Tag Archives: NYPD inspector general

Op-ed: New Inspector General has a tough job ahead


| oped@queenscourier.com

COUNCILMAN RORY LANCMAN

Philip Eure, New York City’s first New York Police Department Inspector General, has a tough job ahead of him — to make sure that the New York City Police Department is using best practices to keep us safe from a myriad of threats without compromising our civil liberties. I intend to work closely with my fellow members of the City Council to monitor his work and ensure that he is helping the police department accomplish both of these objectives.

As the new IG, Mr. Eure will provide oversight of some of the City’s most controversial policing practices, in order to build mutual respect between citizens and the police. The City Council voted to establish the Inspector General’s role last year, shortly after it became clear that the breadth of the City’s stop-and-frisk and Muslim surveillance programs were both divisive and, in the case of stop-and-frisk, unlawful. Appointed by the Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters, Eure’s role is to act as an independent monitor to the NYPD, reviewing the department’s policies, procedures and practices in broad strokes.

Mr. Eure, who headed the District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints, has a balanced record of oversight. During his tenure there, he addressed warrantless searches, convinced the District’s police department to adopt a one-week training program to teach officers best practices for interacting with the mentally ill (a relevant problem to New York’s own growing population of mentally ill offenders), and tightened up on “contempt of cop” cases (frivolous claims brought against police just trying to do their job).

However, New York is a city of unique challenges. New York employs a substantially larger police force than the District of Columbia (35,000 to 4,000, respectively), and serves what is the most diverse and concentrated urban population nationwide. The City has already taken positive steps to mend fences in communities affected by racially charged policing. Use of stop-and-frisk has dramatically receded from past years. Last week, Commissioner Bratton dissolved the police force’s Demographics Unit, which spied on Muslim citizens for no basis other than their religious affiliation. Sufficient oversight will be needed to ensure that information collected from the Unit is appropriately handled with respect to privacy and that the blanket surveillance of Muslims won’t be diffused into other units.

As IG, Mr. Eure’s ability to apply oversight is not confined to any one issue. Other review institutions, such as the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates individual complaints, or the federal monitor, whose primary purpose is to offer oversight in ending stop-and-frisk practices, have a much more narrow scope. Although public debate on the IG role gave most of its consideration to curtailing the use of stop-and-frisk and Muslim surveillance, the law establishing the IG office authorizes it to examine any and all policies the NYPD employs. For example, state law currently requires police to investigate every crash where a serious accident happens, a standard that Mayor de Blasio has promised to meet as a part of his “Vision Zero” initiative. However, advocates for pedestrian and cyclist accident victims argue that the investigations don’t always happen. The IG has the authority to examine NYPD training and protocol to make sure collision units are properly handling such accidents.

It’s up to Mr. Eure to apply his influence creatively and collaboratively, working with Commissioner Bratton and the Police Department to strive for good relationships and the safety of New Yorkers. We on the City Council will be watching closely to ensure the highest quality oversight is administered.

 

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Poll: Queens voters most supportive of NYPD inspector general


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

The majority of New Yorkers are in favor of the creation of an independent inspector general to monitor the NYPD, a new poll found.

Conducted by Quinnipiac University, the poll found that New York City voters support the idea by a 66 to 25 percent margin.

Queens voters were the most approving of the idea with a margin of 70 to 22 percent. By contrast, Staten Island voters were the most disapproving, with a margin of 46 to 50.

“With support from every sub-group except Staten Island voters, and a substantial racial divide, two-thirds of New York City voters think cops should have an outside monitor,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute

Support from white voters comes in at 53 to 38 percent. Minority voters are heavily in favor of the idea, with Hispanics voting in favor 77 to 13 and black voters in favor 78 to 13 percent 

“Only 8 percent of voters agree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly that having an inspector general will make the city less safe,” Caroll said. “While 43 percent say it will make the city safer and another 43 percent say it won’t make a difference.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Clear. High of 41. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of snow after midnight. Low of 32. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Venus & Mona at the Chain Theatre

Venus & Mona are twins. Two young, strong, hard-edged women that are trapped on the roof of their mother’s double-wide mobile home. Their mother is at death’s door but the sisters can’t help but continue to wage war on one another.  Meanwhile a demon circles the doublewide waiting for one of the combatants to slip and fall in his clutches. Part fantasy/part cruel reality and inspired by the writing of American mythologist Joseph Campbell; Venus and Mona asks questions about the war we wage with ourselves and each other, and when and if we ever figure out when it’s time to grow up.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall asks city to spare senior and kids in budget cuts

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If you live in a certain outer borough, you might have felt an extra sense of pride Tuesday night. Read more: CBS New York

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Barack Obama in Israel for first trip as president

President Barack Obama is opening his first trip to Israel since taking office. Read more: ABC New York/AP