The NYPD will have three legal heavyweights look at its internal disciplinary practices.  

"We want people who are neither for or against the police. We want people who are going to literally be fair judges of the issues," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Lawrence Byrne.

Mary Jo White was the Manhattan U.S. Attorney for nine years. She will head the panel. 

Joining her are Robert Capers, a former Brooklyn U.S. Attorney and Barbara Jones, who was a federal judge in Manhattan for 16 years.

 "We will make the report public. We really hope that whatever recommendations that we receive,   are recommendations that we can act upon and act upon quickly," said NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker.

The panel is a response to criticism of how the NYPD disciplines its own. 

Some police watchdogs and criminal justice advocates have said the process lacks transparency and consistency - that some well connected cops are treated more leniently than others. 

Police unions have also complained about a lack of even-handedness.

The NYPD says it has improved the disciplinary process by speeding up internal trials. So far this year, 20 officers and nine civilian employees have been terminated for various levels of misconduct.

"We've also asked for them to gather information not just from the department, from the wide range of critics including some very harsh critics," Byrne said.

And with so much criticism about the NYPD's disciplinary process, there's a lot of reaction to the formation of this panel.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said the department already has enough oversight and adding this new panel will lead to unjustly heavy handed discipline, damaging due process and morale.

The advocacy group, Police Reform Campaign, said the new panel is an admission that the NYPD's system of accountability is a disaster.

The department says the advisory panel will have full access to all relevant police information and personnel. 

It has four months to study the discipline issue.