by Dennis Reeves Cooper…….
The Citizen Review Board (CRB) is a big deal. Now 13 years old, the CRB is an independent city agency with the authority to investigate complaints involving Key West police officers. The reason this is a big deal is that, before 2002, there was no such agency here. Citizen complaints often just disappeared into a black hole inside the Key West Police Department (KWPD). What you may not know about the CRB is that it is unique among City departments, boards and agencies in that it was not created by the City government. It was created by the the people– the voters. Not only was the CRB not created by the government, it was created over the almost-hysterical opposition of then-Mayor Jimmy Weekley, then-City Manager Julio Avael and then-Police Chief Buz Dillon. When a citizen committee was formed to push for the creation of a civilian police oversight board, Weekley, Avael and Dillion responded loudly and often, saying, in essence, “We don’t need no stinkin’ oversight board made up of a bunch of know-nothing civilians!”