Iowa City City Council to expand Community Police Review Board membership

The Community Police Review Board will expand its membership to seven members from its original five following an Iowa City City Council vote on Tuesday.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague speaks at the Senior Center during an Iowa City City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Dec, 7, 2021. City Council Members discussed the new redistricting plan for Iowa City.

Emily Delgado, News Reporter

Two more members will soon join the Community Police Review Board following a vote on Tuesday.

The Iowa City City Council unanimously voted to expand the board from five members to seven members and reduce the waiting period between retirement for previous Iowa City police officers to serve on the board from five years to two.

The change to seven members was proposed by the Community Police Review Board in December. The board also recommended adding a member with law enforcement experience.  Throughout 2021, the City Council worked through the review board’s recommendations and stressed the importance of having someone with a law enforcement background serving on the review board.

“In order to help broaden the pool for folks with law enforcement experience,” City Manager Geoff Fruin said at the Jan 4 Iowa City Council formal session. “It removes a provision that previously restricted anybody that was employed by the Iowa City Police Department within the last five years to serve, so the way it sits right now is that if you’ve been on the Iowa City Police Department for the last five years, you’re not eligible.”

Fruin said there have been former law enforcement officers who have served on the review board prior to this recommendation. 

“​​They think they would benefit from some law enforcement expertise, but I’m not sure that I’m completely comfortable with no waiting period,” City Councilor Janice Weiner said. 

Mayor Bruce Teague said he supported having no time lapse for previous law enforcement officers. 

“One of the questions that I do have is, if we didn’t want to go for no time lapse,  but if we might consider even a two year lapse of time, or three year,” Teague said. 

Councilors Shawn Harmsen and Weiner had similar thoughts on the importance of having a cooling period for former law enforcement for them to serve on the CPRB. 

“I don’t know that it has to be five years. But I think something in there would probably be good to at least to keep community trust in the CPRB,” Harmsen said. 

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