Chapel Hill Manager's statement on CPAB process

Ed Harrison's picture

This just arrived from Town Manager Roger Stancil:

In consultation with the Town Attorney, I have developed the following statement that we will provide the media.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

“Out of respect for the process that began by the referral of the Yates Motor Company review to the Community Policing Advisory Board, and the Board’s subsequent discussion about a process they could follow, the Town staff will temporarily refrain from individual media interviews about the Yates Motor Company incident. We invite the media -- and the general public -- to use the process ultimately established by the Council and the Board. We encourage all questions to be routed through the Board. These questions and concerns will be recorded, and the responses will be provided to the entire community. This approach supports a transparent process and the desires of the Council, and the community for a full and open exchange of information on this issue.”

Tags: 

issue: 

Total votes: 1

31 Comments

Ed Harrison's picture

Correction to text

The first sentence is from Roger Stancil to Council and others. This is definitely not my statement. I made a mistake in how I posted the text of his message.  My apologies for any confusion.Ed Harrison

Ruby Sinreich's picture

What do we think this means?

Anyone want to venture a guess about what the Manager's statement really means? If it's true that "We encourage all questions to be routed through the Board. These questions and concerns will be recorded, and the responses will be provided to the entire community." than I certainly like that part. (But HOW will they be provided to the community? Will it be a useful and accessible format, or printed out and sitting in someone's office?)Is this supposed to mean the Council and the Police Chief shouldn't talk to the media about this? I wasn't aware that there was much of that going on anyway. 

Ed Harrison's picture

Council talking to media

The Council will occasionally get direct advisements from the Town Attorney requesting that we exercise care in discussing a specific topic with media (and with anyone else, for that matter, although some undoubtedly make a spousal exception). He has always has a specific legal basis for this, and I have always found it valid. There is no history, since I've been on Council, of a Town Manager giving this sort of advice, and I'm not anticipating it.  And, yes, there probably wasn't much of this going on anyway.  Ed Harrison

Um, the email addresses of

Um, the email addresses of the CPAB members are not listed on the Town site (nor is the video from last Wednesday's meeting up, nor the minutes, nor the special website that was promised at the Council meeting). Therefore, we have no way of getting questions answered. Some transparency.

Roscoe's picture

CPAB

Alex, I believe on the Town site there is a button to send email to all of us on the CPAC. If that doesn't work post it and I'll send you mine.All questions are welcomed.

Ed Harrison's picture

Email addresses for advisory board members

The CPAB is not a special case. There are 19 standing advisory boards and commissions to which the Town Council makes all, most or some of the appointments. Each has a web page, which shows neither street addresses nor email addresses of members. And each has the button which Roscoe cites above.   Ed Harrison

Ed Harrison's picture

"Standing board or commission"

It's listed on the Town website along with 18 other "standing boards or commissions."  In this government, a "committee" is generally considered temporary. Given that the Manager used the term "board," probably a good idea to ask for it at some point. Thanks much to Kevin and to Roscoe, and all the other members, for their service on this important body at a critical time.Ed Harrison

Thanks

Thanks, everyone, for clarification re: contacting the board. I've sent a couple emails to that jphillips address and never received any replies or indications that it got to the board. If the messages have, that's great.

Anita Badrock's picture

We have received many

We have received many  emails from Ms. Phillips that have come from the public.   I am confident that she is sending along everything that comes to her.  You can send an email to the CPAC through the website button or by sending it to her directly.    We will also have public comment at each meeting.     It's important that we all receive the same information for consideration  so sending your comments to Jennifer or through the website is the best way to be sure that happens.   Thanks,Anita Badrock

