Fairfax panel recommends greater transparency for cops

FAIRFAX, Va. — More than two years after a man was shot standing in his own doorway while talking to police, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors heard new proposals Tuesday on how to improve future responses and prevent it from happening again.

The Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission is making 142 recommendations for changes, some of which will require action from the County Board. Others may be implemented by the police department or other county agencies on their own.

Commission Chairman Michael Hershman presented the report to the board Tuesday. The sharpest questions focused on the proposed civilian review board that would accept citizen complaints.

The report also suggests an independent auditor as part of increased oversight, along with police body cameras, changes to responses to mental health crises and changes to training, among other things.

Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said he plans to put a report card up on the police website that will allow citizens to see what changes have been made.

While he applauds the report overall, he questions the idea of a civilian review board.

The Board of Supervisors plans to have a more in-depth discussion of the proposals and how to implement them at a Public Safety Committee meeting next week. The meeting is 3 p.m., Oct. 27 in the Fairfax County Government Center.

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