Spokane County Sheriff's Office Citizen Advisory & Review Board (CAB) Bylaws

Article I:  NAME


The name of this entity shall be known as the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Advisory

& Review Board (CAB).




The present board was formed under the authority of the Spokane County Sheriff in the spring of

2000 and remains active today.




The mission of the CAB is to create a forum of citizens and leaders from within Spokane County citizenry to collaboratively address the immediate and future needs of the Spokane County Sheriff by researching, planning, reviewing assigned and selected cases and disciplinary actions, providing advice on department policies, and recommending solutions that will integrate and prioritize the best-case practices.


Article IV:  PURPOSE


Recognizing a close relationship between the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the community is an essential part of a responsive and responsible Spokane County government. The benefits of such a relationship are immeasurable not only for the Sheriff’s Office, but also the citizens and business community.  The CAB will be a means of enhancing police/community relations, communications, transparency, and community confidence.




The SCSO and CAB adopt the following code of ethics.


Civilian oversight practitioners have a unique role as public servants overseeing law enforcement agencies. The community, government, and law enforcement have entrusted them to conduct

their work in a professional, fair and impartial manner. They earn this trust through a firm commitment to the public good, the mission of their agency, and to the ethical and professional standards described herein.


The standards in the Code are intended to be of general application. It is recognized, however, that the practice of civilian oversight varies among jurisdictions and agencies, and additional standards may be necessary. The spirit of these ethical and professional standards should guide the civilian oversight practitioner in adapting to individual circumstances, and in promoting

public trust, integrity and transparency.

Personal Integrity


Demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, commitment, truthfulness, and fortitude to inspire trust among your stakeholders, and to set an example for others. Avoid conflicts of interest. Conduct yourself in a fair and impartial manner and recuse yourself or personnel within your agency when significant conflict of interest arises. Do not accept gifts, gratuities or favors that could compromise your impartiality and independence.


Independent and Thorough Oversight


Conduct investigations, audits, evaluations and reviews with diligence, an open and questioning mind, integrity, objectivity and fairness, in a timely manner. Rigorously test the accuracy and reliability of information from all sources. Present the facts and findings without regard to personal beliefs or concern for personal, professional or political consequences.


Transparency and Confidentiality


Conduct oversight activities openly and transparently providing regular reports and analysis of your activities, and explanations of your procedures and practices to as wide an audience as possible. Maintain the confidentiality of information that cannot be disclosed and protect the security of confidential records.


Respectful and Unbiased Treatment


Treat all individuals with dignity and respect, and without preference or discrimination including, but not limited to: age, ethnicity, citizenship, color, culture, race, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, housing status, marriage, mental health, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or political beliefs, and all other protected classes.


Outreach and Relationships with Stakeholders


Disseminate information and conduct outreach activity in the communities that you serve. Pursue open, candid, and non-defensive dialog with your stakeholders. Educate and learn from the community.


Agency Self-examination and Commitment to Policy Review


Seek continuous improvement in the effectiveness of your oversight agency, the law enforcement agency it works with, and their relations with the communities they serve. Gauge your effectiveness through evaluation and analysis of your work product. Emphasize policy review aimed at substantive organizational reforms that advance law enforcement accountability and performance.

Professional Excellence


Seek professional development to ensure competence. Acquire the necessary knowledge and understanding of the policies, procedures, and practices of the law enforcement agency you oversee. Keep informed of current legal, professional and social issues that affect the community, the law enforcement agency, and your oversight agency.


Primary Obligation to the Community


At all times, place your obligation to the community, duty to uphold the law and to the goals and objectives of your agency above your personal self-interest.





The CAB will:


A.        Act in an advisory and review capacity to the Sheriff;


B.        Provide input and feedback to the Sheriff on issues and concerns involving interaction between the Sheriff’s Office and citizens in the community;


C.        Review specific assigned or selected cases, use of force inquiries, disciplinary actions, triage appropriate citizen complaints, and provide feedback as to outcomes and findings;


D.        Review departmental policies and procedures and the community-based philosophy of operation;


E.        Assist in educating the community to provide transparency and confidence between the department and citizenry of Spokane County;


F.        Assist in developing programs and projects to foster communication with various disproportionately affected groups;


G.        Communicate information about the Sheriff’s Office and its goals to the citizens that are served, along with media inquiries as appropriate;


H.        Recommend procedures, programs, or legislation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Sheriff’s Office and to enhance cooperation among citizens of the community and the Sheriff’s Office; and


I.         Strengthen bonds between the Sheriff’s Office and the community, thereby ensuring equal protection and service for all citizens.




A.        Board membership shall be a diverse and broad-based representation of the community- at-large.  Membership shall be comprised of not less than 15 or more than 19 appointed individuals.


B.        The CAB shall be comprised of citizens who are concerned about police and community relations, and who are sensitive to community needs and perceptions.


C.        CAB members must be residents of Spokane County.


D.        Applicants for membership may apply directly to the board. Applications can be found online at the CAB website or by writing to the CAB and having an application mailed to them.  Applicants will be appointed by a majority vote of the CAB. Prospective applicants will be required to undergo a criminal background check.  All citizens are eligible to apply, however will be judged on a case-by-case basis.


E.        CAB members must demonstrate an active willingness to commit themselves to community service as a CAB member.  Members may be removed by a simple majority vote of the board for cause.


