NYC Council Considers Bills Increasing Oversight of Police Department, NYPD Opposed
by YS Gold
The New York City council is currently conducting hearings on a group of bills sponsored by various councilmembers—each of them aimed at tougher oversight of the everyday work of the NYPD.
Among the bills being considered is one that would grant the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), a watchdog agency that oversees the NYPD, direct access to bodycam footage from police officers. To this, Michael Clarke, the NYPD’s director of legislative affairs said “It would be an insurmountable obstacle to give CCRB direct access to our body-worn camera system while ensuring that they do not have access to any videos that are required by state law to be kept confidential.”
Additional bills would require the NYPD to report when a person did not consent to be searched, a bill requiring it to disclose large donations to the department, a bill requiring the NYPD to report the reason for a traffic stop, and a bill that would require the department to report complaints of misconduct leveled at police officers every month.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said that the members were introducing the bills because they want more transparency from the department.
Director Clarke said that while many of these bills are simply “unfeasible,” that the load of work in filing all this paperwork would take police officers away from vital police work such as finding missing children, and that the department would work to achieve their stated goals in other ways. He added that “The New York City Police Department does not fear transparency, we embrace it.”