Meet the Police Monitor Finalists

A brief look at the four remaining candidates

By Jordan Smith, Fri., Dec. 17, 2010

A public meeting last week gave the community a chance to meet the four final candidates for Austin's next police monitor. City Manager Marc Ott is expected to make a final decision later this month. Here's a brief sketch of what each candidate had to say during the meeting; for a more in-depth report, see "Choose Your Monitor: The Four Finalists" at austinchronicle.com/newsdesk.

Meet the Police Monitor Finalists
Photo by John Anderson

Cristina Beamud

"If Austin residents are focused on issues regarding the police use-of-force policy, if that's where the focus is, it would be good for the police monitor to address those issues."

Beamud currently serves as executive director of the city of Atlanta Citizen Review Board (September 2008 to present).

Previously, Beamud served for two years as the city of Eugene, Ore., police auditor (October 2006 to September 2008). Before that, she was a legal advisor to the police chief in Cambridge, Mass., and she began her career in 1976 as a Rochester, N.Y., police officer.

Beamud says she's interested in coming to Austin in part because she believes there is good support here for police oversight. She also says that as an out-of-towner she would first focus on outreach and learning about the community.

Meet the Police Monitor Finalists
Photo by John Anderson

Margo Frasier

"I spent the last 36 years of my life getting ready to hold this position."

Frasier has 36 years of law enforcement experience – including seven years as the elected Travis County sheriff. She's also a lawyer who has worked as an instructor at Sam Houston State University and who began her career as a correctional officer while in college.

Frasier says that, given her experience as sheriff, with "evaluating police conduct," she would be uniquely positioned to oversee complaints and investigations involving the conduct of Austin Police.

Frasier says the monitor's office needs to be more accommodating to individuals seeking to make a complaint and has suggested that later business hours or staying open one Saturday per month might help make the office more "user-friendly."

Meet the Police Monitor Finalists
Photo by John Anderson

Ann del Llano

"I've always been a police lover, up to today. I wouldn't give my time to make [the department] better if I didn't love it."

Del Llano was a member of the Police Oversight Focus Group, which led the charge to create police oversight in Austin. She now works as a family law attorney but has spent the last decade working on criminal justice reforms at the Capitol and as a volunteer, and then contractor, with the ACLU.

Del Llano says the office needs to focus more of its energy on researching and making policy recommendations. One of the things that has motivated her to apply for the job now, she says, is the opportunity to have a seat at the bargaining table during meet-and-confer negotiations between the city and the police union.

Meet the Police Monitor Finalists
Photo by John Anderson

Renita Sanders

"You can count on me to continue doing what I'm doing, and I'll take it to the next level."

Sanders has served as one of Austin's assistant police monitors since October 2007. Before that, Sanders worked as a regulatory analyst and human resources professional for the Lower Colorado River Authority (June 2002-September 2007).

Sanders says she believes the monitor's office is doing well and that community outreach remains a focus for her. She's a licensed mediator and says she'd like to see the office start a program to mediate complaints between residents and officers, which the office already has the authority to do.

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