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Mayor Wu Appoints Members to Civilian Review Board and Internal Affairs Oversight Panel, Fully Staffing Both Boards

Both independent boards function within the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency

Mayor Michelle Wu today announced appointments to fully staff the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency’s (OPAT) Civilian Review Board (CRB) and Internal Affairs Oversight Panel (IAOP). Established through the passage of a 2020 ordinance, the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency was created to strengthen the relationship between the Boston Police Department (BPD) and Boston’s communities by increasing trust, transparency, and accountability. Mayor Wu announced the appointed members at a press conference at BPD Headquarters, where she was joined by OPAT Executive Director Stephanie L. Everett, members of the CRB and IAOP, Boston Police Superintendent Sharon Dottin, Chief, Bureau of Professional Standards, and Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Eddy Chrispin, Internal Affairs Division.

 

“Every resident, in every corner of every neighborhood in our city deserves to feel safe in the knowledge that our Police Department will uphold its responsibility to serve and protect them. That requires building trust—trust that begins and ends with our communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “With our search for a new Police Commissioner underway and our appointees to the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency boards in place, we are ready to transform the structures of public safety and health to build community in Boston.”

 

The Office of Police Accountability and Transparency was one of the signature recommendations of the 2020 Boston Police Reform Task Force, creating a new standard in police accountability and community oversight, independent of the Boston Police Department. It is charged with investigating complaints of police misconduct, ensuring that the Boston Police Department's internal affairs review process is fair and thorough, and reviewing Boston Police Department's existing and proposed policies and procedures. The Executive Administration of the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency Commission has three Commissioners: the Executive Director, the Chair of the CRB, and the Chair of the IAOP. Mayor Wu previously reappointed Stephanie Everett as Executive Director of OPAT.

 

“I am grateful to have the Civilian Review Board and Internal Affairs Oversight Panel fully staffed to help advance and build on our work to ensure transparency and accountability within the Boston Police Department,” said Executive Director Stephanie Everett. “I look forward to continuing our work to enhance and build community trust and confidence.”

 

Chaired by Peter Alvarez, the Civilian Review Board is charged with reviewing and recommending action on individuals’ complaints against the Boston Police Department. The Civilian Review Board has nine members. The Mayor appoints all members of the Board. Three of her appointments were recommended to serve on the Board from the Boston City Council’s nominations, as outlined by the ordinance. The Civilian Review Board is comprised of:

 

  • Peter Alvarez, a former BPS school teacher and lawyer providing pro bono education-related counsel. 
  • Natalie Carithers, a former Chief of Staff in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, who has served in various public service and community organization positions. 
  • Rev. Wayne S. Daley, the Director of Youth and Community Services at the Salvation Army in Boston, who has served as a Chaplain at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and assisted young people returning to their communities after periods of incarceration.
  • Joshua Dankoff, a child welfare, juvenile justice, and immigration policy advocate.
  • Anne Hernandez, a social worker supporting immigrant students.
  • Carrie Mays, a local organizer with the Center for Teen Empowerment involved in the arts, serving as the Board’s dedicated youth member.
  • Amy McNamee, a criminal defense attorney who works on various violent and financial crimes cases.
  • Tara Register, an advocate and organizer focused on creating youth wellness through comprehensive systems of family support.
  • Chris Sumner, an advocate who has led many community organizations in Boston, including Upward Bound and The Salvation Army’s Ray & Joan Kroc Center.

 

“I am grateful to Mayor Wu for the opportunity to serve as Chair to help facilitate an opportunity for Boston residents to seek an independent review when they feel they’ve been wronged by the Boston Police Department,” said Chair of the Civilian Review Board Peter Alvarez. “Through the work of the Civilian Review Board, I look forward to building trust within our communities to enhance safety throughout our neighborhoods.”

 

Chaired by Judge Leslie Harris, the five-member Internal Affairs Oversight Panel is charged with reviewing completed investigations of the Boston Police Department's Internal Affairs Division. Mayor Wu’s appointments to IAOP are:

 

  • Judge Leslie Harris, a retired associate justice for the Suffolk Juvenile Court who has also worked as a teacher, youth worker, Probation Officer for the Suffolk Superior Court, public defender, and Chief of the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County DA’s office.
  • Allison Cartwright, Attorney in Charge at the Roxbury Defender’s Office, former member of the Police Reform Task Force, and former assistant corporation counsel for the City of Boston.
  • Christina Miller, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University who also served as Chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions with the Suffolk County DA’s Office.
  • Julien Mundele, an attorney specializing in government investigations, criminal defense, and health law practice, and a former Assistant District Attorney with the Suffolk County DA’s Office.
  • Jassie-Fredcia Senwah, a victim witness advocate at the Suffolk County DA’s Office and organizer providing resources and support to students, women and children impacted by domestic violence.

 

“To ensure every safety possibility to all of our residents, it’s important that we hold our law enforcement officers to a high standard,” said Chair of the Internal Affairs Oversight Panel Judge Leslie Harris. “I am grateful to Mayor Wu to serve as Chair of this board to have an opportunity to conduct independent investigations into completed internal affairs cases, to further provide accountability for our residents.”

 

The purpose of the OPAT is to provide opportunity for individuals with concerns or complaints related to the Boston Police Department and its employees to be heard and responded to, and to provide the staffing and legal authority necessary to support the work of the OPAT and its related advisory boards and panels to undertake independent investigation and review of policing in Boston. OPAT’s first semi-annual report can be found here. For more information about the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, visit Boston.gov/OPAT.

 

Mayor Wu previously announced the formation of the five-member committee to steer the public engagement and search process for the next Boston Police Department (BPD) Commissioner, a group of deeply respected law and public safety professionals and community leaders. The Committee has hosted two community engagement sessions to learn residents’ visions for leadership within BPD. For more information, visit Boston.gov/BPD-Commissioner.

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