Post by Nigel Parry. The Board Meeting Blog is an unofficial citizen record of the meetings and does not reflect any official CPRB position or policy, and is simply offered as a quick way of keeping up with what happens at the board meetings. Watch full-length video recordings of all CPRB meetings at cprbpgh.org/for-public-record/video/
There was no quorum at the beginning of the meeting, so no official action could be taken. Any current cases under investigation automatically continue. Board members gave reports and informally discussed a variety of issues.Executive Director Elizabeth Pittinger gave an update on recent discussions:
Intake since the year began has been 55 contacts—people seeking help of some kind, either help with filing a complaint or needing referral to the correct jurisdiction.
CPRB’s ARCHIVING STRATEGY
CPRB has many documents in hard copy that aren’t considered key enough for the City of Pittsburgh’s central archivist to preserve but are important to CPRB for historical reasons and reasons of public trust.
CPRB has records of 25 years of complaints which should be preserved. The first complaint came in on July 25th, 1998. Complaints exist as hard copy paper in many boxes. Complaints from 1998 to 2010 have additionally been entered into a basic database which doesn’t include much detail. Many complaints were handwritten and were never digitized.
Discussion followed regarding the possibility of interns digitizing the historical archive for internal use, including software solutions aimed at making this task simple and methodical. One CPRB board member suggested utilizing software such as Perceptive Content [https://www.hyland.com/en/products/perceptive-content], for digitizing large amounts of print data and storing it in the cloud.
Ms. Pittinger stated that, “We will protect and preserve these to the best of our ability, and—of course—all public hearing records will be preserved, no question about it.”
Case files from CPRB legal fights are also being retained. Case records are also redundantly archived by other City departments.
TRAINING AND STAFFING INFORMATION REQUEST TO THE BUREAU
CPRB is interested in how police officers are trained and how they are retrained throughout their career. Ms. Pittinger attended the police academy spring session on March 28th, with about 22 students in the class.
CPRB has noted that the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police are short on officers, which suggests they are also short on supervisory officers at the training academy.
Four-and-a-half months ago, on November 15th, a request was made to the Bureau for copies of training materials and information about staffing over the last two decades. These went unanswered.
On January 26th, 2023, CPRB met with the City Solicitor about this request and CPRB Solicitor William Ward followed up with all materials requested by the City.Despite the time passed and CPRB’s diligence in following up, there has still been no response from the City. CPRB has been patient because of new leadership and the holiday period, but several months seems too long.
Authority to request a subpoena in this matter has already been given to the Executive Director. Mr. Ward is going to reach out to the City Solicitor again via phone tomorrow to try to resolve this.
EXPIRATION OF BOARD MEMBER TERMS
The Chair is duty bound to give 180 days notice of the expiration of any board terms. CPRB Board Council seats #1 (Ms. Brown) and #3 (Mr. Green) and Mayoral seats #6 (Dr. Darby) and #7 (Mr. Williams) are up on May 4th, 2023.
Board members are being asked to indicate their willingness to continue to serve or their intention to step down.
POLICE BUDGET 2024
Board members were encouraged to think of suggestions for line items to include in the annual Pittsburgh police budget that would positively enhance their work and relationship with the public. CPRB Board Member recommendations would be sent to the Chief of Police as part of the comment process.
DISCUSSION OF NASHVILLE SCHOOL SHOOTING
It was noted that the Nashville fire department entered with the police, to address any first responder needs arising from the shooting event, and this widely seen as a smart way of engaging during these events.
Note: Due to a lack of quorum at the meeting, no case actions could be approved. Ongoing investigations continue automatically and an updated report back on cases will be made at the next meeting on April 5th, 2023.
Post by Nigel Parry. The Board Meeting Blog is an unofficial citizen record of the meetings and does not reflect any official CPRB position or policy, and is simply offered as a quick way of keeping up with what happens at the board meetings. Watch full-length video recordings of all CPRB meetings at cprbpgh.org/for-public-record/video/.