Citizens Advisory Committee Operational Guidelines
The overall objectives of police-community relations are to identify, evaluate, and respond to the needs of both the community and the Miami-Dade Police Department, in order to establish and maintain effective avenues of communication and a positive relationship with the citizens of Miami-Dade County. Citizen participation and interaction with the police are fundamental to achieving law enforcement.
The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) established in each of the Miami-Dade Police Department District Stations will serve in an advisory capacity to the Director and District Commanders regarding issues relevant to police-community relations.
- Foster a greater understanding between the personnel of the Miami-Dade Police Department and the community it serves.
- Meet on a regularly scheduled basis with the District Commander or when meetings are deemed necessary either by the District Commander or the Committee Chairperson.
- Provide the District Commander with timely feedback regarding community concerns. In accomplishing this task, the CAC should invite participation from local business, civic, youth, and homeowner groups.
- Assist the District Commander identifying those community problems that require some type of immediate government intervention. This intervention may involve a federal, state, or county agency, other than MDPD.
- Inform and educate citizens regarding the role of police in the community, crime trends, as well as Department resources, initiatives, and accomplishments.
CAC members will make every effort to resolve community concerns at the District level. Concerns that remain unresolved will be brought to the attention of the next higher Department command authority. The Director will be the final authority in resolving CAC issues.
Composition and Selection of CAC Members
Committee membership should reflect the demographics of each district and be representative of the citizens served by various response areas within the district. To be considered for membership, an individual must live, work, or have a business in the district; be nominated by a member in good standing or the District Commander; attend three monthly meetings and be accepted by majority vote of the committee. All membership nominations must be submitted in writing to the District Chairperson. All applications for membership, contained in Annex A, are subject to ratification by the Director.
It is understood that the provisions established for membership under these rules will not apply to those individuals who were CAC members in good standing prior to August 1, 1994. Individuals who established membership prior to that date will be considered exempt from the application procedure that has been established.
Continued membership will be predicated upon an individual attending at least two-thirds of all scheduled district meetings within a calendar year. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the District Chairperson, i.e., serious illness, family emergency, etc.
Each District CAC shall select their meeting site(s) which will be within their district and may establish their own rules and procedures. Rules and procedures established by an individual CAC are subject to ratification by the Director and will not conflict with existing CAC Guidelines. All CAC meetings shall remain public with prior media notification made.
District CAC Officers
Each District CAC will elect members in good standing to serve as Chairperson and Co-Chairperson. Officers will be elected by a majority vote of members in good standing and serve for a term of one year. Nominations and election of officers will occur in October with new officers taking office the following January.
Resignations and Removal from Membership
Voluntary resignations will be submitted in writing to the District Chairperson. The Chairperson will present any resignations received to the full membership at the next regularly scheduled District meeting.
An individual's membership may be withdrawn for just cause. Removal will be accomplished by two-thirds vote of the District membership, subject to ratification by the Director. Dismissal actions will be forwarded via the Department's chain of command for ratification.
Agenda/Minutes for CAC Meetings
CAC meetings will be conducted, in compliance with law and accepted standards and practices for such public forums. The CAC Chairperson, will prepare an agenda for all scheduled meetings. The agenda will closely follow the format contained in Annex B. This format is directed at providing uniformity to CAC meetings conducted throughout the county, simplifying the necessary record keeping and making the time spent by members more meaningful and productive. Any item of business consistent with the CACs role and responsibilities will receive proper attention.
A written record will be maintained of all CAC meetings. The report will be factual, brief, and devoid of editorial opinion and comment. It serves as the official record of the meeting conducted and should parallel the prepared agenda. The District Commander will designate a member of staff to prepare the report at all CAC meetings held.
The typed report and distribution, will follow the format in Annex C. Prior to distribution, the report will be submitted to the District CAC Chairperson for review to insure it accurately reflects the meeting activities. The report will then be submitted to the Director for ratification, via an action memorandum, through the concerned District Commander's chain of command, within five working days following the CAC meeting. Each CAC may, at their own discretion, maintain their own minutes of meeting in any manner they choose.
Role of District Command Staff
The District Command Staff will attempt to facilitate CAC activities. They will clarify operational limitations based on the fiscal, human, and technical resources. They will provide the CAC with a perspective regarding the legal parameters governing policing. Finally, they will enunciate the scope of initiatives requested by the CAC, and provide feedback on the attainment of objectives.
The District Commander is responsible for ensuring ample and diverse representation with the District's CAC.
Miami-Dade Police Advisory Council
The Advisory Council will be composed of the Chairperson or Alternate from each District, the County Manager or his designee, the Director or Alternate, the Assistant Director of Police Services, the Division Chiefs assigned to Police Services, and all District Commanders.
The Advisory Council will have the same responsibilities as the District CACs, but will serve on a county-wide basis. The Council will meet quarterly, or as needed, and will review common concerns which will require county-wide policy actions and will identify District concerns that warrant administrative attention by the Director. All meetings are public and the County Manager, members of the County Commission, and the media will all be notified prior to any meeting of the Advisory Council.