Urged on by a call-to-action from the local Arlington Branch NAACP, I spoke briefly this morning in support of Delegate Patrick Hope’s bill HB670 “Independent policing auditor; county manager plan of government.”
This bill allows Arlington County with its unique County Manager structure to separate our new civilian police oversight auditor from the rest of the County Manager-led government operations.
This will give our new police oversight board the independence needed to be more effective, and not tied to the same power structures that it is supposed to be investigating under the County Manager.
You can read everyone’s excellent written public comments, as well as mine (also below).
I am writing for full support of HB670 from Delegate Hope. I am Adam Theo, a nine-year resident of Arlington County.
For nine years I had worked alongside law enforcement across the country, from Seattle, New York City, Birmingham, and Kearney (Nebraska). I got to know local and state police extensively during that time.
Oversight of local law enforcement isn’t something to be scared of or avoided. On the contrary it’s to be celebrated as part of a healthy civil and democratic society.
Allowing Arlington County to establish their new civilian police oversight board as an independent office outside of our unique County Manager structure of government, and thereby helping it be resilient and more effective, is critical for restoring faith in our police and helping them protect both our public safety and our civil liberties.