Indy’s Citizens Police Complaint Board not meeting required training hours yet still making decisions, records show

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INDIANAPOLIS — A CBS4 Investigation into the City of Indianapolis’ Citizens Police Complaint Board showed the nine voting members of the 12-person board are not accomplishing their required training hours. This is according to the board’s records.

Board members are required to complete 20 hours of police procedural training and 16 hours of ride alongs. CBS4 requested and received the log of training hours for each voting member from 2018 until 2020.

Those records report no members accomplishing the training in 2018, two members finishing the training in 2019 and only one member doing any training in 2020. The board member training in 2020 logged five hours of police procedure training as of October 15.

“Yes, it’s absolutely concerning,” Deputy Mayor David Hampton said. “Some of that can be chalked up to the pandemic. I know that for the better part of the review process, through 2020, the bulk of that has been done this year through the pandemic, so that sort of curtails. I know that doesn’t account for some of the prior years. It is concerning, and the accountability will continue to guide our approach, and this sort of fits into that holistic and continued review of that department.”

Hampton is the deputy mayor of neighborhood engagement for the city. He said the city is currently auditing the Citizens Police Complaint Office and has been since 2018.

“We’ve been in the process of a holistic review and analysis of the CPCO,” Hampton said. “We’ve assessed the broad impact of the complaint process, we’ve addressed institutional transparency and accountability, and so the current process and oversight model has been evaluated to determine the proper structure, proper placement and responsiveness of that model. So, training as well as other aspects of how the office is run, who reports to whom, all of that has been under review. We’re still in that process of course.”

Hampton said the review should be finished by the end of October or early November. At that time, Hampton committed to letting the public know the findings of the review. He also committed to holding board members accountable.

“We are going to hold all board members accountable,” Hampton said. “Of course, the statutory requirements are set, but we want to ensure that they are also enforced. So, we want the public to know we are on top of it and we’re going to handle that immediately.”

The Citizens Police Complaint Board runs its own investigation as IMPD’s Internal Affairs runs their investigation after receiving a formal complaint. The board decides whether a complaint is substantiated, unsubstantiated or exonerated – meaning it happened but was lawful. We asked Hampton whether he is concerned the board is making those decisions without completing the required training.

“No, I’m really not,” Hampton said. “There’s some circumstances that I think that would probably account for and attribute to why that training didn’t take place. But I’m not concerned in so far that it has to do with the functioning and the proper functioning of that office. I think they’ve been able to do their jobs with the review process of police complaints and it hasn’t hindered that process. If it did, I would certainly be concerned there, but we haven’t really seen much of a concern there.”

We did reach out to the board members regarding the training records we received. No one was available to comment. A city spokesperson sent us this statement before airtime on Tuesday night:

“Following Dr. Hampton’s interview this afternoon, the Mayor’s Office received word from multiple Citizen’s Police Complaint Board members that their recorded hours did not reflect their completed time. The Mayor’s Office is currently looking into the matter.”

We will continue following this and keep you updated.

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