Dave Bicking and the CRA
Last Friday, my colleagues declined to give me a "second" on a motion to reappoint Dave Bicking to the Civilian Review Authority.
I was disappointed in this outcome. I did not expect my motion to prevail, but looked forward to an opportunity to present my reasons for reappointing Dave. The most important of these is the simplest: he did a good job on the CRA. He worked hard. He did his homework. He did his research. He helped the CRA write a report on the performance of the Police Chief in regards to his relationship with the CRA that was clear, cogent, evidence-based, and highly influential, at least in terms of my own vote on the Chief's renomination. Dave also helped my office track the multiple ways in which the Police Department had changed its policy manual without the input of the CRA or policymakers (see here for more on that).
I realize that Dave may have ruffled some feathers, especially by participating in anti-Dolan forums and by embroiling himself in a public fight with the CRA Board Chair Don Bellfield - even going so far as to sue Bellfield in an effort to compel him to do what was, in Dave's estimation, his job. These actions on Dave's part contributed to a sense that he is not capable of being a fair, neutral arbiter of allegations of police misconduct. I do not share that assessment, but I understand it.
From my perspective, this was an unfortunate outcome. The CRA has lost a good, hardworking volunteer who deeply valued the work he was doing and the organization he was serving. While he may no longer be serving on the CRA Board, I am hopeful that he will stay involved in his community and in working for a more just City, and also as someone I can turn to for advice, assistance and help developing policy and researching issues as I have done in the past.