The Police Review & Advisory Board was established by Cambridge City Ordinance in 1984 to:
The Board consists of five civilians who are representative the City's racial, social, and economic composition:
The Board generally meets on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:00 pm at 51 Inman St., in the Second Floor Conference Room. Agendas are published on the Monday before the meeting.
How the Complaint Process Works:
What types of complaints does the Police Review & Advisory Board investigate?
• Excessive use of force
• Use of discourteous or demeaning language
• Improper stop, arrest, search and seizure
• Inadequate investigation or improper police reports
• Discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, sex, religion, disability, or national origin or any other criteria defined in federal and state guidelines.
• Improper police procedures
• Improper traffic citation or towing of a car by the police
What happens once a complaint is submitted?
The process begins with a complaint being filed with the Police Review and Advisory Board. The Board employs its own staff, and works with the Professional Standards Unit of the Police Department to investigate all complaints. The Board then reviews the investigative report from the staff, and either orders a full investigation or dismisses the complaint. A full investigation includes interviews with both the complainant and police officer(s) and other relevant individuals. After a full investigation is completed, the Board may dismiss the complaint, mediate, or order a hearing. Following a hearing, the Board will render a final decision. If the Board finds that there ws a violation of policy or procedures, it will make a recommendation to the City Manager and the Police Commissioner about what action(s) should be taken.
How does someone submit a complaint?
Complaints may be filed with the staff of the Police Review & Advisory Board in person, by letter, or by telephone. In all cases, everyone making a complaint is required to provide signed statement describing what happened and the specific complaint. Complaints must be filed within 60 days of the incident.
For additional information on the process of filing a complaint, how complaints are resolved, and what to do when stopped by the police, please click here to download the Police Review & Advisory Board Information Brochure.