Daily Camera (Boulder)
Oversight Panel members don’t meet requirements
The Daily Camera opinion editor Gary Garrison missed the central issues of the Police Oversight Panel controversy in his February 19 opinion piece. It’s not a simple dichotomy about whether one supports a police oversight panel or the police. It’s about honesty and integrity, understanding and upholding the requirements of existing underlying ordinances, and acting within the bounds of professional codes of conduct while ensuring the safety of the community.
Contrary to the rhetoric we’ve been reading here over the past several months, community members do NOT oppose a police oversight panel, but rather strongly object to a panel filled with bias and conflict of interest.
With no shortage of excellent applicants, including two people of color who were passed over, the council majority’s rush to appoint two controversial and problematic candidates is troubling. The stated bias of these two candidates includes expressed desires to abolish the very agency they are tasked with overseeing. These appointments may be found to violate city ordinance and ethics requirements, and the council should have waited for the special investigation to be completed before rushing through a vote which may be invalidated.
The Police Oversight Panel Selection Committee showed a strong preference for anti-police activists, those who would, in my opinion, work tirelessly to expand their own power while diminishing that of the police chief and police union. The results could be devastating to officer morale, the quality of our Boulder Police Department, and quality of life in Boulder.
Hopefully, the Special Counsel finds what should have been obvious to six of our council members. Everyone in the community deserves to feel safe, including our police officers in their workplace, and the community they are sworn to serve. The Daily Camera must do better to represent the viewpoints and challenges of the community in a balanced way.
— Shari Roth, Boulder