NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the first of three drafts to his police reform plan on Friday. He also released a statement saying the NYPD has a long history of mistreating communities of color and that it's time to acknowledge that truth and prevent further inequality.
The plan comes in response to an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that mandated local governments approve and submit reforms by April 1 or risk losing state funding and having their police departments fall under a monitor.
The mayor's plan has a public comment period and then goes to the City Council for approval.
The organization Communities United for Police Reform called the plan a "publicity stunt" that doesn't address the firing of abusive officers or reduce what it considers to be the NYPD's "bloated budget."
The head of the Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents rank-and-file cops, released the following statement:
"New York City police officers are already laboring under a two-decade-deep pile of supposed 'reforms' that do nothing to help us keep New Yorkers safe. Most of the proposals in Mayor de Blasio's latest report can be thrown on that pile," PBA President Pat Lynch said. "But one bit of absurdity stands out: The Mayor says he wants to 'enhance positive reinforcement' in the NYPD. Police officers aren't waiting for a pat on the back from the same elected leaders who are constantly denigrating us and actively undermining public safety."
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These are the five goals of the mayor's plan, as released by his office:
1. Transparency and Accountability to the People of New York City
- Hold police officers accountable for misconduct through internal NYPD disciplinary decisions that are transparent, consistent, and fair
- Strengthening the CCRB via the David Dinkins Plan
- Consolidate NYPD oversight by expanding the authority of CCRB to include the powers of the NYPD OIG and the CCPC
- Supporting a change in State law to give CCRB access to sealed PD records for purposes of investigations, especially biased-policing investigations
- Public and comprehensive reporting on key police reform metrics
2. Community Representation and Partnership
- Working with communities to implement NYC Joint Force to End Gun Violence
- Incorporate direct community participation in the selection of Precinct Commanders
- Involving the community in training and education by expanding the People's Police Academy
- Immersing officers in the neighborhoods they serve
- Elevate the feedback of the community through CompStat and Enhanced Neighborhood Policing
- Launching the Neighborhood Policing App and expanding training
- Improving policing of citywide demonstrations
- Expanding the Precinct Commander's Advisory Councils
- Expanding Pop Up with a Cop
- Supporting and expanding the Citizen's Police Academy
- Enhancing Youth Leadership Councils
- Expanding the Law Enforcement Explorers Program
- Transforming public space to improve community safety
3. Recognition and Continual Examination of Historical and Modern-Day Racialized Policing in New York City
- Acknowledging the experiences of communities of color in New York City and begin reconciliation
- Eliminating the use of unnecessary force by changing culture through policy, training, accountability, and transparency
- Augmenting racial bias training for NYPD leadership
- Comprehensive restorative justice training for NYPD leadership and NCOs to repair relationships with communities.
- Train all officers on Active Bystandership in Law Enforcement (ABLE) by the end of this year
- Enhancing positive reinforcement, formally and informally, to change culture
- Consistently assessing practices and policies through accreditation.
4. The Decriminalization of Poverty
- Developing a health-centered response to mental health crises
- New approaches to safety, outreach and regulation through civilian agencies
- Interrupt violence through expanded community-based interventions
- Expanding the successful Brownsville pilot via the community solutions program
- Consolidating all crime victim services within the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice to support survivors
- Strengthening community partnerships with domestic and gender-based violence providers
5. A Diverse, Resilient, and Supportive NYPD
- Recruiting officers who reflect the communities they serve, with a commitment to recruit and retain more people of color and women
- Reform the discretionary promotions process to improve equity and inclusion
- Expanding mental health support for officers
- Supporting professional development through the Commander's Course and leadership development programs
- Updating the patrol guide so it is more user friendly and less complex for officer and transparent to the public