F.        If membership is at capacity, a waiting list for new members will be maintained.

Applicants will be eligible for membership after administrative processing and as vacancies occur. Selection will be governed by date of application.


G.        Vacancies occurring by termination, resignation, or expiration shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.


H.        The CAB shall elect a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary in the first meeting of the year to serve one-year terms. Fiscal years will run from September 1 thru August 31 of each year.


I.         Proxies will not be allowed on the CAB.


J.         All new CAB members will be required to attend and successfully complete the Spokane County Sheriff Citizen’s Academy along with a Sheriff “Ride-along.” These must be accomplished within one year of appointment to the Board or as class schedules permit.


K.        CAB members shall serve without compensation or remuneration.


L.        Members who fail to attend three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings during a one year period may be considered to have vacated their positions and may be replaced at the CAB’s discretion.  Members are expected to attend meetings regularly, however there might be an urgent need or special reason for not attending and, therefore, notification of absence shall be given to the Chairman and an excused absence given. A majority vote of the board will be required to be removed for non-attendance.




A.        All meetings shall be held in a public forum and announced in advance. Closed meetings may be conducted as determined by the CAB Chair or their designee. A closed meeting is one in which only CAB members or their designees can attend.  Advanced notification will be advertised and posted on the Spokane County Sheriff Website.  Regularly scheduled meetings of the CAB will be conducted on the 2nd Monday of each month at 5:30 pm unless posted otherwise. Meetings will be posted at least 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting, along with locations, times, and agendas.


B.        The CAB shall conduct at least one regular meeting per quarter on such day of the month as determined by the CAB.  Special meetings may be held as necessary.


C.        For purposes of conducting CAB business, a quorum shall consist of at least seven members.  Any action taken by present majority, will be considered official.


D.        The CAB shall adopt such rules of procedure, as it deems necessary provided such rules are consistent with local, state and federal law as well as these bylaws. The Chair will be responsible for conducting business with proper decorum.


E.        The CAB shall record or keep minutes of all meetings held and business transacted except when the meeting is in closed session.


F.        All records shall be open for public inspection, except those that may be exempt from public disclosure under applicable State law.




A.        The Officers of the CAB shall be a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.  Their duties shall be as follows:


1.   The Chair shall preside over CAB meetings; develop the monthly meeting agenda in consultation with the Sheriff or his/her designee, and ensure publication is accomplished by the Secretary; appoint subcommittee and subcommittee chairs as deemed appropriate; report the CAB actions and decisions to the Sheriff as appropriate.


2.   The Vice-Chair will preside over the CAB meetings in the absence of the Chair; conduct other duties and business of the Chair in his/her absence; perform other duties as directed by the Chair.


3.   The Secretary shall take the minutes of all CAB meetings; ensure minutes are made  available to all members on or before the next scheduled meeting; ensure notices are sent to all members by providing Sheriff support staff information (dates, times, and locations).




A.         If an occasion arises where a member can no longer fulfill his or her duties, the member should submit a letter of resignation to the appointing authority (CAB).  It will be the responsibility of the appointing authority to appoint a replacement to complete the unexpired term.  A list will be maintained of prospective applicants.  


Article XI: VOTING


A.        All members of the CAB shall have the privilege of voting on issues presented.  In the event of a tie, the Chair will vote to break the tie. Unless provided to the contrary in these bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all parliamentary procedure.




A.        To maintain an open and transparent process the CAB and Sub-committees shall keep public records of all actions as may be required by applicable laws.


B.        The CAB shall maintain a roster of its members.  Member’s names, together with the identification of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and secretary will be maintained and available for inspection as outlined above.




A.        In consultation with the Sheriff, these by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the existing CAB membership. All amendments must be presented in writing at a regular or special meeting with all members receiving a copy of the proposed changes at least ten (10) days prior to the final consideration of same, except where unanimously adopted by members present at a regular meeting.  Any actions in response to the proposed change in the bylaws taken by the CAB will become effective immediately or unless otherwise specified.




A.        These by-laws shall go into full force and effect at the time of their adoption by a majority vote of membership of the CAB.




A.        Unless approved by the Sheriff or his/her designee, no member of the CAB or any entity thereof, will incur any debt or obligation in the name of the CAB.




A.        Declaration:  All members are expected to declare a conflict of interest prior to consideration of any matter causing a potential or actual conflict.


B.         Conflict defined:  An actual conflict of interest exists when an action is reasonably certain to result in a special benefit or detriment to the member, a relative, or a business with which the member or member’s relative is associated.


C.        Action:  The member will declare the actual conflict and announce its nature.  The member must then recuse themselves from further participation in the matter as well as any further communication with CAB members on the matter.  Minutes will be reflected of the potential conflict and the member’s name.


D.        CAB members may participate in political campaigns and/or organizations while not in the performance of their duties with the CAB. CAB members participating in these activities shall abide by the following:


1.   At no time, shall the member use, or appear to use, the members official position or the CAB in those activities;


2.   The activity shall not adversely affect the responsibilities of the CAB members to  remain impartial; and


3.   While engaging in CAB business, CAB members shall not display campaign  literature, badges, stickers, signs or other items of political advertising.




If any provision or provisions of these Bylaws shall be held to be invalid, illegal, unenforceable or in conflict with the law of any jurisdiction, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby.