COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The citizen board tasked with holding Colorado Springs police officers accountable is searching for three new volunteers.
During the first recruitment for volunteers, the Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission (LETAC) received roughly 800 applications. Colorado Springs City Council welcomed the inaugural 11 members in September of 2020. Three volunteers left recently for personal reasons, creating the current vacancy.
The board is advisory in nature and makes recommendations to Colorado Springs City Council about the Colorado Springs Police Department. Their only recommendation made so far involved adding Alternate Response Teams to respond to 911 calls that may not require a response from an armed officer.
"That will consist of a social worker and an EMT, they will be able to call for armed response backup if they need it," LETAC's Vice-Chair Steve Kern said. "In many cases, 911 calls are not about somebody breaking the law or somebody who is violent. They're about somebody who's got a mental health issue."
City Council adopted their recommendation after the board presented it last summer.
Since then, LETAC has mainly worked on CSPD's community outreach tactics.
"We're looking at both what CSPD says it's doing and is in fact doing, and we're comparing that with what research and other reports suggest is happening in other areas," Kern said.
The next big task for LETAC though will likely begin around March. Kern said CSPD hired an outside consultant to look into the department's use of force tactics. After roughly a year of review, it looks like the report will be released in March.
"I imagine LETAC will probably for a couple of months be looking very, very carefully at those conclusions, and seeing whether we can endorse some of those recommendations, expand some of those recommendations, we'll see what that report says," Kern said.
Before the board starts considering that report, Kern said they're looking to fill three volunteer seats. They have a focus on filling those seats with citizens who will present diverse perspectives.
"I would certainly encourage especially younger people, especially people of color, especially people that come from communities that believe they are impacted by policing, that those people come forward," Kern said.
Anyone interested in applying should click here for more information.