City Council Citizen Review Board to the Police

Should be on Agenda for 2/25/21... please send a comment before then and if possible speak in person this week or on the 25th.  Background information has a lot of talking points. Revising Citizen Review Board   (2015 established to scrutinize the police activity- due to the number of supposed minority arrests for bike stealing)

Several ways to have your voice heard at Tampa City Council:

  1. Call City Hall: (813) 274-8877
  2. Send written comments by internet or web at 
  3. Send written comments by email to or use this link for official public record emails 
  4. Speak remotely during public comment with the use of CMT: Complete the form at state on the form under “Request Type” 
    1. Provide a written comment to be submitted into the official record
    2. Request to make a comment during the live meeting using GoToWebinar you wish to speak live during the public comment period. You will then be contacted with additional instructions on how to participate live through the use of CMT. 
  5. Participate by using CMT available at Old City Hall: Those individuals, who do not have access to a communications media device, have the option of participating via communications media technology, which will be made available to the public by the City of Tampa, during the hybrid live/virtual meeting, at: Old City Hall 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602 (2nd Floor)

11/19/20  Link to speakers at the City Council Meeting

Background information: Citizen Review Board was established to review police disciplinary actions against officers.  There are already 3 groups that are involved in reviewing police actions yet the City Council established this board in 2015 and now plans to extend the boards power. 

Article Mayor Castor and opposition opinions too:

It has been brought to my attention that tomorrow’s city council meeting is proposing revamping the police Citizens Review Board established in 2015 to include allowing the changes:  

  1. City council to appoint all the community members (very liberal council),
    1. Community members with no law enforcement experience and whose only expertise may be from watching TV shows like Bad Boys, the Following or NYPD BLUE.
    2. Already if an officer has a complaint filed whether legitimate or not 3 agencies must review. (If found to be falsified the plaintiff receives no reprimanding.)
    3.  Currently- Mayor appoints 5, city council appoints 5 and NAACP appoints 1
  2. subpoena power,
    1. citizens having subpoena power
    2. Currently violates existing law and would undermine the legal system
    3. Miami has succumb to this form of oversight committee … we do not want to be the next Miami the homicide rate is up 29% and aggrieved burglary up 20%
  3. and independent investigator and attorneys
    1. Where is the money going to come from for these additional and unnecessary people? Which budget is going to suffer?  Are we going to be taxed?
    2. Currently board cannot investigate open cases… this is only common sense.

Tampa City Councilman, John Dingfelder has been working with the ACLU on a proposed massive change to our current “Citizens Review Board”, which is up for a final workshop at next Thursday’s (2/25) City Council meeting. It is expected the ACLU will push hard to get what they want at this meeting. 


What exactly do they want the “Citizens Review Board” to do?  Summary per J Wiggins: 

In a nutshell, the ACLU is advocating for their own “Citizens Review Board” for the purpose of ‘policing’ our policemen & policewomen, independently of the police department (this board is already in place and works in conjunction with the Tampa police department). This is what they are proposing they will do on this board:

  1. Have subpoena powers. A subpoena is a written order to compel an individual to give testimony on a particular subject, often before a court, but sometimes in other proceeding. Failure to comply with such an order to appear may be punishable as contempt.
  2. Possess their own Independent Investigative powers over our policemen & policewomen.
  3. Hire & maintain their own locally tax-payer funded legal & administrative staff to fight their handpicked battles against against policemen & policewomen. 

The ACLU was successful in doing this in the City of Miami and it cost the taxpayers $1.2 million dollars last year. 

Besides the many obvious reasons this is so wrong, it is also simply not needed. There is already a well run “discipline” board in place, handled by the Chief of police & the CJSTC (Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission). The CJSTC is a board that truly will investigate complaints & pull “bad cops” certification, so they cannot be a member of the police in Florida ever again. They do this in conjunction with the Chief of Police and do NOT need any additional oversight. The State Attorney and any FDLE also get sent any criminal case information on a police officer. There are multiple checks & balances in place as it is. 

This means what the ACLU is advocating for is simply not necessary in any capacity for the intent of reprimanding police officers. They are essentially inserting themselves where they do not belong. Yet, they are supported in their overarching efforts by Councilman John Dingfelder. Councilman Dingfelder also has decided that if this cannot pass through council, he would like to change the charter to allow it, meaning he wants the citizens of Tampa to vote on it, which he believes will be successful given the anti-police climate of 2020. 

