PHOENIX - It's been more than two years since the Phoenix City Council started to look into the adoption of a civilian police oversight board and on Dec. 6, the man tasked with leading that office starts his first day on the job.
Roger Smith was named director of the new Office of Accountability and Transparency (OAT) in November. He's coming from a similar position for the city of Cleveland, where the Office of Professional Standards investigated up to 300 allegations of misconduct against officers annually.
He also spent nine years with the New York City's Civilian Complaint Board.
The Office of Accountability and Transparency was approved in a 5-4 City Council vote over the summer. It will monitor or investigate police officers by reviewing use of force investigations, as well as oversee police training, discipline, and hiring.
Smith comes onboard as the Phoenix Police Department is currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal investigation, announced back in August, is looking into the department's use of force practices, along with other civil rights violations.
It's not clear when a full board will be formed and begin looking into any police practices.
- Justice Department investigating Phoenix Police over use-of-force allegations
- U.S. Department of Justice officials detail investigation into Phoenix Police as debate into probe continues
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