Lansing has filled a position integral to its Police Commission that sat vacant for more than a year.
Delvata Moses is the city’s new Police Commission investigator. In the position, Moses will conduct independent investigations into complaints against the Lansing Police Department. The role, which falls under the city's Human Relations and Community Services Department, exists so that the city isn't relying on police to investigate themselves.
“Accountability is an essential element of policing and that is exactly what a Police Commission investigator helps facilitate,” said Moses in a statement to FOX47 News. “Holding officers and departments accountable helps to bridge the gap between the community and the department, ensuring that people’s rights are protected and respected.”
Moses served as senior investigator for the Detroit Police Department for more than a decade and previously served as a legal investigator in the city of Detroit’s Law Department.
“I’m very happy with the appointment,” Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green said. “She has some skill sets we haven’t seen here in well over a year and a half while that position was open and I think she brings a ton of experience.”
Green said his department cooperates fully with any investigation and shares information freely with the Police Commission.
“The interaction and the relationship [between the Police Department and police commissioner] should be based on transparency, professionalism and mutual respect,” he said.
The Police Commission investigator position in Lansing was created about 20 years agoafter multiple incidents that residents wanted to be investigated. Few complaints were actually sustained between 2013 and 2019, according to the Lansing State Journal. In fact, their report found that only about 19 percent of complaints against officers are carried out.
The most common complaint against Lansing police officers is rudeness, or a lack of courtesy, according to the report.
Green said that the Police Commission investigator position is especially important because it provides an additional “check and balance” for the police department.
“It allows us the ability to exercise credibility in our police complaint investigations, and I think the city is obligated to ensure that officers operate within the confines of law,” he said. “This is just another set of eyes and ears regarding officer abuse and to make sure that we are engaging in activity that is consistent with the law and good police practices.”
Moses said she is excited to join the city of Lansing.
“My work with the police department is important to me because I believe that providing accountability, transparency, and educating the community on the department’s policies and procedures improves overall public trust,” Moses said in a written statement.
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