiries to the FCPD.

Accountability

The Panel holds the FCPD accountable by assessing whether investigations into complaints are accurate, complete, thorough, objective, and impartial.  If the Panel finds that an FCPD investigation does not meet these standards, the Panel can recommend additional investigation into the matter.  Upon completing a review of an FCPD investigation, the Panel can make recommendations for the FCPD's consideration.  The Panel tracks the FCPD's response to recommendations and status of their implementation on the Panel's Recommendation Matrix to hold the FCPD accountable and keep the community informed of the Panel's progress.  In addition, the Panel tracks the timeliness of completion of FCPD investigations into complaints and notifies the Board of Supervisors and complainant if there is a delay.

Engagement

The Panel regularly interacts with complainants and the community.  The Panel engages with complainants through out the complaint process so that they understand each step and informs them of the status of their complaint.  The Panel also engages with the Fairfax community to inform them of the Panel's mission and service.  The Panel conducts outreach events to community groups, faith-based organizations, civic associations, and other stakeholder groups.

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