Spokane County Sheriff Citizen Advisory/Review Board in conjunction with Visit Spokane are vying to host the 2017 National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) Annual Conference
Spokane, WA – 6/8/16 – The Spokane County Sheriff Citizen Advisory Board (CAB) is proud to announce the selection of Spokane, Washington as a possible site for the 2017 NACOLE Annual Conference. Lisa McHaffie, the Director of National Accounts with Visit Spokane, verified the information through Cameron McEllhiney, the Directory of Training and Education for NACOLE. Spokane will be competing for the honor against St. Petersburg, Florida.
The conference is held annually at various venues across the United States. Since its first event in 1995, it has attracted members of NACOLE and those interested in Law Enforcement accountability issues from around the world. This year’s conference is being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September. The incorporated theme for the conference is “Confronting Systemic Injustice.” Three members of the Spokane CAB will be in attendance. Past conferences have been held in San Diego, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Seattle.
Sheriff Knezovich expressed how proud he was of the accomplishments of the CAB within the past year. He states, “The CAB has established itself as an autonomous organization and completely revamped their way of doing business. They have rewritten their bylaws, hosted a nationally renowned consultant to perform a peer review, and worked actively to promote Spokane for the honor of hosting the prestigious conference. They have engaged the public and stakeholders within the community to educate and advance the mission of police oversight within the County.”
Bob West, Vice-chair of the CAB, is quick to point out the untiring efforts of Visit Spokane and support of the Sheriff’s Office. He states, “The board has been around for about 14 years now. It is just until recently though that they have “kicked it up a notch” and gotten involved more with the community and on a national level. The Sheriff is committed to police oversight, transparency, and educating the public. The stakeholders behind this undertaking are amazing!” Some of the area stakeholders include the Center for Justice, the Peace and Justice Action League, Smart Justice, NAACP, and the Native Project, just to name a few.
The CAB was formed in the spring of 2000 by then-Sheriff Mark Sterk as a sounding board for changes in policy and procedures, new equipment education, and to review/provide feedback on several major cases. It is a separate entity from the Sheriff’s Office and is charged to work independently as an advisory and review board. Board membership of the CAB is a diverse and broad-based representation of the community-at-large within Spokane County. Membership is comprised of not less than 15 or more than 19 “board appointed” individuals. Members receive no remuneration or benefits from their service and serve strictly on a voluntary basis.
Chuck Parker, the CAB President echoes the words of the Sheriff: “What an amazing opportunity for Spokane and our CAB! This would definitely be a feather in our cap, and validates the hard work that our members exhibit to help build trust between the Sheriff’s Office and the communities they serve.”