ASCSU senator working on citizen review board for CSUPD

Jonathan Matheny

 

Jason Sydoriak, senior political sciences major, works with students and local authorities to create a citizen review board ensuring peace of mind to CSU students. (Photo Credit: Chris Brancaccio)
Jason Sydoriak, senior political sciences major, works with students and local authorities to create a citizen review board ensuring peace of mind to CSU students. (Photo Credit: Chris Brancaccio)

Associated Students of Colorado State University Sen. Jason Sydoriak has been working on a citizen review board for the CSU Police Department.  According to Sydoriak, CSU needs some form of a citizen review board to help avoid issues with rioting like those in Ferguson, Missouri.

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“It’s an independent, autonomous, civilian oversight board that reviews warranted investigations on the CSU Police Department,” Sydoriak said.

Sydoriak would also like to see a police liaison to provide the board with an explanation from the police force on why certain actions were taken.

“I would like it to be very similar to the City of Fort Collins,” Sydoriak said. “I think it should be representative of the campus demographic, so that would be faculty, staff and students.”

Sydoriak expressed a need for police accountability and transparency, and thinks this would be an excellent way to make that happen.

The resolution will be submitted to ASCSU Senate Wednesday night.  If passed, it will be sent to the CSUPD and the CSU administration.

According to Sydoriak, after meeting with CSUPD Chief Scott Harris, Harris seemed willing to work with Sydoriak on creating this board.  However, not everyone in the administration thinks this is necessary.

CSU Vice President Amy Parsons and Chief Harris issued a written statement to the Collegian voicing some of their concerns.

“We believe that the spirit of the proposal is well meaning,” Parsons and Harris wrote.  “However, it does not take into account the already extensive review and appeal process required by laws that govern human resource processes for state employees.”

According to Parsons and Harris, the review process for CSU police officers goes through the University administration and general counsel before being sent to state district courts if necessary.

“Within the context of all of this process that is already required, adding a layer where more people review and give a recommendation seems to add little value,” Parsons and Harris wrote.

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According to Sydoriak, this system would be the best thing for both students and police officers.  It would be less daunting for a student to voice their complaint to a board of students and faculty, rather than the CSU administration.

CSU junior Mackenzie Neubert said she was excited to hear about this coming to CSU.  

“I think a citizens’ review board is a good idea, to try to change how the police department is running things, so they are aware of any problems,” Neubert said.

Sydoriak said that he does not know exactly when the board will take shape, or exactly how it will look, but he hopes it will be formed sometime this spring.

Collegian ASCSU Beat Reporter Jonathan Matheny can be reached online at news@collegian.com or on twitter @jonathanmathen2

Clarification: This article has been corrected to reflect that Amy Parsons and CSU Chief  Scott Harris were not contacted by the Collegian at time of publishing.