Geoff Gilson's picture

Yates Investigation - Next Steps

Last evening [January 23], the Chapel Hill Town Council delayed making a decision about independent investigation of the Yates Garage incident - yet again. A few thoughts on last night's meeting (only from what I read in the papers!), and a few comments on the issue of bias.Ron Bogle (Chair of the Town Council Community Policing Advisory Board) is quoted as saying: "What makes this different is that this is not just complicated by the factual dispute. There does not seem to be a great deal of dispute on what the facts were [my emphasis]. What complicates this is the debate about what are we willing to tolerate in terms of civil disobedience, and other things that are really political questions.”I agree with his concern about the complication. That is why I still take the view that the ultimate objective of any investigation must be to design a new structure of citizen oversight of Policing policy and strategy in Chapel Hill (not operations). It is for we citizens to decide what is acceptable Policing policy on the streets of our community. Not a Police Chief on his own. Nor visiting Police Officers. Nor any law enforcement agency outside of Chapel Hill.But we can't determine what needs to the outline of such a structure until we know exactly know what happened in this incident. We can't know how to avoid a situation which has left so many uncomfortable - even those whose natural inclination is to keep Downtown Chapel Hill free of what they may regard as nuisance (!) - until we know all of the facts.And this is where I disagree with Ron. We do NOT know all of the facts. And we won't even know them if and when an independent investigator has concluded an investigation. I agree with what Councilor Penny Rich is reported as saying: "If there are a lot of holes, and this private investigator can’t force people to speak to them, then you’re getting a small bit of factual info.  You’re not getting the whole picture." You will only get the full picture with cross examination of the participants.And let me make my personal opinion clear - even though it may upset some folks reading this. I would want cross-examination of ALL of the participants. This process should be about finding out what happened, rebuilding trust and designing new structures to verify that trust forward. There are folks in our community who are as unhappy about the protesters in the building as we are about the actions taken to remove them. If we are to move forward as a community then we need to offer those people the same opportunity to achieve satisfaction (with regards to facts, cross-examination and trust) as we seek.Frankly, when all the dust has settled, I believe the best solution will still be to have a fully Independent Commission. And one led by Jim Neal. I disagree with Councilor Donna Bell when she says: "Unless we turn this over to the judicial system, we don't get any better than what we have." It is my belief that the only sensible solution will come from an independent body that combines judicial restraint, experience of cross-examination, independence from interference, and political sensitivity and balance. CPAB, an independent investigator, even court proceedings might demonstrate one or more of these criteria. But only an empanelled Independent Commission will enshrine all of them.But, say the Town Council, Jim is biased. Hmm. I believe there are three stages to successful conclusion of the work of an Independent Commission - and there is place for bias in each phase:1) Advocacy for such a Commission (where we are now). The problem is that both sides of the argument for independent investigation have been making the mistake of using their own bias as reason for or against an investigation. We should stick to the central argument, in order to enroll the community behind the effort, namely that we want to move on BY getting the facts, and rebuilding trust, NOT by pretending that we can avoid these steps.2) Setting up an Independent Commission. I do not believe that you can have, nor that we should want, a Commission made up of unbiased observers. If everyone on such a commission were to be unbiased, there would be no drive. No, I think we want a Commission where there is LOADS of bias. But one with a strong Chairman (whatever his or her bias), one who has made certain the bias is balanced. And that is why I believe Jim could get the job done. Frankly, I can't think of anyone who could do a better job on behalf of the communities of both Chapel Hill and Carrboro - and remember, this involves folks from Carrboro too; our Police force was used, also.3) Submission and cross-examination. This is when we can ALL be as biased as we like! We don't just want facts. We need people to vent, too. To get it all out. Because it is only then that we can start to rebuild.One final point. Chapel Hill Town Attorney, Ralph Karpinos, is reported as saying that no Independent Commission (nor, I assume by inference, even CPAB) could protect anyone who spoke from civil or criminal liability. A few thoughts:A) One could easily invite anyone seeking to submit to sign an indemnity, agreeing not to pursue civil or criminal proceedings of any kind.B) The Town Council could decide, right now, to instruct its staff not to pursue, nor to co-operate in the pursuit of, any civil or criminal proceedings.C) It follows, as night follows day, that (2) would also require the dropping of all extant charges. No damage was done. No serious injury was suffered. They are misdemeanor charges. If we really want to move on, let's start by dropping these irrelevant charges.D) If, after all this, there is still the possibility of civil or criminal proceedings, then think really hard, what, how, where? I don't see any possibility, as things stand at the moment. Unless the Town Attorney knows something he is not telling us. Which brings us right back to where we started - the need for an independent investigation (which could, in line with (A), agree all sorts of procedures to avoid the possibility of civil or criminal proceedings; c'mon, it's just not that difficult).As one newspaper noted, we have neither moved forward, nor back. But actually, that is progress. All the cards are still on the table. Let's take the opportunity this next week, calmly, without bias, to enroll the community in supporting some form of independent investigator (however funded), ultimately reporting back to some form of Independent Commission. This is the way to move forward.

George C's picture

Maybe if you were there...

