[image-1] A 15-person committee will hear presentations from three firms interested in conducting a racial bias study of the Charleston Police Department Monday afternoon.
The firms were narrowed down from a list of seven that submitted application to the city’s Procurement Division for a chance at the controversial contract.
Virginia-based CNA, California-based OIR Group, and North Carolina-based RTI International will present in front of the committee Mon. Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. at the Gaillard Center’s Public Meeting Room.
[content-1] Committee members will then move to closed-door executive session to discuss the presentations before opening the meeting back up to rank the companies based on a scoring sheet that is not yet public. If committee members come to an agreement, a final choice will be sent to City Council for final approval.
The process of how to conduct an independent study of the city’s policing tactics and whether they disproportionately impact minority residents has been fraught with tension. At city council meetings and annual gatherings over the past two years, activists and members of Charleston area’s black community decried the contractor previously in charge of auditing the department as inexperienced and unqualified for the job.
[content-5] Charleston City Council voted to begin the search for a new company focusing exclusively on racial bias in policing in November. The Charleston Area Justice Ministry, an interfaith social justice advocacy group, wrote the majority of the scope of work that the Police Audit Committee used to field interested firms.
The makeup of the city’s Police Audit Committee is as follows:
- CPD Capt. Dale Middleton
- CPD Sgt. Myron Smith
- Director of Process and Service Improvement Susan Poteat
- CPD Deputy Chief Naomi Broughton
- Senior Advisor to the Mayor Rick Jerue
- Gary Cooper, Procurement Director
- City Council member James Lewis
- City Council member and Public Safety Committee Chairman Peter Shahid
- City Council member William Dudley Gregorie
- City Council member Keith Waring
- Deputy Corporation CounselSusan Herdina
- Special Assistant to the Mayor Mike Whack
- Director of Traffic & Transportation Keith Benjamin
- City Council member Gary White
- CPD Lt. Jason Bruder