Pasadena Police Oversight Commission to Review Auditor’s Report on Misconduct Complaints – Pasadena Now

Pasadena’s Community Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) will convene a special meeting on Thursday, July 11, to review and discuss an assessment of the police department’s handling of misconduct complaints.

Richard A. Rosenthal, JD, Ph.D., the city’s Independent Police Auditor, will present a detailed report on investigations closed in 2023 during the meeting which begins at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Rosenthal’s assessment evaluates the Pasadena Police Department’s capacity to provide accountability for its officers through internal mechanisms. This is Rosenthal’s second assessment since the creation of the Independent Police Auditor position in October 2020. His report covers all personnel complaints of misconduct received in the 2023 calendar year and closed as of April 30, 2024. The first assessment evaluated the department’s investigations of incidents involving “categorical” uses of force.

The same ordinance that created the Independent Police Auditor position also established the 11-member Community Police Oversight Commission. This structure aims to ensure accountable policing in Pasadena.

In the Pasadena Police Department, the Professional Standards Unit, under the command of a Police Lieutenant and answerable to the Deputy Chief of Police, is responsible for handling community and internally initiated complaints. It also oversees administrative reviews of police-involved critical incidents and other related matters.

Rosenthal’s presentation will include his overall impressions, recommendations, and conclusions. The auditor’s role, as defined by the 2020 ordinance, includes serving as a best-practices advisor to the commission and issuing public reports.

The Independent Police Auditor is also tasked with reviewing categorical uses of force and investigations of personnel complaints of bias-based policing. Rosenthal, appointed to the position in 2021, has the authority to recommend changes to police department policies.

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