Complaint Review Board Members Named

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert will introduce members of the Citizen Complaint Review Board during a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The panel will be charged with the task of providing an independent review of complaints filed against Omaha police. They are:

-Ira Combs representing the Northwest Precinct

Combs is a community liaison nurse coordinator at the Nebraska Medical Center where his responsibilities include patient care, developing relationships in the community and facilitating health care screenings and services for minority and under-served populations. Combs was recognized last year by President Obama as a Champion of Change for leading extraordinary efforts in prevention and public health. He has an extensive professional and volunteer record in community service and health education.

-Kristine Schanbacher representing the Southwest Precinct

Schanbacher is an associate attorney at Kutak Rock. She earned her Bachelor's and Law degrees from Northwestern University. Schanbacher moved to the city last year.

-Judith Hill representing the Northeast Precinct

Hill is a lifelong resident of Omaha and lives in the house where she grew up. She is the director of development for the Charles Drew Health Center where she has been employed since 1991. Hill is also program director for the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative-Omaha Health Start and helped create the "Fathers for a Lifetime" program.

-John Determan representing the Southeast Precinct

Determan is the security director at Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Medical Center. He is an emergency preparedness consultant and the head boxing coach at Victory Boxing Club in south Omaha as well as a neighborhood watch captain, member of Omaha 360 and the South Omaha Violence Prevention organization.

-Fernando "Butch" Lecuona is an at-large member

His professional experience includes work in city and state government. Lecuona was a member of Mayor Mike Fahey's staff, working as a community liaison in south Omaha. He is currently the executive director of the Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation and lives in Omaha's southwest precinct. Lecuona has been involved in many volunteer organizations, including the Latino Mentoring Council and the South Omaha Community Care Council.

-John Wright is an alternate member

Wright is a retired Air Force Officer, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology. He served in Vietnam and was stationed at the Strategic Air Command before his retirement. Wright has taught at Bellevue University and now owns his own computer consulting business. He is a resident of the northeast precinct.

Communication between police and the community has been an issue for years, especially in north Omaha. This is the mayor’s attempt to address that issue.

The mayor’s proposal has been meeting with mixed reviews so far. The appointments were initially scheduled to have been announced in March. The original plan called for the board to consist of five members, one from each precinct plus one at-large member. There will also be an alternate. Then there will be three non-voting advisers to the board to include someone from Omaha police command, someone from the Human Rights and Relations Department and someone from the city law department.

The board members will not be paid. They will not have subpoena powers and they will not conduct their own investigations. They will review only what police investigate after the complaint is made.

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