Police Advisory and Review Board

Police Advisory and Review Board (PARB) Statement

The Police Advisory and Review Board (PARB) was established to advise the Mayor, the City Council and the Police Department regarding police matters, to assist with the adoption and revision of rules and regulations related to the Police Department, and to provide an impartial and fair review of complaints brought by citizens regarding the Police Department. We are a body of citizens given the essential task of being a liaison providing recommendations regarding the needs of the Pittsfield community.

            In its role as a community liaison, the Board wants to inform and ensure the public about the detailed work that goes into the investigative process and review of complaint cases. Forms for registering a citizen complaint can be found online at www.pittsfieldpd.org, in the Pittsfield Police Department lobby, at the Community Outreach Office on Columbus Avenue, and at the Mayor’s Office, or here in English or Spanish. Please note that complaints cannot be made via telephone, mail or email. Additionally, this Board will receive complaints from individuals who choose not to file directly with the Police Department.  The Board may be reached at pittsfieldparb@cityofpittsfield.org 

            Regarding the filing of a complaint, maybe a few questions should be asked, such as: What happens after a complaint is submitted by a citizen? How is it documented by the Police Department? And finally, how is it reviewed by any entity to ensure that there are no biases? Bottom line, how is the complaint handled from submission to resolution?

            This is where the PARB will highlight what they have found in reviewing documented Pittsfield Police complaint cases thus far. Once a complaint is filed, the investigative body works to provide a detailed examination to ensure that the citizen’s complaint is documented accurately, and in such a manner that is valid and addresses the overarching concern of the citizen.  This is significant because the public should be safeguarded against any potential cover-ups, and any undue mistreatment of citizens. The Police Department is required to complete the investigation within 60 days, barring some exceptions. It should be noted, however, that they diligently work towards completing the investigation within ten days, although some cases may take longer.  

            The Police Advisory Board has the responsibility to review the cases.  As to date, these case reviews have been found to contain a significant amount of work placed into them by the Pittsfield Police Department’s investigative body. Why is this important to mention? It is significant because the more details and clarification placed into an investigative report, the more transparent a situation becomes via observations of an outside reviewer, that being, the Police Advisory and Review Board (PARB). We discuss perspectives as to what appears sound, fair and just towards the citizen via the report. Transparency and clarity are the foremost objectives.  This Review Board wants to vouch that complaints are taken very seriously by the Pittsfield Police Department. Rest assured, the Board will ask the appropriate questions and make the necessary recommendations as a liaison community advisory team.

Sincerely, the members of the Police Advisory and Review Board