2009-011: Mayor's Community Relations Commission

City of Canton

Executive Order 2009-011

Mayor's Community Relations Commission

WHEREAS, the existence of the Mayor's Community Relation Commission enhances community confidence, improves the operation of government and promotes public understanding of City of Canton government operations; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor's Community Relations Commission's review of alleged police misconduct helps to ensure the integrity of the City of Canton Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau's investigations; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor's Community Relations Commission's consideration of citizen concern regarding the conduct of City of Canton employees during the performance of duties is important to the day to day operation of the City of Canton; and

WHEREAS, as the Chief Executive Officer of Canton, Ohio, the Mayor is charged with the ultimate responsibility of supervising and directing the day-to-day affairs of City Departments and Agencies as prescribed by the Ohio Revised Code and Codified Ordinances of the City of Canton; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, William J. Healy, II, Mayor of the City of Canton, under the authority conferred by the State of Ohio hereby order that the Mayor's Community Relations Commission shall exist and continue to operate as follows:


The Commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Mayor. The members shall meet the following qualifications:

A. Residency

A member shall either be a resident of the City of Canton, or work or own a business in the City of Canton which obligates the individual to pay City income taxes.

B. Background Check

Members shall undergo a background review including a criminal record check. Members shall not ever have had any criminal felony conviction. Members shall not have had any misdemeanor convictions for an offense against a police officer such as resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, obstructing official business or a conviction for an offense involving dishonesty.

C. Application Process

Interested persons shall send letters of interest and résumés to the Mayor's Community Relations Commission, City Hall, 8th Floor, Canton, OH 44702. From these applicants, the Mayor will select up to 20 who will be interviewed by a screening committee designated by the Mayor. The screening committee shall make recommendations to the Mayor regarding appointment to the Commission.

D. Compensation

Members shall serve without compensation.

E. Temporary Appointments

In addition to the seven permanent Commission members, the Mayor may temporarily appoint individuals from time to time who may serve as consultants or render advice on an ad hoc basis concerning specific issues that come before the Commission.


(a) Members shall be appointed for terms of two years. Of the seven members first appointed, three members shall be appointed for a term of one year. The four remaining members shall be appointed for terms of two years. Thereafter, terms of office are for two years, each term ending on the same day of the same month as the term it succeeds. Members may be reappointed for a second term.

(b) In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, a new member shall be appointed within 30 days by the Mayor. The new member shall serve the balance of the unexpired term.


Each member shall attend and complete a training program at the Citizens Police Academy sponsored by the Canton Police Department either before appointment or concurrent with appointment. Orientation to the following policies and practices of the Canton Police Department will also be provided:

(a) Police Department's General Orders and Rules and Regulations;
(b) Collective Bargaining Agreements;
(c) Police selection standards for recruits and training program;
(d) Disciplinary practices, policy and appeals process; and
(e) Citizen's Complaint Procedure.

Orientation will also be provided concerning the operations of City government and the services provided by the various departments of the City.


The Commission shall organize by electing a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and a Secretary, who shall serve for a period of one year. The Chairperson is authorized to do the following:

(a) Maintain order and appropriate decorum;
(b) Preside over all meetings and have the right to vote on all issues;
(c) Assure that all meetings are conducted in compliance with all
applicable City, State and Federal laws; and
(d) Select any member to preside in his/her absence or in the event of
a personal conflict, if the Vice-Chairperson is unable to preside.

A. Quorum

A quorum of the full Commission shall consist of four members and no official meeting shall be held unless a quorum is present. The affirmative vote of the majority of the members present at any meeting, when those present constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting, shall be necessary to pass any resolution or make any decision or recommendation.

B. Departmental Attendance

Meetings concerning the Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau shall be attended by the Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police or their designees, and an officer of the Internal Affairs Unit. Meetings concerning any other department under the Mayor's authority shall be attended by the appropriate appointing authority and/or department head, or their designee. The Law Director or an Assistant Law Director may attend any meeting.

C. Meeting Frequency

The Commission shall meet once each calendar quarter at a regularly scheduled time and place to carry on the Commission's business with more frequent meetings, if necessary, to be scheduled at the request of the Chairperson. The Secretary of the Commission shall be responsible for the sending of all meeting notices to Commission members, and to the media as required by law.

D. Record-keeping

The Commission shall tape record or keep minutes of all meetings held and all
business transacted. The Secretary of the Commission shall be responsible for the performance of these duties.

E. Open Meetings

Any requirements of Ohio's Sunshine Law and Public Records Act that applies to the Commission shall be followed.


A. Internal Affairs Bureau Investigations

  1. The Commission shall meet and review the completed Internal Affairs cases from the preceding quarter which have been presented by an Internal Affairs Bureau Officer to the Commission. The review of any specific Internal Affairs case shall not take place until the investigation of the complaint is complete, provided that the Commission shall not review any if they contain information that is confidential or their release is prohibited by State or Federal law. In cases where charges are filed against a City of Canton police officer, the Commission's review shall not be conducted until the disciplinary process is completed including the Director of Public Safety's hearing. If criminal charges are pending against the citizen who filed the complaint or any person who is directly involved in the allegations of the complaint, the Commission shall not review the file until the prosecution of the case has been complete including trial.
  2. The Commission shall assess whether the investigations conducted by Internal Affairs are thorough, accurate, credible and impartial. The Commission may discuss the investigation with the Internal Affairs Officer at the meeting. If the Commission is satisfied with the investigation or disposition of the case, such conclusion shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting.

  3. The Commission shall educate the public concerning the Internal Affairs and disciplinary process in order to promote public understanding of the system.

  4. The Commission shall study and review those functions of the Internal Affairs process consistent with the purpose and intent for which it was created; provided, however, that this Commission shall have no authority to conduct its own investigations, call or subpoena witnesses or impose disciplinary action against any police officers.

B. Other Municipal Operations

The Commission shall include on the meeting agenda any matters coming to its attention involving City employees under the Mayor's authority about which citizens have voiced concern and which have not been otherwise satisfactorily addressed by the City department in charge of such operation.

C. Responsibilities: The Commission Shall

  1. Make written recommendations to the Mayor to improve the relationships between the public and municipal employees.
  2. Treat all information received in the course of its duties as confidential and shall not disclose such information unless permitted or authorized by law.
  3. Report to the Mayor as he may from time to time request and submit an annual report of its operations to the Mayor which report shall include any recommendations for improving the functions of the Commission, the Internal Affairs process or other operations of government.
  4. Include on the meeting agenda a structured opportunity for members of the public to direct questions to the Commission.
  5. Not act on any matter in which he/she has a conflict of interest.


The Commission shall adopt rules and regulations of procedure which it may, from time to time, change with the approval of the Mayor and by a two-thirds vote of approval. However, no rule or regulation shall be in conflict with any statute, ordinance, collective bargaining agreement or law. Such rules and regulations shall fix the time and place of regular meetings and shall provide for special meetings, for appearances by private citizens before the Commission and for such other matters that are pertinent to the operation of the Commission.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and caused the seal of the City of Canton to be affixed this 5th day of October, 2009.