UC Issues RFP for Independent Monitor to Assess Implementation of Police Department Reforms

The University of Cincinnati’s Office of Safety and Reform has issued a

Request for Proposals

(RFP) to hire an independent monitor to assess and oversee the implementation of findings and recommendations outlined in a report following a comprehensive review of the UC Police Department (UCPD).

The university called for an exhaustive review of UCPD following the July 19, 2015 officer-involved shooting of Samuel DuBose.

The

Final Report

, completed by Exiger, Inc. in June, serves as a roadmap for voluntary reform efforts to transform UCPD into a national model for urban campus policing.

“The hiring of an independent monitor to oversee and guide the implementation of findings outlined in Exiger’s Final Report affirms the university’s commitment to adhering to best practices  in  policing while simultaneously rebuilding trust with members of the UC and Cincinnati communities, “ said Robin Engel, PhD, UC’s vice president for safety and reform.

 

The selected independent monitor will independently assess and guide reform efforts for a three-year period.

“We want to make sure we are taking the steps needed to create a national model for university policing.  The use of an external monitor will help hold the University of Cincinnati accountable for implementing the best practices recommended in the Exiger report,” said UC Interim President Beverly J. Davenport.  

The external monitor’s responsibilities include

•    Assess progress towards implementing the recommendations of the Final Report

•    Report on the status of reform implementation

•    Work with the UCPD to address any barriers to implementation

•    Provide clear guidelines on all steps necessary for compliance

•    Provide technical assistance to the UCPD as requested

“Although we have been working for several months to implement many recommended reforms outlined in Exiger’s final report, an independent external monitor will play a critical role in establishing a culture of transparency and legitimacy within the UCPD,” added Engel.

RFP responses are due in early October. A monitor is expected to be selected the week of October 17 with monitorship beginning November 1, 2016.

 

A 12-member committee to review applications, chaired by Dr. Engel and John A. West, retired Judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, includes representation from UC administration, faculty, staff and students and the Cincinnati community:

•    Greg Baker, UC Director of Police Community Relations

•    Doug Barge, UCPD Police Officer

•    Tony Carter, UCPD Chief of Police

•    Nicholas Corsaro, PhD, UC Associate Professor

•    Robin S. Engel, PhD, Vice President for Safety & Reform

•    Ryan Hays, UC Executive Vice President

•    Bishop Bobby Hilton, Community Advisory Council

•    Karen Kovach, UC Interim General Counsel

•    Mitchell Phelps, UC Student Body President

•    Colonel Terri Theetge, Cincinnati Police Department

•    James Whalen, UC Director of Public Safety

•    John A. West, Chair, Safety & Reform Community Advisory Council

In June, UC released Exiger’s Final Report and hired Chief of Police Anthony Carter and Assistant Chief Maris Herold.  Carter and Herold complete the university’s reform team, which includes Robin Engel, James Whalen, director of public safety and Greg Baker, director of police community relations.

Other reform efforts include establishment of the

Office of Safety and Reform’s Community Advisory Council

(CAC), which played an integral part in the development of the RFP for the Exiger review and the selection process. The CAC began meeting in October of last year. That same month all UC police officers received training on fair and impartial policing. In August of 2015, UC Police implemented an Early Warning System, which is used to flag patterns of officer behavior, such as use of force, for review. Contact cards have also been implemented to track the gender and race of individuals involved in policing instances with UCPD, and direct field supervision has been added.