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June 15th, 2012

Park Slope’s Brad Lander Proposes NYPD Inspector General

Brad Lander, one of Park Slope’s City Council Members (yes, we have two, two City Council Members), has proposed legislation to add oversight to the NYPD in light of the Stop and Frisk controversy. A couple of days ago, he introduced legislation, along with Councilmember Jumaane Williams and 22 of his colleagues, to create an Inspector General for the NYPD. It sounds very Gilbert and Sullivan but it also sounds like a very good idea.

You can read about the new bill in the New York Times. Bur first read what Lander had to say about this effort on his blog.

We live in the greatest city in the world, so it’s not often that I find myself wishing that we had something that exists in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, but not here in New York. All of these cities have independent oversight for their police departments – which means there is someone whose job is to ensure that the police department’s operations are effective, efficient, and protect our civil liberties.

With good oversight, people are more likely to follow the rules. Taxpayers can be more confident their money is well spent. Rights are more likely to be respected. Communities are more likely to build relationships of trust.

Without meaningful, independent oversight, problems grow and fester. Rules are broken. Pressure from the top outweighs what’s right. Money is wasted. People take shortcuts with the truth. Our civil liberties are less likely to be protected. Agency morale suffers. The bonds of trust between the police and communities around the city are frayed. Policing becomes less effective. We need to stop this trend.

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