City of

District 18

Alder Rebecca Kemble

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Alder Rebecca Kemble

Contact Information

Home Address:

4217 School Rd
Madison , WI 53704

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Kemble’s Blog

Community Oversight Board Application Process Open Through Wednesday, September 16, 2020

September 9, 2020 9:40 AM

The application process for at-large nominations for four (4) seats on the City of Madison Police Civilian Oversight Board is now open. The deadline for submitting nominations or self-nominations is Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

The Civilian Oversight Board was established on September 1, 2020, when the Madison Common Council passed MGO sections 5.20 and 5.19 creating it and the Office of the Independent Police Monitor.

The mission of the Civilian Oversight Board (COB) is to "provide within the City of Madison a body that is independent from the review and make recommendations regarding police discipline, use of force, and other policies and activities, including related to rules, hiring, training, community relations, and complaint processes".

Under the new ordinance, the COB has the following powers and duties:

  • Appoint and Supervise the Independent Monitor. The Board shall recruit, appoint, and supervise the Independent Police Monitor as provided in M.G.O. § 5.19(4)-(5).
  • Evaluate Effectiveness of the Monitor's Office.  The Board shall provide input to the Mayor and Common Council regarding the effectiveness of the Office of the Independent Monitor.
  • Conduct Annual Review of the Chief of Police.  With input from the Monitor, the Board shall conduct an annual review of the Chief of Police to assess their performance in office, and submit a report to the Mayor and PFC for completion of the annual performance review of the Chief as recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee Report, including recommendations as to whether the Chief has satisfactorily performed their duties or whether the Chief has failed to perform satisfactorily, thereby constituting grounds for referral to the PFC with a recommendation for dismissal. 
  • Conduct Community Outreach.  The Board shall engage in community outreach, including holding public hearings to receive community input regarding police policies, procedures, training, and processes for handling complaints.  In doing so, the Board should seek to gain input from a range of community members and groups, including underserved/marginalized communities. 
  • Make Policy Recommendations. The Board shall make policy-level recommendations regarding discipline, use of force, and other policies, including those related to rules, hiring, training, and community relations, and address any other issues of concern to the community, Board, Monitor, Chief of Police, Mayor, or Common Council.
  • Annual Public Report.  The Board shall furnish an Annual Public Report ("Annual Report") to the Mayor and Common Council regarding the Board's assessment of the work of the monitor's office; the Board's activities during the preceding year; concerns expressed by community members; the Board's assessment of the MPD investigative and disciplinary processes; recommendations for ways that MPD can improve its relationships with the community; and recommendations for changes to police department policies, rules, hiring, training, and the complaint process.
  • Issue Subpoenas.  The Board may, to the extent permitted by law, issue subpoenas for the purpose of compelling testimony or receiving documents necessary to fulfill the duties of the Board.

According to Ad Hoc Committee Co-Chair UW Law School Professor Keith Findley, "One of the purposes of the Civilian Oversight Board is to bring together the MPD and representatives of Madison's most heavily policed and marginalized communities--the very communities that harbor the most distrust of the MPD. Giving them a place at the table is the only way to bridge that gap and begin to build trust.?"

MGO 5.20 requires that the Civilian Oversight Board have a diverse composition in the following intersectional areas of lived experience and identities:

  • Homelessness
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse and/or arrest or conviction records
  • Racial and ethnic diversity, including: African American; Asian; Latinx; Native American
  • Members of the LGBTQ community; and affiliation with an organization in the field of: Mental Health; Youth Advocacy; and AODA.

The Council and Mayor will also consider the following additional lived experiences and identities when making appointments:

  • Age
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Gender
  • Geographic residence
  • Work experience

Individual members may represent more than one of the categories listed above.

Civilian Oversight Board members must be Madison residents when they are appointed, and may not have ever been employed by the MPD, be an immediate family member of current or former MPD employees, or worked as a law enforcement officer within the State of Wisconsin in the ten (10) years prior to becoming a Member of the Board. For purposes of this ordinance "immediate family" means an individual's spouse or designated family or registered partner or an individual's relative by marriage, lineal descent or adoption.

To apply for consideration for one of four (4) At-Large Civilian Oversight Board seats (two (2) voting members and two (2) alternates), please complete the following by Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 5pm:

  • Application for Police Civilian Oversight Board Appointment (available online on the Common Council webpage and the Alder Workgroup to Develop Logistical and Operational Details for MPD Independent Civilian Oversight webpage) and send to with Civilian Oversight Board Application in the subject line, or print and send it to: Attn: COB Application; Common Council Office; 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; Madison, WI 53703; or FAX to: 608-267-8669
  • If you are being nominated by a person or group, please request that the nominating individual or organization provide supporting documentation (letter of support for the applicant) to with Civilian Oversight Board Application in the subject line
  • Complete the Statement of Interests form online

For additional information about the Police Civilian Oversight Board and the process of creating it, please visit the webpage of the Alder Workgroup to Develop the Logistical and Operational Details for MPD Independent Civilian Oversight.

Please email, with Civilian Oversight Board Application Questions in the subject line in the subject line, or call the Common Council Office at 608-266-4071 if you have any questions about the application process.

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