The City of Boulder has hired Sherry Daun, who most recently served as director of investigations for Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, to be the city’s next police monitor. The monitor plays a key role in overseeing how the city’s police department handles complaints of officer misconduct.

In July, Daun attended a forum in which candidates for the position fielded questions from the community. When asked how to overcome “fundamental structural constraints” in conducting civilian oversight — such as disputes with the police union — she indicated the city could renegotiate contracts with the police union.

“If we want their due process to change — if we want to give police oversight more access — that has to be done at the bargaining table,” she said. “It’s very challenging, my understanding is at bargaining tables, to reduce rights that have previously been codified.”

Regarding the question of transparency when it comes to investigations into police officer misconduct, she said her views have shifted over the years.

“I previously would have said that I weighed the integrity of the investigation more than the public’s need to know. And that is completely not true anymore,” she said. “I’ve seen in Chicago, since we changed our policies, how much more effective it is to build trust by providing the public with as much information about our investigations as we can.”

Lastly, on the issue of how to hold officers accountable, she said the community could change its ordinance — which is currently being revised — to no longer give the city’s police chief the final say over how officers are disciplined.

“This is still a new, malleable system. That ultimate responsibility for accountability could be held in the hands of someone other than the chief, depending on how the ordinances are rewritten,” she said.

City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde issued a statement this week welcoming Daun to the role. “I am confident Sherry’s wealth of knowledge, respect for the law, and demonstrated commitment to equity will benefit the Boulder community, especially as we continue to understand best practices related to effective oversight,” Rivera-Vandermyde said.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Is Chicago a best practice city in this regard? I wouldn’t have thought that, but also don’t know much.

Leave a comment
Boulder Reporting Lab comments policy
All comments require an editor's review. BRL reserves the right to delete or turn off comments at any time. Please read our comments policy before commenting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *