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LETTER: Article unfair to Citizen Review Board

Updated March 23, 2021 - 10:15 pm

As a former member of the Clark County Citizen Review Board, I have to object to the insinuations in the recent Review-Journal article (“Check on police in question,” Sunday). And I would like to put some first-hand perspective on the cases brought before the Citizen Review Board.

The Citizen Review Board reviews complaints filed by anybody present in Clark County. That means residents and tourists alike. But it also means inmates.

The vast, vast majority of the complaints reviewed by the Citizen Review Board come from inmates at the Clark County Detention Center. And while it is their right to file complaints — and I was happy to volunteer my time to objectively review those complaints — almost all were meritless. Many of those complaints involved the theft of ramen. I’m not joking.

Based on my experience, nine out of 10 complaints submitted to the Citizen Review Board come from inmates at the Clark County Detention Center.

So when the board recommends that a detective who performed sloppy work that resulted in one of our neighbors suffering a loss be disciplined further, that is an important case. Even if it’s only one out of 100.

The Citizen Review Board has no control over the cases that appear before it. Holding members accountable to statistics presented without context is irresponsible and undermines the good work this board does.

The members of this board go through the 12-week Citizens Police Academy, including a ride along with a Metro officer. And they do it for free.

The article also insinuated former Director Andrea Beckman was “chummy” with Metro. Nothing could be further from the truth. She woke up every day looking for a reason to hold Metro’s feet to the fire. And nobody who had an agenda would have ever made it through the interview process with her.

The Citizen Review Board serves an important purpose in our community even if we don’t use it efficiently.

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