Advisory Committee (MPAC)
The Matthews Police Advisory Committee represents the Matthews community and acts as advisors to the Police Department as it relates to police-community relations, planning, police training, programming and public education. The Committee will promote public safety and act as a liaison between the community and the police department while promoting community awareness, understanding and involvement of police programs and services.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of the Committee shall include, but not be limited to, advising and making recommendations regarding issues concerning public safety and police services within the Town, such as:
Enhancement of police-community relations;
Community perspective and recommendations concerning procedures, programs, use of technology and the effectiveness of police service;
Promote public awareness of the Town's police services and programs including business and residential community safety, crime prevention and general police activities;
Hold meetings to solicit public input regarding police services and programs;
Serve as a liaison between the Police Department and the Community;
Review significant community issues and make recommendations regarding potential resolutions;
Assist in community outreach efforts;
Encourage individuals and community groups to assist the Police Department in the implementation of police programs and services;
Review Police Department proposed annual budget request;
To review and make recommendations concerning other matters as may be referred to the Committee, from time to time, via the Chief of Police.
Committee members are expected to:
Listen carefully to community opinions, attitudes, needs and discuss these with the Police Chief;
Study programs and services, analyzing problems and needs;
Offer new proposals and recommend changes in programs, policies and standards.
Assist in providing community members with information about police department policies and programs.
The Committee relies upon the authority of the Chief of Police in performance of an advisory role. Recommendations made by the Committee are not binding on the Chief of Police, Town Manager, Mayor or Town Council. The Chief of Police answers to the Town Manager and is held accountable to the Town Council and community in general for the operation of the police department.
The Committee may review police-related incidents and provide advice to the Department in light of community expectations and in accordance with North Carolina privacy laws. The Committee will not receive or review complaints initiated against police personnel and shall have no authority to investigate or otherwise participate in personnel matters involving specific police personnel. The Committee will not play a role in civil or criminal litigation.
The Matthews Police Advisory Committee shall be made up of seven representatives, a majority of which must be Matthews residents, appointed by the Matthews Police Chief. Committee members should be representative of the community. Representation could be by age, gender, occupation or ethnic background at the discretion of the Chief of Police, which shall be the appointing authority. For example, the Chief could choose to appoint a committee member from the business community, a student representing the youth of the community or a member of a minority ethnic group. Members will serve a staggered, three-year term and should provide a balance of viewpoints. The Police Chief may choose to require members to attend the Matthews Police Department Citizens Academy to gain further knowledge about the department.
Bylaws and Procedures
The Committee shall be responsible for drafting by-laws and rules of procedure, which shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police for approval. The Chief of Police has the authority to modify bylaws, rules of procedure and operating policies. Bylaws shall include a procedure to make a record of meeting minutes and these minutes shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police for acceptance in a timely manner.
The Committee shall have at least four regular meetings each year. Special meetings may be held as often as the Committee deems necessary. All meetings of the Committee shall be open to the public, except as provided by North Carolina law.
Review and Evaluation
The function and activities of the Matthews Police Advisory Committee shall periodically be reviewed by the Chief of Police to determine whether the purpose for which the Committee was established is being fulfilled and whether the need for the Committee still exists.