LAPD Van Nuys Community Police Advisary Board

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Structure and Responsibilities of Community-Police Advisory Boards
Office of the Chief of Police
Administrative Order No. 6
May 18, 2000

PURPOSE: In December of 1993, the Department published Administrative Order No. 10, Partnerships For Community Policing, which established Community-Police Advisory Boards (C-PABs) as bodies of community members to advise and inform Area commanding officers of community problems and concerns. Additionally, C-PABs were also responsible for disseminating feedback to the community regarding Area operations.

The Department’s recent organizational restructuring, implementation of the Ideal Basic Car concept, and the further institutionalization of a Community Policing/Government philosophy, revealed the need to restate the role and structure of C-PABs. This Order replaces Administrative Order No. 10, 1993. It will enhance an Area’s efforts at providing the best possible service while working in conjunction with the community.


I. ROLE OF COMMUNITY-POLICE ADVISORY BOARDS. As defined in Definition of Community Policing, June 10, 1999, the four basic tenets of Community Policing are: Partnerships, Problem-Solving, Department-wide Orientation, and Territorial Imperative. The Department recognizes the importance of working in conjunction with all members of the community to reduce crime, the fear of crime, improve the quality of life, and to ensure the expeditious flow of traffic. Community-Police Advisory Boards are an excellent tool to accomplish this partnership.

A C-PAB is a group of civilian volunteers from the residential and business community of an Area. An Area C-PAB’s role is to advise the Area commanding officer regarding crime and quality of life issues that affect the community. Additionally, C-PAB members are to disseminate information received from the Department back to the community. Community-Police Advisory Boards are Area specific and one source from which an Area commanding officer receives information.

There shall be only one C-PAB in each Area.

II. BYLAWS. In order to ensure that C-PABs are functioning at their optimal level, the Department mandates that each Advisory Board develops and maintains bylaws. These bylaws shall govern Advisory Board operating procedures and will establish minimum requirements. Therefore, the following topics shall be included in each Area’s bylaws: membership guidelines, term limits as they relate to

C-PAB office holders, duties and responsibilities of members, C-PAB organization, and voting guidelines.

These requirements are the minimal requirements of what shall be included in each Area’s bylaws. Due to the uniqueness of each Area, bylaws may include other topics as long as they conform to the policies and requirements identified in this Order.

Note: Area commanding officers must continually assess their bylaws to ensure that they are not so restrictive as to decrease participation of community members.

III. MEMBERSHIP. Commanding officers shall be solely responsible for the selection of all C-PAB members. When making membership selections, Area commanding officers are encouraged to seek the input of C-PAB membership, Department personnel, and members of the residential and business communities.

Each Area shall have a Community-Police Advisory Board that is representative of its respective community. Such considerations as gender, ethnicity, and age (including high school students) should be considered to ensure that all facets of an Area are represented. Diversity, including that of thought and point of view, should be a topic that is consistently addressed by commanding officers to ensure that the makeup of their board accurately reflects all communities they serve. Diversity shall also include business people, educators, and community members.

Members should be respected in the community, knowledgeable about conditions of their community, and have the ability to work well in a group setting. Members should also have the ability and willingness to inform the public or constituents of activities of the Advisory Board.

Note: In order to attain non-partisan membership, elected officials, including the paid or full-time volunteer staff of elected officials, or active political candidates, shall not be selected to be a member of an Advisory Board. Elected officials and their staffs are permitted and encouraged to participate in C-PAB activities as a resource to the Advisory Board.

Incidents may occur that warrant the removal of a member. When such incidents occur, the commanding officer retains sole authority to remove a member. Because of confidentiality issues, an Area commanding officer may not be able to provide the membership with an explanation for all removals; however, when it does not violate confidentiality, an explanation should be provided to reassure C-PABs and the community that members are not being removed for arbitrary and/or capricious reasons.

In most cases, a member shall not be removed because he or she does not agree with the position of the Department. Reasonable dissension should be allowed and is beneficial to the Department. This provides the Department with a different perspective relative to operations and can improve the effectiveness of the organization.

Note: Reasonable dissension will be determined by the commanding officer, based upon the manner in which the dissension is expressed and its impact on the Area and advisory board’s effectiveness.

The Area commanding officer will determine the appropriate number of C-PAB members. The Advisory Board shall be co-chaired by the Area commanding officer and a C-PAB member. The C-PAB membership may recommend a co-chair to the commanding officer, who will make the final determination regarding the selection.

Membership on an Advisory Board will be limited to renewable one-year terms.

Per Department guidelines, C-PAB members are classified as volunteers. Therefore, Areas shall abide by the established guidelines and reporting criteria for volunteers (i.e., completing the Volunteer Enrollment Form and fingerprinting).

Note: Personnel Group is the Department’s Volunteer Coordinator.

Throughout the City, some Areas have formed C-PAB Executive Committees. These committees meet to make decisions regarding such issues as agendas or meeting locations and other issues to promote more effective advisory board meetings.

In many Areas, Executive Committees have proven to be successful; however, it is at the discretion of each C-PAB to determine the need for an Executive Committee. If an Executive Committee is created, position titles, job descriptions, the specific number of members, and any other related matters, shall be based on the requirements identified in the Area’s bylaws. Additionally, Executive Committee members shall not have more authority than non-Executive Committee members. All Advisory Board members shall have an equal vote and influence on decisions made by the C-PAB.

V. FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS. There shall not be any financial requirements or membership fees associated with C-PAB membership.

VI. VOTING. As previously stated, C-PABs are advisory boards that exist to advise an Area commanding officer regarding pertinent events in the community, and to also convey information back to the community. There are only a limited number of items that require a C-PAB vote. These items are procedural in nature and include, in part, bylaws, meeting locations, times of meetings, and agendas.

