Community Police Oversight Board
The Community Police Oversight Board has worked with the La Mesa Police Department to develop a new complaint process, handbook and easy to use complaint form to update our complaint process. The purpose of these documents and form is to promote accountability and transparency. The public should feel free to submit a form if they feel a complaint is warranted. Be sure to click “submit” at the bottom of the form when completed. The complaint will be addressed through the La Mesa Police Department, Community Police Oversight Board, and the Independent Police Auditor.
- The CPOB meets the third Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m.
- 2021 Community Police Oversight Board Meeting Videos
- 2022 Community Police Oversight Board Meeting Videos
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to meetings and minutes are available following approval.
Agendas and Minutes
|Caitlin Tiffany||La Mesa Spring Valley School District||December 31, 2024|
|Janet Castanos||Helix Charter High School||December 31, 2024|
|Manuel Gomez||Police Beat 1||December 31, 2023|
|Leroy Johnson||Police Beat 2||December 31, 2023|
|Luke Martin||Police Beat 3||December 31, 2023|
|Daniel Walkup||Police Beat 4||December 31, 2023|
|John Fonseca||La Mesa Business Community||December 31, 2024|
|Rev. Christian DeMent||La Mesa Faith Based Community||December 31, 2024|
|Lauren Cazares||Young Adult||December 31, 2024|
|Michaela Blackmon||Advocate for People Experiencing Homelessness||December 31, 2023|
|Susan Wayne||La Mesa Older Adult||December 31, 2024|
- The purpose of the CPOB is to advise the Chief of Police, Mayor, City Council, and City Manager on the administration of the La Mesa Police Department and on matters of public safety within the City.
- The CPOB shall function as a means of community participation and oversight by directing and reviewing audits, and by reviewing and recommending policies, practices and programs designed to bring about community policing that is sensitive, effective, and responsive to the needs of the City and its residents.
- The CPOB shall promote and encourage open communication and cooperation between the La Mesa Police Department and residents of the City, recognizing that policing the City of La Mesa is a shared responsibility. The CPOB shall also develop and make recommendations directed toward informing the community of its rights and responsibilities when coming into contact with police officers.
- Members will be subject to the City of La Mesa’s Conflict of Interest Code
The CPOB shall consist of eleven members from the following categories (all members must live within the City limits of La Mesa):
- A citizen from each of the four police beats
- A citizen from each of the 4 communities: faith based, business, young adult (18 to 30 years of age), older adult (62+ years of age)
- Representatives from Helix Charter High School and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District
- Advocate for people experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, mental health or other social issues
- Independently receive, register, and deliver to the Chief of Police, in compliance with state and federal law, all complaints against officers of the La Mesa Police Department regarding allegations of misconduct.
- Automatically initiate and review audits prepared by the Independent Police Auditor of all investigations and dispositions of incidents of use of force involving the following: accidental discharge of weapons, officer-involved shootings, officer-involved deaths, or officer-involved interactions resulting in serious bodily injury, including those that occurred before the formation of the CPOB.
- Have the power at its discretion to initiate and review audits prepared by the Independent Police Auditor of the Internal Affairs investigations and dispositions of any complaints of misconduct by the La Mesa Police Department or its officers.
- Make recommendations, in coordination with the Independent Police Auditor, to the Chief of Police regarding further investigation, processes, and dispositions.
- From time to time, as deemed necessary by the CPOB if the Independent Police Auditor and the CPOB are denied access to any files or witnesses, request in writing that the City Council issue subpoenas pursuant to its inherent subpoena power under State law to compel production of the requested files or witnesses to the Independent Police Auditor and CPOB.
- Develop a program for the mediation of complaints, in coordination with the Chief of Police and with the assistance of resources such as National Conflict Resolution Center or other similarly qualified experts.
- Regularly review and make recommendations, relying on the expertise and assistance of the Independent Police Auditor as needed, as to La Mesa Police Department’s:
- Policies, procedures, practices, and training as to regular operations;
- Policies, procedures, and practices as to hiring and promotions;
- Policies, procedures, practices, and training as to internal investigations of misconduct;
- Initial and in-service trainings in de-escalation techniques, human relations instruction, and implicit bias training;
- Policies, procedures, practices, and training as to community-oriented policing; and
- Any and all other areas of policing or La Mesa Police Department policies, procedures, practices, and training that the CPOB finds appropriate for review.
- Study, develop, and recommend alternative crime-prevention policies and strategies to the Chief of Police, Mayor, City Council, and City Manager; assess and make recommendations regarding the role in public safety of social services, including but not limited to those related to mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, homelessness, juvenile justice, and education.
- Develop and recommend, in conjunction with the Chief of Police, Mayor, City Council, and City Manager, education programs regarding policing in La Mesa and community outreach events such as townhall meetings, forums to communicate information about neighborhood watch programs, or events designed to encourage safety and emergency preparedness.
- Request and review data from the La Mesa Police Department as needed to effectuate its powers and duties. Such data may include, but is not limited to data regarding police use of force; demographics of individuals stopped, searched, or arrested; demographics of La Mesa Police Department officers and staff; officer training and qualifications; criminal proceedings; and civil lawsuits and administrative claims.
- Consult with City staff and the City Council in drafting the Request for Proposal for the Independent Police Auditor, evaluate the proposals, and recommend candidate(s) to the City Council for appointment. Once every two years, the CPOB shall evaluate the performance of the Independent Police Auditor and provide a written evaluation to the City Manager, Mayor, and City Council.
- The CPOB shall draft and issue public reports regarding the issues described in 2.30.100, subdivisions (g)(1) – (g)(5) and (h) annually. An annual report may be in the form of an update from a previous year’s report. The CPOB may issue additional public reports as it deems appropriate.
- The CPOB shall, in conjunction with the Independent Police Auditor, provide semi-annual public reports to City Council and City Manager on the number and types of complaints reviewed and the CPOB’s responses, investigative findings, analysis of police data, police progress on CPOB recommendations and other updates relevant to the mission of the CPOB.
- The CPOB shall create an internship program for La Mesa residents currently enrolled in high school or college and between the ages 16 and 22, inclusive, through which students may serve as temporary, non-voting CPOB members.
The City of La Mesa launched the Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (“HOME”) Program to better connect those experiencing homelessness with existing County services. To learn more about the City's efforts to address homelessness, please visit the HOME page.
The CPOB is an Organizational Member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (“NACOLE”). NACOLE represents civilian oversight practitioners, volunteers, and policy makers with a mission to advance and support civilian oversight throughout the United States as an important part of increased government accountability and transparency. The CPOB supports these efforts locally through its membership to further advance its mission to advise the City on the administration of the La Mesa Police Department and on all matters of public safety within the City.