top of page

House Bill 1484

Written By:

Carson Watkins

Publishing Date:

June 21, 2023

Whenever an instance of police overreach makes headlines, citizens and government officials ponder ways to have a system of accountability to prevent future tragedies. In the State of Indiana, Representative Vernon Smith recently introduced House Bill 1484 to establish Citizen police review boards in Indiana. In the legislation, Rep. Smith recommends a board with eight members, four within each political party, and lays out the guidelines to respond to claims promptly with proper due process. (House Bill 1484).

Police review boards started in early America but gained traction in the 1970s as African American communities began to receive expanded political power. The United States Justice Department’s 2001 Report on citizen review boards received positive reviews from police chiefs around the country, praising the boards for assisting in community relations and oversite. (Finn, 2001, P. 10).

While these Boards receive positive feedback from some officers, they have faced scrutiny from citizens and law enforcement for ineffectiveness. At the Lake County Sheriff's Office, James Dilimone, a detective, found that these boards can be helpful but need reform. Dilimone cites Police Assessment Resource Center Executive Director Merrick Bobb, who calls it “one of the weakest models of police accountably” and can lead to mistrust due to the members of the board not being adequately trained to review instances of police violence. (Dilimone, 2019, P. 5). Despite this pushback, Dilimone found that the panels can be an effective deterrent to police overreach, saying,

“The policy recommendations, the discipline review, and citizen complaint review are motivating factors. These results and conclusions have helped administrators draft and develop policies consistent with their communities. (Dilimone, 2019, P. 12).

With police boards gaining traction, recommendations on how to utilize these boards have come from outside influences.  Kelly Moore at the American Civil Liberties Union recommends Independence, Meaningful disciplinary power, transparency, and a proper budget. In his report, James Dilmone mentioned that distrust could be sowed in Police Review Boards. Moore believes that if guidelines are agreed upon, communities' trust in the boards will increase. Moore says, “These would require the ultimate disciplinary authority for police in town (typically the police chief) to apply those disciplinary guidelines in every case when the CRB finds misconduct.” (Moore, 2020).

            Currently, the legislation has been referred to Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety. Citizens Police Review Boards can effectively provide overwatch and strengthen a community's relationship with the police department and make meaningful differences in the communities that police swore to protect.


Dilimore, James (2019) Effectiveness of a Citizen Review Board, Florida Department of Law Enforcement,-James-paper.aspx

Finn, Peter (2001) Citizen Review of Police: Approaches and Implementation United States Department of Justice

House Bill 1484, Session 123, (IN,23)


bottom of page