Geoff, since you weren't there perhaps you didn't catch the point that was repeatedly made:  an independent investigator can't compel anyone to speak with them and can't insure that anyone is speaking the truth.  Even the CPAC Chair, Ron Bogle, admitted this.  Thus your suggestion #3, submission and cross-examination, would have limited value at best.  The best outcome I think we could hope for from the evaluation of this event would be for TC to direct CPAC, with input from citizens and the Police Department, to come up with a new policy (ies) on the policing of civil disobedience events and other situations which might involve police interventions.

Evidence

No evidence can ever be deemed "truth." Researchers get around this fallibility by triangulating their data. George--surely you are not proposing that we institute new policies without the evidence needed to understand why or where the existing policies broke down...... 

George C's picture

I won't start....

Terri,I won't start getting into this too deeply because I actually have a full-time job I need to attend to but I'll get started here with your question: "surely you are not proposing that we institute new policies without the evidence needed to understand why or where the existing policies broke down?"Your question is based on the premise that the existing policies did break down.  There are folks in CH who would agree with that premise and there are folks in CH who would disagree with it.  So what now?  We sit through more hours and hours of meetings and in the end we find ourselves in the same spot - people, many PO'd at one another, complaining about the fact that nothing has been solved. So where do we start?I suggest that we start by asking our citizens how they expect our police to react in certain situations. And then we ask our police whether they think that those expectations are reasonable and, if not, why not.  And then we allow the police and citizens, together, to develop policies that both agree are fair, reasonable and capable of being monitored for compliance.You may think the idea of starting from scratch to develop a workable set of policies is ignoring the past, and you're right.  But I don't see that the alternative has gotten us very far.

policy breakdown

George,Since Chief  Blue and the manager have both said policies broke down and that they are in the process of making changes, I feel secure in accepting their word for it.  The question should be whose perspective needs to be factored into those changes to make them less likely to breakdown in the future. The police weren't out their independently; nor were the protesters. It was an interactive situation. Therefore, from a systems perspective, it has to be the interaction that drives the change. Basic feedback loop.   

czei's picture

What is civil disobedience?

If you want new policies on civil disobedience, then those policies wouldn't cover what happened at the Yates building.  Groups don't get a pass just because they feel like making a political statement, otherwise anyone could kidnap or steal cars or commit armed robbery and then insist on not being arrested or complain they weren't warned before being arrested.

Geoff Gilson's picture

Yes, but ...

1) Terri, I agree with you absolutely. So, I'm now going to have a seltzer and go lie down! Just kidding. Whether we're rebuilding, starting from scratch, turning somersaults, whatever, how can we possibly move forward on anything, unless we are informed by what has just happened?I've said it before. I'll say it again. I'm not one who necessarily starts from the position that our Police did wrong. If they genuinely believed that the territory into which they were being asked to intervene was unknown to them, then they had every right to ask of their superiors that they be properly and fully protected and armed.It's the 'if' that is causing a lot of the problems. I don't want to run that argument (again) here. What I want to do is illustrate the moving forward point with that issue. How can we citizens possibly be asked to enter terrain unknown (the future) without all of the 'protection' and 'armor' that we need (information; other citizens' points of view) successfully to negotiate that terrain?2) George C., this whole line about compelling to testify and telling the truth is an artifice. Pure and simple. You don't need to compel anyone. Who are we talking about, after all?If it is Councilors and the Mayor, then mercenary electoral concern will 'compel' politicians to appear and answer questions. If staff (including Police), then another memo from Stancil or Blue, telling staff - including the Police - to appear and tell the truth (as opposed to one telling them not to speak to anyone), will do the trick. If the press ... um ... duh. And if passers-by, protesters and citizens on either side of the SERT argument, well, they're the ones lining up to speak during Town Council Open Sessions, and publishing opinions in the media. So, where is the need for compulsion?As to truth, come on. Anyone can lie as easily under oath, as not. It's not down to oath; it's down to the tenacity of the question-asker. Example. I appeared on WCOM recently, talking about 'witnesses' and testimony. The host kept on about a press representative who swore to the host that he had shown his credentials to a Police officer, who then ignored those credentials. Did I accept, at face value, what the host said? No. Not because I thought he was a 'lying anti-capitalist.' But because I wanted what Terri quite rightly calls 'triangulation.' I wanted testimony from the Police officer. So that I could compare the two versions. Which would then help me (or someone else) to devise better Rules of Engagement. Rules which should be set by our citizens, not by the Police. For all of these reasons, I believe the best solution for moving forward, for getting to the facts in an unbiased way, for rebuilding trust, for devising new oversight procedures in the future, all of this will best be served by a Panel of Citizens, independent of the participants at Yates, and balanced in its initial bias.And. Part of the role of the Panel should be simply to allow citizens - all citizens - to appear and vent. And so ...3) Mark, calling cops bastards may not be a good strategy for broadening any movement. But it may be a first step in venting, then to allow those folks the best opportunity to re-engage. Just as it might be a great first step to allow others to vent in public and call protesters 'lying anti-capitalists.'Folks, what happened at Yates was not pretty. From the moment the march to Yates began, to the period when visiting Police officers were monitoring people in OUR community, to the events surrounding the use of SERT, none of this was pretty. So, why do we seriously expect the solution to be pretty?Let's get over that, and get on with solving ...

