Following action of the Greensboro City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 15, it appears that at this moment in time the Police Community Review Board (PCRB) doesn’t exist.
Or to be more precise, the PCRB does exist but doesn’t have any members.
However, when it does exist the PCRB is a subcommittee of the Greensboro Criminal Justice Advisory Commission (GCJAC). All the members of the old PCRB are now members of GCJAC.
The City of Greensboro had to have a bill approved by the North Carolina General Assembly to be granted the authority to create the GCJAC and PCRB setup that previously existed, but according to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, it did not need legislative authority to make these adjustments.
It’s still confusing. The old PCRB was a subcommittee of GCJAC made up of four members of GCJAC appointed by the GCJAC chair and three PCRB members who were not members of GCJAC but were appointed by the mayor with City Council approval.
The new PCRB is made up of seven of the nine members of GCJAC and only meets when a complaint about the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) is not settled to the satisfaction of the complainant by the GPD and is appealed to the PCRB.
Listening to speakers from the floor at City Council meetings one would think that complaints from citizens about the GPD were rampant.
Currently there are no complaints about the GPD from speakers at City Council meetings because the public isn’t allowed to speak.
But as it turns out complaints about the police rarely reach the level of the PCRB. So there was a PCRB that rarely met. Assistant City Manager Trey Davis in a report in February informed the City Council that only three complaints in the past year had come to the PCRB.
What GCJAC recommended and what the City Council approved on Tuesday was eliminating the old PCRB and creating a new PCRB that is made up entirely of members of GCJAC. The PCRB is a seven member board and GCJAC is a nine member board, so following the action of the City Council when a complaint comes before the PCRB, seven members of GCJAC will be appointed by the chair to the PCRB to hear that particular complaint and will no longer be members of the PCRB once a determination on that complaint is made.
The next complaint that reaches the PCRB, seven members who may or may not be the same as the previous seven members will be appointed to the PCRB to hear that complaint.
It is less confusing than the old method where the PCRB had both permanent and temporary members, but not by much.