As stated previously: there is already a Citizen’s Review Board in place, This current CRB was formed to enhance trust between the Tampa Police Department and the community it serves by creating an unbiased panel of citizens to review completed disciplinary cases and issues of importance or interest to the community and the Police Department. 


John Dingfelder Bio:

Current Citizen’s Review Board:

Pro-Citizens Review Board Group (Our Opposition):

Sept 2020 Article:


Summer of 2020 to Tampa City Council.

My talking points:

Hello, it is good to see everyone again.  I’m usually here speaking about drug abuse prevention but today I am here to speak on a different type of prevention that is preventing the demoralization of our police force in Tampa.

With respect to the proposed revision of the Citizens Review Board

#1- Allowing the city council to be the sole determining factor of who sits on the board will lead to extreme biased outcomes and will unfairly misrepresent our community.  If allowed this will put the integrity of the board in jeopardy by potentially relying on people who get most of their information about police procedures from watching Bad Boys, Law and Order, or Miami Vice.  This is equivalent to permitting a student to be principal of a school.  They don’t have the education, knowledge or experience to do the job. In addition, excluding experienced officers who have a deep understanding of this issues brought before the board is truly irrational.

#2 Giving citizens to have subpoena rights undermines the legal system and is not essential to justice especially given the fact that complaints against officers are already brought before several boards. Sadly, there is no repercussion for false allegations which should be addressed in the future.

#3 Allowing an independent and unnecessary investigator and attorneys requires significant additional funding.  Where is the money going to come from? Which budget is going to suffer?  Are we going to be taxed?

If this board is a sham as some advocate groups have stated,  then maybe we should do away with it but certainly not give it greater powers.

Our city cannot afford to have our dedicated men and women on the police force ‘retire’ early or quit because of lack of support from some elected officials.  This is comprising the police force.

‘Advocate’ groups that assert they care about the safety in our community. Clearly, they don’t care about me or my family’s safety otherwise they would not be advocating for these changes. These groups are destabilizing our police force by undermining the training, experience, and diligence of these committed officers.

In this time of uncertainty we have been told we are safe only if we stay at home and wear a mask; however, there is one thing I am very certain of, that I can trust the police, my life, my family’s lives and every family in Tampa depends on this trust every day.  Tampa will continue to be a safe, vibrant city only if the police are allowed to do their job.  Infusing a sense of apprehension and doubt in our police force goes against everything they have been trained to do which is to protect every person in Tampa. 

I support Mayor Castor’s recommended  and you should too.

Dear Tampa City Council Member,

In reference to reforming the Citizen Review Board on the agenda 11/18.  I do not want Tampa to be the next Miami.  The homicide rate is up 29% and aggravated burglary has increased 20% this year.  In my opinion, the proposed plan which is similar to Miami's is undermining the hard work of the police department.

Police need to feel confident in their instructional training, experience, and capabilities to maintain a safe and healthy environment. Our police are one of the most valuable yet underappreciated resources in our community.  We must support them not undermine their efforts to keep our community safe.

I strongly support Mayor Castor’s recommendation. Her career and understanding of the issues make her expertise indisputable. 


FUTURE Talking Points   DEFUNDING 

Cities that have decreased funding have seen:

  • An increase in crime specifically homicides and aggravated assaults.
  • Commercial burglary i.e. looting and property damage has spike over 200% since May
  • Minneapolis has realized their mistake and is increasing funding
  • Officers are retiring early or quitting the force in many of these cities without enough fellow police to 'have their backs.'

Choose a point or make one even better: 

  • Don't make the same mistake these cities have made. 
  • Our police deserve a raise not a cut in funding.
  • Keep Tampa Safe- Fund our Police. 
  • Everyday they walk out the door they face the unexpected and unknown and all to keep our city safe. 
  • A vote to decrease any police funding is a vote to make Tampa unsafe not just for locals but for tourist too.
  • With the Super Bowl in a few months we want Tampa to be a welcoming atmosphere.  People shouldn't fear walking downtown or in neighborhoods which is what decreasing funds would do. 
Date Posted: 
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 3:00pm
Regional Category: 
Time Frame: 
Thursday, February 25, 2021