Barbara Crockett's picture

$15,000....

Please, please, please, town council, do not spend $15,000 on an investigator when we are looking at serious budget shortfalls. Regardless of who says what, the protesters should not have tresspassed. The police showed up with gun power to excess, but they quite properly upheld the law. Their discipline and training paid off; no one was hurt, except maybe Wells Fargo. I, for one, will not soon forget the image of a bright red CH bus with an image of a stagecoach on the side, carting people off to jail. 

Reflections on civil disobedience

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/01/25/NC_Lesbian_Couple_Found_Guilty_of_Trespassing/

"A North Carolina lesbian couple who were arrested last year for staging a sit-in at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office after being denied a marriage license were found guilty Tuesday of second-degree trespassing.As part of the Coalition for Southern Equality’s “We Do” Campaign, Rev. Kathryn Cartledge and her partner of 30 years, Elizabeth Eve, were among the first to request a license in October, and after their second attempt they refused to leave and were arrested and charged on October 14.Cartledge, 65, and Eve, 66, have two children and four grandchildren."

As someone who has sympathies for the challenges faced by those on all sides of the Yates incident, I thought I'd just throw another recent example of civil disobedience in NC into the discussion, in case it might help spur more dispassionate reflections on civil disobedience.

czei's picture

That's a good comparison

I'm glad you used this as an example, as there's two major differences here between the lesbian couple above and the Yates incident: 1. The couple who staged a sit-in tried to get a marriage license and were denied.  The group at Yates had no gripe with government other than they're anarchists and wanted to overthrow it.  Its not like they tried to use the community center two blocks away and were denied.  2. The couple denied a marriage license didn't vow to take over the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office and hold it it forever and turn it into something else.  

Chris Weaver's picture

YES....and the gay couple

YES....and the gay couple did not break the law upon entering the building ie. the first thing they did....was not break the law. I recomend the Karma Gods bestow another blessing upon czei. ( I will procure a goat and a gallon of Johnny Harris BBQ if a blood sacrifice is required )Weakness is provocative.
"One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy."-Maj. Douglas Zembiec

Geoff Gilson's picture

Info-Gathering -vs - Independent Investigation

The Chapel Hill Town Council is meeting now, and I have no idea what decision they have made regarding the request of their Community Policing Advisory Board for the Town Council to fund an independent investigator.However, here is the document that Roger Stancil has prepared with two options, essentially: (1) Investigator; (2) Web-site to passively gather info, which CPAB are then supposed to filter, before deciding whether or not there are sufficient gaps to warrant an investigator: http://www.townofchapelhill.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=12113While I welcome any attempt to get more input from participants other than the Police and their immediate superiors, the option that Stancil recommends (web-site) seems to be contrary to the very rationale CPAB advanced for wanting an investigator - namely that the volunteer CPAB has neither the time nor the qualifications to undertake either an investigation or a filtering exercise of who knows how much input.Are we in fact moving forward at all?

Geoff Gilson's picture

Yates - A Step Forward?

