The City Council is scheduled to vote on a new Police Accountability Board member Tuesday. If confirmed, the nominee, Brent Blackaby, would bring the board’s complement of commissioners to two-thirds strength. Three more regular seats will remain vacant, as will that of the board’s alternate member.
Councilmember Mark Humbert nominated Blackaby. Each council member and the mayor nominate a regular member, subject to confirmation by the full council.
In a statement forwarded by Humbert’s office, Blackaby said he and his partner Larry had lived in Berkeley for 18 years and have two children going to school here.
“I’m eager to roll up my sleeves alongside Chairman Chip Moore and my colleagues to provide effective oversight of BPD, helping to make Berkeley an even safer place to live (and) raise a family,” Blackaby said. “As co-founder of a consumer privacy company, I believe we must do everything we can to keep our neighborhoods safe — but also be vigilant to zealously protect our personal privacy rights in the process.”
Blackaby is cofounder of Confidently, an online privacy operation that offers to “scan the web and clean up your data trail,” monitor the dark web for data breaches, deleting personal information from the internet and stopping sales of it.
“Beyond raising his family and being deeply rooted here in the Berkeley community, (Blackaby) keenly understands the need to balance public safety and civil liberties,” Humbert said in a statement. “I’m confident (Blackaby) will work constructively with BPD, PAB members and staff to help make sure Berkeley improves its public safety and remains an example of excellence in policing.”
Including the nine regular members and one alternate, the board has been at half membership for over three months following the resignation of one member and the expiration of another’s term.
The snowballing vacancies have resulted in pileups of work and situations where subcommittees have only single members, Moore told Berkeleyside in May.