The California Board of Aldermen on Monday approved ordinances to bring in a consultant and special counsel to assist with a comprehensive review and inquiry into the operations of the California Police Department.
Monday's special session came after the city of California announced last Wednesday it had terminated the employment of two California Police Department officers, effective Jan. 5.
The Board of Aldermen dismissed two probationary employees during a closed session of last week's monthly board meeting. The motion passed by a 5-1 vote, with alderwoman Resa Dudley as the lone dissenting board member.
A charter from the city outlining the CPD review states that in late 2020 and early 2021, Mayor Norris Gerhart and the Board of Aldermen responded to allegations and concerns regarding aspects of the operation and administrative practices of the CPD.
The charter document notes a successful effort will result in a review of the department's current policies and procedures, determining areas for possible improvement, and gauging understanding and compliance with policies by department staff. As part of the review, interviews may be conducted as needed with department staff, community leaders, elected officials and others. The processes involved in the selection, retention and promotion of CPD staff will also be reviewed.
The city hired GBK Advising LLC as consultant, and a special counsel will assist City Attorney Ann Perry's office regarding legal matters.
The city's contract with GBK Advising states the city has "determined it appropriate to analyze the current conditions, policies and procedures, and operational effectiveness of the CPD and to identify potential areas for improvement or correction that comply with applicable laws, statutes and police standards."
The city plans to compensate GBK Advising at $100 per hour plus all incurred expenses for their work.