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VB City Council unanimously approves creation of citizen review board

Originally published 11/15/21 by Alex Littlehales (WVEC), Angelique Arintok on

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach City Council unanimously approved the plan to form an Independent Citizen Review Board Tuesday night.

The vote comes after a task force spent months researching and coming up with recommendations for improved police oversight.

This civilian-based body will reshape how the city investigates possible police misconduct by investigating and reporting on the use of force, death or serious injury, and serious abuse of authority.

This civilian board would replace the city’s current Investigation Review Panel, also known as IRP. 

Here are some of the main takeaways for the Citizen Review Board, from a task force presentation this September: 

The biggest change for the ICRB is subpoena power, which the city’s current IRP doesn’t hold. 

“We have a crisis in public trust right now,” Susan Loesberg said, a Virginia Beach resident and co-chair of the local Moms Demand Action chapter, who’s spoken in support of the Review Board at previous meetings. 

“It signals that Virginia Beach is starting to listen to its citizens. But it also is going to signal that we have a long way to go,” Gary McCollum said.

He is president of the organization “Due The Right Things” and has spoken in support of the Review Board, too. 

“We believe it’s a good first step, but there are three areas we believe where it falls short.”

McCollum told 13News Now there are still three changes he hopes the city will work to make:

1. The board should be empowered to select its own coordinator without oversight by the City Manager.

2. Requesting a subpoena should require only a simple majority vote of the board.

3. The board should be empowered to make specific disciplinary recommendations to the City Manager.

Virginia Beach officials say the city’s current review panel would remain in place until this new body is fully trained.

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