Mayor Walsh says changes coming to city police oversight panel 7 Investigates found hadn’t met in over a year

BOSTON (WHDH) - As 7 investigates reported earlier this week, the Boston CO-OP, a panel created to review Boston Police Internal Affairs investigations, hasn’t had a single meeting in over a year.

They haven’t reviewed cases since 2016, publishing their last report on 2015-2016 cases in 2017.

The panel’s own president told 7 investigates she’s been asking the city for changes for years.

“I think this board has a unique opportunity to seize on the moment,” says Judge Regina Quinlan.

At his press conference Friday, Mayor Marty Walsh responded, saying change is coming, through a newly created task force.

“It will provide guidance on how we strengthen the co-op board to insure that their work is effective, and I will be accepting any changes that they recommend, to the co-op.This task force will begin immediately and produce a recommendation within 60 days. The community will have time to review the recommendations and provide feedback and we will announce reforms,” says Mayor Marty Walsh.

Jamarhl Crawford is a long-time community activist.  He’s been outspoken about problems with the Police Department and has some suggestions on how the CO-OP could change for the better.

“My model for a civilian review is not just limited to cases of police brutality or cases where police kill civilians. My civilian review board would have the purview of everything, everything from budgeting, and training and hiring and promotions,” says Crawford.

So does City Councillor Andrea Campbell.

“When you do file something, it should be independent, it should go through a formal process, it should go quickly, and then if there is a finding that something happened that was negative, this panel should have the ability to enforce sanctions,” says Councillor Campbell.

Councilor Campbell says she is still planning to hold a Council hearing on the CO-OP panel and is drafting legislation to formalize a Civilian Review Board, “which she of course hopes to work in collaboration with the Mayor and Administration on.”

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