Citizen Police Complaint FAQ
What is the Civilian Police Review Board?
The CPRB is a 7-member board of Urbana citizens appointed by the Mayor to serve 3-year staggered terms. The CPRB provides an appeals process for complainants who are not satisfied with the findings of a police misconduct investigation. The CPRB also serves as a forum for discussion and resolution of community concerns in regards to police conduct.
The Civilian Police Review Board meets the fourth Wednesday of each month, at 5:30 p.m. at:
Urbana City Building
2nd Floor Executive Conference Room
400 S. Vine, Urbana IL 61801
What is the mission of the CPRB?
- The CPRB was established to improve relations between the Urbana Police Department and the community by:
- Providing a systematic means by which to achieve continuous improvement in police community interactions;
- Providing oversight of internal police investigations through review of such investigations;
- Providing an independent process for review of citizen complaints;
- Oversee a monitoring system for tracking receipt of complaints lodged against sworn officers;
- Adding a citizen perspective to the evaluation of these complaints;
- Contributing to timely, fair and objective review of citizen complaints;
- Providing fair treatment to and protect the rights of police officers.
Which law enforcement agencies fall under the CPRB?
The Urbana Police Department is the only law enforcement agency that falls under the scope of the CPRB. As a result, the CPRB has authority to review only those appeals involving Urbana police officers.
Who can file a complaint?
Complaints may only be filed by individuals who have first-hand knowledge of alleged misconduct by an Urbana Police Officer, except that minors must be represented by a parent or guardian.
Where do I file a complaint?
Complaints may be filed at either the Urbana Police Department (400 S. Vine, Urbana IL, 61801) or to the Civilian Police Review Board c/o the Urbana Human Relations Office (400 S. Vine, Urbana, IL 61801).
How do I file a complaint?
A complaint form must be completed and submitted at the locations listed above. Please note that complaints must be signed and notarized. The City of Urbana Legal Department has three individuals available to notarize your complaint. Notary signatures require identification, so please remember to bring valid photo identification.
Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?
Yes. Individuals who are physically able, must file complaints within (45) forty-five working days of the incident giving rise to the complaint. Individuals who are not physically able to file, must file complaints within 15 days of the date that they are physically able to file.
What happens after the complaint is filed?
- You will receive a copy of the signed and notarized complaint. Members of the CPRB will be notified of the filing.
- The Urbana Police Department will conduct an internal affairs investigation into the allegations.
- Both you and the police officer will be offered an opportunity to participate in a voluntary mediation process. This process will be offered at no cost to you by a trained mediation professional.
- Upon reviewing the results of the internal affairs investigation, the Chief of Police will issue departmental findings.
- The Chief of Police will forward notification via certified mail of departmental findings to the complainant. The findings will also be made available to the CPRB.
- After receiving the Chief’s determination, you will have (30) thirty days in which to submit an appeals form.
- The CPRB will conduct an appeals hearing within (45) forty-five working days. You will be notified of the hearing date at least (10) days prior to the date.
- At the appeals hearing, you will have the opportunity to tell the CPRB why you disagree with the Chief’s decision. The CPRB may also ask you specific questions about the incident.
At the conclusion of the appeals hearing, the CPRB will make one of the following determinations based upon the preponderance of the evidence:
- Not Sustained: Where the members determine that the Chief’s finding is not supported by the evidence.
Sustained: Where the members determine that the Chief’s finding is supported by the evidence.
Remanded for Further Investigation: Where the members find, by a majority vote, that there exists new, relevant evidence that was not presented to, or investigated by, the Chief of Police or his/her designee and that it is in the community’s best interests to do so, it may remand a matter back to the Chief for further investigation or consideration.
- No Finding: Where the complainant failed to produce information to further the investigation; the complainant withdrew the complaint; or the complainant is unavailable to clarify the complaint.
Mediated: Where the complaint was successfully mediated.
What happens after the CPRB makes it determination?
The determination of the CPRB will be reported to the Chief. If the determination differs from the Chief’s initial determination, then the CPRB and Chief will discuss those differences and forward a report to the Mayor. The Mayor will have final authority in this matter.
Does the CPRB have any authority over police officer discipline?
No. Only the Chief of Police have authority over the discipline of Urbana police officers.
Can I be harassed or retaliated against because I filed a complaint?
No. The Ordinance expressly forbids retaliation or harassment in any form for exercising your right to pursue a complaint. Specifically, the Ordinance provides:
Harassment, retaliation, or retribution for filing a complaint or testifying on behalf of a complainant will not be tolerated. If you believe that you are the subject of harassment, retaliation or retribution as a result of the complaint process, please contact the Human Relations Officer for appropriate investigation and follow-up.