6 News investigates how complaints about the Knoxville Police De

6 News investigates how complaints about the Knoxville Police Dept. are reviewed

Posted:
"It was founded because there were four men who either died while being pursued by KPD officers or while in custody," said executive director Avice Reid. "It was founded because there were four men who either died while being pursued by KPD officers or while in custody," said executive director Avice Reid.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Police officers are given the task of protecting the public by patrolling the streets and investigating crimes, but who watches the police?

It's a question brought up as three Knoxville police officers are under investigation by KPD's internal affairs division after a citizen claimed that they beat a suspect who was handcuffed.

The Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) will review the internal affairs investigation later.

PARC cannot talk specifically about the case, but we are learning more about how the group provides independent oversight into complaints about the Knoxville Police Department.

The group also shared with 6 News the most frequent complaints they receive.

For the last five years, Avice Reid has been the executive director of Knoxville's Police Advisory and Review Committee.

PARC was founded in 1998 after citizens raised concerns about the police department.

"It was founded because there were four men who either died while being pursued by KPD officers or while in custody," said Reid.

PARC is designed to be an independent agency with authority to investigate and review complaints against the Knoxville Police Department. It's comprised of a paid executive director and administrative assistant and seven citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor.

When the office was formed, PARC received 200 complaints. Last year, PARC received 157 complaints.

"Initially the type of complaints we had were excessive force. We had eight out of 157 of those complaints last year, however, the majority of the complaints we received were rudeness," said Reid.

To address rudeness, she has different community groups speak during officer training about how officers' actions are perceived.

Reid says PARC is also responsible for getting cameras in patrol cars.

"Periodically I would go over to KPD and say ‘Okay, where are we with installing these cameras? How many have we got and where is the list?'" said Reid.

PARC investigates individuals' allegations of police misconduct by reviewing video and conducting interviews. PARC also reviews KPD internal affairs investigations.

If an issue is discovered, which has happened in the past, PARC tells both the mayor and police chief. The group cannot make discipline decisions, only recommendations for appropriate action.

"That's been something that's actually happened in the past and we sat down and reviewed with them and got them to say ‘You know, this is something that we probably need to re-look at,'" said Reid.

6 News spoke with Knoxville Police Captain Gordon Catlett for the department's perspective on PARC.

He says PARC has been an asset to the police department by serving as a liaison with the community. Catlett says the group is a positive addition to city government.

The goal of PARC is to strengthen the relationship between citizens and KPD. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer PARC committee member, reviewing the allegations, or if you would like to report a concern about KPD call PARC at 865-215-3869.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.