New York city mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg last week announced an agreement to provide the Civilian Complaint Review Board with prosecutorial authority for all substantiated police misconduct cases.
The agreement expands on a successful pilot programme introduced by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly in early 2010 that, for the first time, gave Civilian Complaint Review Board attorneys prosecutorial authority.
Currently, police misconduct complaints made to the Civilian Complaint Review Board are investigated by the Board and, if substantiated , the case is referred to the NYPD for prosecution.
Under the agreement, the Police Commissioner retains the authority and discretion to make final disciplinary determinations under the new process, but if the Commissioner imposes discipline different than that recommended through the trial process, the reasons for the change must be documented.
“We have no tolerance for corruption or misconduct, and over the last decade the NYPD has aggressively investigated cases developed internally, and through the CCRB,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today’s agreement expands on our pilot program empowering CCRB prosecutors, strengthening our strong monitoring and regulation of police conduct.
We expect members of the NYPD to live up to their name - New York’s Finest - and I know they will continue to do so.” Police Commissioner Kelly said, “Today’s agreement builds on the cooperative relationship between the NYPD and CCRB that began with a successful pilot program in the prosecution of substantiated cases,” Meanwhile CCRB Chair Daniel D. Chu said the measure was key to strengthening public confidence.
“This agreement is a milestone in the history of civilian police oversight in New York City,” said Chu. “Public confidence in the disciplinary process will be strengthened by having the CCRB, an independent agency, prosecuting these cases.”
Under the agreement, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will establish a unit of qualified and experienced attorneys and support staff to undertake in a timely and effective manner the responsibility for administrative prosecution of substantiated civilian complaints.
Attorneys and support staff will be trained in all aspects of NYPD procedures and policies relevant to administrative prosecutions. The Civilian Complaint Review Board will make hires as necessary for the board to carry out its new authority.