Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Castle County Council approves ordinance establishing a Police Accountability Board

Delaware Public Media

New Castle County Council passes an ordinance establishing a Police Accountability Board.

The board will have 13 members, 11 voting and 2 non-voting members of law enforcement.

Eight voting members will be recommended by outside organizations to the County Executive with the advice and consent of County Council.

Three at-large members will be appointed by the County Executive with County Council’s consent.

Voting members will serve two-year terms and be paid $100 per meeting.

Establishing the board was state mandated, requiring all police departments to establish police accountability boards to advise agencies on policy, training, and other issues. In this case it applies to New Castle County Police.

County Councilman Jea Street sponsored this legislation, and says it’s just a start.

"It's a new beginning and it's something that's been negotiated in my opinion from the General Assembly now to us with the advocates and the administration. There's nothing perfect about it,” said Street. “Some of the ideas that were raised today and some of the suggestions I'm more than happy to come back with amendments to put those things and consider to let council vote up and down."

Issues raised for further discussion include the 20-hour training requirement to be on the board, as well as shared council and administration appointments.

Kailyn Richards is director of policy program coordinator with the Delaware Center for Justice.

"Establishing a police accountability board in New Castle County ensures that civilians and law enforcement can work together effectively. When a community sees that law enforcement has systems in place to enforce police accountability they are more likely to trust the police because the trust has been broken," said Richards.

Richards adds that the board should just be civilian-only.

Council voted 10-0 with Councilmen Dave Carter and Brandon Toole not voting.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.