VB police chief requests audit of internal investigations

Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach’s police chief has asked for something never asked for in the history of the department. Jim Cervera has requested an audit of the Internal Affairs unit.

“I think citizens have the right to know what we are doing,” Cervera said. “We are now bringing an independent citizen review that answers only to council to say ”look at us and to make sure what we are doing is exactly what we should be doing.”

Cervera says he wants citizens to know that, when they file a complaint about one of his officers, it is properly being investigated.

“What I’m hoping is that they would say we are following all the best practicesm, all the polices and procedures,” Cervera added.

Cervera says on the flip side is his officers also need to know that internal affairs is doing its job

“I want the officers to feel comfortable — or at least have a better level of comfort — that everything in internal affairs is being done according to best practices,” the chief said.

“The police chief and his folks should be commended for wanting to be transparent,” Virginia Beach City Auditor Lyndon Remias added.

Remias and his team say it will take four months for the audit to be complete.  He tells 10 On Your Side he’s been given full access to files to get an accurate glimpse of what is going on.

“We are going to go into the audit with open eyes and open ears without any preconceived notions,” Remias said.  “We will report fairly what the evidence bares.”

The chief says he wants his department to be an open book and if anything is found changes will be made.

“Should they find some gaps we will make corrections as we go along,” Cervera added.