The Detroit Police Department is investigating a public body that oversees it.
The Detroit News reports the Board of Police Commissioners has suspended two staff members while detectives look into allegations of a payroll scam and efforts to cover it up. The report comes as the board continues to search for a chief investigator to clear a backlog of citizen complaints against DPD.
Malak Silmi, local government reporter for Outlier Media, says the BOPC has not had a chief investigator for the past three years. She says that’s in part due to the pandemic and the firing or resignation of previous people in that role.
“Since then, the roles have been filled in by temporary employees. They have been doing the job in addition to their previous roles at the BOPC so they really couldn’t focus on the role itself,” Silmi says.
At an earlier board meeting this month, the BOPC made an offer to Reverend Jerome Warfield Sr., but later rescinded it.
“This is a very important role on the board of police commissioners whose job is essentially that oversee the Detroit Police Department and make sure that the officers are doing what they’re told, to make sure to take any complaints against the Detroit Police Officers seriously and civilian complaints, by the way, not criminal complaints,” Silmi says, “but they’ve really had trouble filling it.”
As of the March 23 meeting, there is a backlog of 485 citizens complaint cases, 295 of which have passed the 90-day mark.
The Personnel and Training Committee of the board is going to be reviewing applications from the same candidate pool. They hope to put a recommendation forward by March 30.
Check out the meeting notes from Board of Police Commissioners at detroit.documenters.org. Documenters train and pay people to take notes and live-tweet public meetings.