Geneva city hall plans to appoint members of the police review board | New
GENEVA – City council members earned their money in April.
Over the past month, the Council has had not only its workshop and regular meetings, but also seven additional sessions to interview 37 candidates for the new Police Review Board.
And it’s not finished yet. City Clerk Lori Guinan said each council member has been asked to provide their top picks, and Mayor Steve Valentino said he will set up a meeting to discuss those picks. This meeting is in executive session.
He expects the board to appoint the nine board members at its June meeting, with training to follow.
Valentino left impressed by the candidates interviewed.
“There was a wide range of talents and experiences,” he said. “I would have liked to have had this level of interest in every board and commission.”
the Finger Lakes Times emailed city council members asking for their thoughts on the candidates. Also, Valentino, responding were John Pruett of Ward 6, Bill Pealer Jr. of Ward 2 and At-Large Councilor Anthony Noone.
Pruett said he liked what he heard.
“I was very impressed with the number and quality of citizens who came forward with good intention,” he said. “Some of the most common responses from candidates were about not having a preconceived agenda, keeping an open mind and functioning wisely in order to uphold the board. Candidates’ credentials provide a great level of experience and perspective regardless of their political orientation, and I think we will have a balanced panel. It is difficult to select less than 20% of the pool, and I hope everyone will stay engaged and know their contributions are truly appreciated. “
No one said that “it was great to see so much interest and to hear different points of view throughout the interviews.”
“A majority of individuals want to get involved, doing nothing other than improving police-community relations and increasing transparency,” he said. “Many have shown a willingness to be open-minded and have not shown bias in one way or another. The city council now has the opportunity to put in place a fair and balanced board of directors and to increase public confidence in the PRB by appointing only these people, if we choose this path.
Pealer said, “I am very grateful to all of the applicants. Their time and interest are commendable. Geneva is fortunate to have so many caring about our future. “
The PRB will investigate complaints of officer misconduct against members of the Geneva police. It will not conduct an investigation until the GPD has conducted its own investigation of a complaint; the chief of police will have the last word on any discipline.
It was approved by city council in February after about seven months of often controversial debates. The effort was led by the people’s peaceful protest, the Geneva Black Lives Matter movement, which formed after George Floyd’s death last May at the hands of former officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was convicted in April of the murder of Floyd, whose filmed death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.