Fairfax seeks applicants for police abuse review panel created after fatal shooting
By Antonio Olivo
Virginia’s largest jurisdiction is seeking applicants for a new nine-member civilian panel that will review police abuse cases.
Fairfax County approved the creation of the civilian review panel last month, part of ongoing police reforms in the county of 1.1 million residents spurred by controversy over the 2013 fatal shooting of John B. Geer outside his home.
Fairfax officials are also wading through applications for an independent police auditor who will review police department investigations of cases in which use of force caused a death or serious injury.
In a news release Thursday, the office of Sharon Bulova (D), the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said the members of the civilian review panel will be appointed to three-year terms, with one person serving as chairman.
Board appointments to the panel will be based on previous civic involvement, expertise in law enforcement and an applicant’s reputation in his or her community. The board will seek racial and ethnic diversity and will try to appoint members from each of the county’s nine magisterial districts.
The panel will not be open to current county employees, former county law enforcement officers or any of their immediate relatives. Elected officials or political candidates also are excluded from serving on the panel.