I have this morning sent the following e-mail to the Chapel Hill Town Council, the Chair of CPAB and Jim Neal:"So. The world is not a perfect place. We don’t always get what we want. The question that arises from the decision of the Chapel Hill Town Council last evening is, did we who want the facts about Yates aired, a rebuilding of trust begun and Policing policies designed that avoid the trauma of Yates in the future, did we get enough to work with - http://tinyurl.com/7bubkn6?My answer is yes, not least because I’m not perfect. But with a few tweaks.I’m not convinced by the opinion of Chapel Hill Town Attorney that an independent investigation conducted under the auspices of the Community Policing Advisory Board need compel witnesses to testify, nor that any witnesses who so volunteer to testify might give false witness, nor that testimony might lead to criminal or civil charges - http://tinyurl.com/6o2pvc8.The existing charges were resolved yesterday - http://tinyurl.com/866425d. And frankly, I believe the fact that the Judge structured their resolution in such a way as to avoid criminal record pretty much sums up the view of the judicial system on those charges in any event.The only parties likely to bring further charges are the Town or the property-owner. All it requires for the former not to happen is for the Mayor to say it won’t. And I can’t help but think that there is enough history with this particular property-owner that he can be prevailed upon to bring no further charges.However, cutting through all the legalese, I accept that there are sensitive issues surrounding a possible investigation associated with the Town Council and its Boards, not least because there are protocols that must be followed by governmental bodies. But those protocols do not apply to a truly Independent Commission/Task Force, such as the one proposed by Jim Neal.In addition, if the proposed information-gathering web-site is fully utilized by all those now wishing to make submissions, the voluntary CPAB could well be overwhelmed with a wealth of information it has already intimated it has neither the time, nor the resources, nor the qualifications to process. An Independent Commission might well possess all three, in a way that could complement and support the work of CPAB.So, I’m thinking that perhaps the way forward is for all interested parties to design a process that is an amalgam of Town Council, CPAB and an Independent Commission.The Town Council set up its information-gathering web-site. Folks submit as much as they want. Not just facts. But feelings too. Nothing wrong with a bit of a vent after a traumatic incident. People be allowed to submit anonymously if they so choose.And this is one more reason to extend this next stage beyond merely the proposed Town Council web-site. Stancil has made clear that submissions to the web-site should contain only direct, first-hand, eye-witness information. I disagree.If this exercise is truly to move our community forward, then it must be more than a cold recitation of facts. It must also be cathartic. Many in our community who were not eye-witnesses have been deeply disturbed by what happened. They too should be allowed to submit their feelings, their misgivings, their opinions and their suggestions. If the Town Council will not accept them, an Independent Commission will.So, everyone wishing to submit should be invited to direct their submissions both to the Town Council web-site and to an Independent Commission. The Commission undertake a project to timeline all of the factual submissions. Inviting submitters to answer questions if they choose. And to be allowed so to do confidentially.The Mayor makes quite clear to all employees, including Police Officers, that they are free to submit and give evidence, anonymously and without repercussion. All those submitting and giving evidence be invited to sign a form waiving any right to bring charges or pursue civil proceedings.The Commission to engage proactively in producing a timeline – The Yates-line? – which will be a chronological rendering of all the factual submissions, opinions as to the credibility of anonymous submissions, highlighted gaps, questions to be asked, and so on.The final result being a compilation of the Yates-line and any and all community opinions that are submitted.The Commission could even make recommendations of its own regarding possible improvements in Policing policy, and in oversight of Policing policy and strategy by the Town Council and its associated bodies.It is entirely likely that folks will be more forthcoming with a body that is independent of the Town Council and it bodies. That body will be free of any restrictions to which the Town Council is subject, and will be able to undertake much of the work of reviewing, compiling and analyzing submissions that CPAB may not have the qualifications or time to undertake.All of the work of the Independent Commission could then be submitted to CPAB, making its job of review, compilation and analysis that much easier as it then sets out to consider possible changes to Policing policy.In that latter regard, I believe that the Clarification submitted to the Town Council last evening by the Town Manager represents a welcome change in tone to the whole Yates incident. If it is acted upon by all with good faith, I see a real possibility that CPAB could be developed into a genuine and meaningful Citizen’s Policing Oversight Board.Indeed, on the subject of good faith, for the above process, or something like it (I don’t for one moment pretend I have ironed out all the kinks), to work, all who have expressed concern about the aftermath of Yates, whether those supporting the Occupiers or those supporting the Town Council, the Town Manager and the Police, must agree to do their utmost to make it work. The time for words has passed. There is opportunity here. But it will require work, not grandstanding.I have not been one casually to lay blame on any parties involved with Yates. I believe truly that every aspect of what happened, from the moment marchers entered Yates, until the time they were evicted by SERT, has caused a deal of discomfort to many in our community (Carrboro, as well as Chapel Hill; since Carrboro Police Officers were involved too). I do not believe that any one of us wants that discomfort to continue."