Due to the varying sizes of C-PABs Departmentwide, standardized criteria must be established in each C-PAB to identify minimum voting requirements. Community-Police Advisory Boards shall use the simple majority concept for any vote.

Exception: A quorum shall be required to effect any change to the respective C-PAB’s bylaws.

For a vote to be approved on non-bylaw issues, requires that fifty percent of the C-PAB members in attendance, plus one, vote for the item. This will ensure that C-PAB business can be conducted even if all of the members are not in attendance.

VII. TRAINING. It is essential that each Area provides training for C-PAB members to ensure they possess the basic knowledge required for effective C-PAB operation. This training should be on-going and include such topics as Department organization, the role and responsibility of C-PAB members, problem-solving, Area specific C-PAB issues, and other topics identified by C-PAB members. The Area shall provide this training. Additionally, Community Policing and Planning Section, Management Services Division, is available to assist with any training needs.

Areas should also encourage their C-PAB members to attend their bureau Community Police Academy. This program is an excellent orientation for community members who are unfamiliar with the Department, and will greatly supplement an Area’s training program to increase the effectiveness of each C-PAB.

VIII. MEETINGS. It is recommended that C-PABs meet monthly, however, they shall meet at least bi-monthly and the meetings should be open to the public. The commanding officer has the authority to hold closed meetings on an as needed basis.

Note: Pursuant to a recent City Attorney’s opinion, Community-Police Advisory Boards are not legislative bodies as defined within the Ralph M. Brown Act of 1999 California Government Code sections 54950-54962). Therefore, this law governing notice and open meeting requirements does not apply to C-PAB meetings and information.

Due to the diverse nature of our City, Areas shall be responsive to community needs in regard to foreign languages spoken. Every effort must be made to ensure that, if needed, Areas prepare meeting agendas, meeting notices, or any other related material in the appropriate languages. Also, if given adequate notice, Areas shall provide foreign language assistance during meetings. This will allow Areas to increase the attendance of

non-English speaking members, which in turn, will ensure that an Area’s diverse population is adequately represented.

IX. GOALS. In order to facilitate planning for the upcoming year, some Areas have identified goals for their C-PABs. The Department does not mandate C-PABs to have goals; however, if an Area elects to have C-PAB goals, it shall be consistent with the Area’s Annual Work Plan (AWP). The efforts of a C-PAB must support an Area’s efforts toward achieving the AWP goals.

X. AREA COMMANDING OFFICER RESPONSIBILITY. The Area commanding officer shall:

Ensure that C-PAB membership is diverse and representative of the community the Area serves;
Ensure that bylaws are established that conform to this Order;
Continually assess the bylaws, quality and meaningfulness of meeting and member relationships to ensure that community members are not deterred from participating in C-PABs;
Be responsible for final decisions made regarding membership. This includes selection and removal of Advisory Board members;
In conjunction with the C-PAB, determine the usefulness of having an Executive Committee;
Ensure there are no financial requirements associated with being involved in C-PABs;
Ensure continual training is provided to Advisory Board members;
Ensure C-PAB meetings are publicized;
Ensure that meeting material is provided in needed languages;
Ensure that any goals identified by the C-PAB are consistent with the Area’s Annual Work Plan;
Ensure minutes are recorded at every C-PAB meeting and forwarded to their respective geographic bureau by the last day of each calendar month;
Ensure that Management Services Division receives a copy of the Area C-PAB bylaws by the last day of June, on a yearly basis;
Ensure that Management Services Division is updated on changes in membership;
Ensure that Management Services Division receives a membership roster depicting the C-PAB diversity (including ethnicity, gender, etc.) by the last day of June and December each year;
Notify the Commanding Officer, Administrative Group, regarding any significant problems, concerns or issues with their C-PAB; and,
Ensure each C-PAB member receives a copy of this Order.


Ensure that a master file of C-PAB meeting minutes is maintained at MSD;
Ensure each Area receives a copy of C-PAB meeting minutes from the balance of the Areas on a monthly basis;
Ensure a master file of bylaws from each Area is maintained at MSD;
Ensure a master roster of Departmentwide C-PAB membership is maintained at MSD; and,
Ensure that a diversity survey of C-PAB membership is completed semi-annually.

GEOGRAPHIC BUREAU COMMANDING OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES. Each geographic bureau commanding officer shall:

Ensure the Areas under their command are adhering to the directives within this Order;
Review the monthly C-PAB meeting minutes and take appropriate action if needed; and,
Forward their command’s C-PAB minutes to Administrative Group by the tenth day of each calendar month.

ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP, COMMANDING OFFICER. The Commanding Officer, Administrative Group, shall:

Monitor the C-PAB process on a Citywide basis and address any related issues or problems identified by Department personnel or C-PAB members (i.e., membership, interpretation of C-PAB responsibilities, or disputes involving the role of C-PAB);
Forward copies of the C-PAB minutes to Management Services Division for Citywide distribution; and,
Request appropriate Department resources (i.e., Community Policing and Planning Section, Inspection and Control Section, Department Commander, and Community Relations Section, Community Affairs Group) to periodically audit C-PAB meeting and complete necessary reports.
This Order supercedes Administrative Order No. 10, 1993, "Partnerships for Community Policing."

AUDIT RESPONSIBILITY: The Commanding Officer, Administrative Group, shall monitor compliance with this directive in accordance with Department Manual Section 0/080.30.

Please direct any questions regarding this Order to Community Policing and Planning Section, Management Services Division, at 213-847-4882

Chief of Police

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