Updated 06/13/2012 06:55 PM
New Legislation Would Create Independent Oversight For NYPD
About two dozen members of the City Council planned to introduce a bill on Wednesday that would create an office of the inspector general to monitor the police and “conduct independent reviews of the department’s policies, practices, programs and operations." NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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City Council members are calling for the creation of an inspector general for the New York City Police Department.
Supporters of the plan introduced legislation in the City Council Wednesday. The inspector general would review police department policies, launch investigations into department practices and report to the public on his or her findings. The inspector general would also have subpoena power.
"When there's oversight, the rules are more likely to be followed," said Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn. "And when there isn't oversight, the rules are likely to be broken."
"There's a general sense among many communities that what the police department is doing is unjust and unfair," said Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn. "And I think they know there is no one that is looking over them."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he does not think the council has the authority to force him to appoint an inspector general. He also does not think one is needed.
"This is the most regulated department in the entire city," the mayor said.
The mayor said the city's two U.S. Attorneys, five district attorneys and the civilian complaint review board provide enough supervision and oversight.
"It may make a good soundbite but the last thing you want to do is burden the police department with another level of forms," he said.
Nearly half of the City Council has signed onto the bill. But that does not necessarily mean it will go to the floor for a vote. It will be up to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to move it forward. At this point, she has not taken a position on the legislation.
"Is this bill the right answer? I don't know," she said. "I haven't seen it. But the overall call that more reform needs to be done is one that I agree with."