Chris Weaver's picture

Policing policies designed

Policing policies designed that avoid the trauma of Yates in the future,  Really? trauma???Is there any meat left clinging to hands from friction!? I have not been one casually to lay blame on any parties involved with Yates. yesss the cops made them break the law...so hard to asign blame... (face in hands)I have to think the criminals really must be laughing at the sheer volume of angst and not a drop reserved for them. Have their names been engraved upon stone yet? I would love to use the metephor of tilting at windmills, but I like windmills (privately owned ) and would not wish to associate them w/ this gale. cw  Weakness is provocative.
"One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy."-Maj. Douglas Zembiec

Geoff Gilson's picture

WCHL 'Commentators'

Ron Stutts very kindly invited me to share a few words on WCHL's 'Commentators,' on the next steps with the Yates investigation, and on Occupations of buildings in our community in general:http://www.chapelboro.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioI...What I said was:"So. Where are we with the aftermath of protesters being evicted from office buildings they have occupied? Clearly, the Mayor of Carrboro has proven that it’s better to send in ice cream than SERT [http://tinyurl.com/6tlsxbd].The powers-that-be in Chapel Hill may be moving in much the same direction. This past week has seen a flurry of media interviews, in which the Chapel Hill Town Manager and Chief of Police have admitted essentially and at long last that they got the use of SERT wrong, when evicting protesters from the Yates Building last November [http://tinyurl.com/864x9po].They have also released answers to 45 questions that had been put to them by the Chapel Hill Town Council’s Community Policing Advisory Board (CPAB) [http://tinyurl.com/7o9lln3]. I’m afraid those answers prove that there are still many more questions that need asking.[I'm especially interested in the non-answer to Question 1, in light of my comments on WCOM - http://tinyurl.com/892od2z.]Chapel Hill Town Council have offered a passive web-site, where folks can submit their thoughts on the Yates incident. But what is still required is more active investigation.The problem is that CPAB have already made clear that, as a fully volunteer organization, they have neither the time nor the resources to undertake such an investigation. But, perhaps, Jim Neal’s proposed Independent Review Commission could step in, and perform that function for CPAB?CPAB and the Commission, working together, could then submit to the Town Council a final factual timeline of Yates, along with recommendations for changes to Policing policy going forward [http://tinyurl.com/7lw8r76].One of the recommendations would surely have to be greater citizen oversight of Policing policy and stategy in the future [http://tinyurl.com/7acykwz]. Perhaps undertaken by CPAB? But a CPAB granted more independence and its own funding."Thanks, Ron ...

Geoff Gilson's picture

CPAC: No to Online Web-site

Last evening, I attended the meeting of the Chapel Hill Town Council's Community Policing Advisory Committee, which decided to reject the proposal of the Town Council to have a web-site rather than an independent investigator gather facts about the Yates Garage incident last November.I do not pretend to give a thorough rendition of the Committee's discussions. At the beginning of the meeting, I made a few points, and asked a couple of questions, and I deal here only with those.CPAC Chair, Ron Bogle, in answer to one of my questions, made clear that, notwithstanding the fact that CPAC now most likely take the view that they are not going themselves actively to gather more information relating to Yates, they will happily accept the product of any investigation undertaken by outside bodies.Timeframe? Not clear. But Bogle intimated that he saw the process for CPAC undertaking the charge he does believe they can and will undertake (namely, the consideration of Policing policy review; which is what any investigation of the facts is supposed to feed) as only having just begun, and likely to take some time. So, there is something of a window for an independent investigation. But it won't be open forever. In the meantime, CPAC remains open to receiving any other submissions as well. Currently, they say they have received only 10 e-mails. Er. I know two of them were mine ...Of course, I made the point (echoed by some on CPAC itself) that you can't really have a useful review of policy unless you know what you're reviewing and why. Which you can't know if you don't know what went wrong. Which you can't know if you don't know the facts. [Enter chorus girls and dancing bear ... ]The impotence of CPAC, as currently constituted, only became more embarrassingly clear throughout the evening, as, time and again, CPAC members made clear that they did not have information and/or resources they need. Copy of Police Policy Handbook? Nope. Contact with consultant hired by Chapel Hill Town Council to review Policing policy? Nope. Idea as to progress with said consultant? Nope.It seems to me that CPAC, at the moment, is 'advisory' only in the sense that no-one advises them of anything.And that is where I think this whole process should end up. And I made this point last evening also. One of the primary recommendations of CPAC should be that it, or another body, should be given proper powers and resources so that it, or the other body, can become a fully-functioning, properly-constituted entity, exercising recognizable and respected Citizen Oversight of Policing policy and strategy in our community.This is not such a way-out suggestion. Certainly it is the way that Policing operates in Great Britain. Furthermore, the oversight commissions in GB will, as of May 2012, be directly elected by their citizenry. Now, there's something to hope for ...