Community Control of the Police
What is JPAC?
The Jacksonville Comunity Action Committee is demanding the enactment of a Jacksonville Police Accountability Council (JPAC) to ensure true, long-term police accountability.
The Structure of a JPAC
A JPAC would differ from already existing civilian review boards in that it would consist of democratically elected civilians from each police district with no relationship to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (no retired law enforcement, no family members of law enforcement) as opposed to the current model, where the mayor appoints members, often times with extensive law enforcement backgrounds.
Oversight Power of a JPAC
These elected community members would then also have the power to:
- Subpoena Evidence
- Conduct External investigations
- Have access to evidence before and during hearings, not simply review after the police already conduct their investigations, such as is the current model in most cities.
- Participate in balancing the city budget between community needs and the police
- Participate in misconduct and criminal investigation trials
- Assist in specialized trainings and hire/fire practices
- Bridge the communication gap between the community and law enforcement.
The History and National Push for Community Control of the Police
The call for Community Control of the Police in the form of Civilian Police Accountability Councils (CPAC) came as a response to the political targeting and arrest of Angela Davis in 1970. In 1973, The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression was formed to continue the fight against unjust treatment of individuals based on race and/or political beliefs.
This demand briefly derailed when the Black Panthers were dismantled by the CIA, but resurfaced in response to the Ferguson Rebellion of 2014. In 2019, The Jacksonville Community Action Committee joined organizations from across the nation in Chicago, IL to re-found the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, led by Angela Davis, Frank Chapman, and several other renowned activists. The call for Community Control of the Police through Civilian Police Accountability Councils was reinforced, and the national network continues to grow.