Our Plan for Police Reform

As your City Council Member, I will advocate for a more strategic NYPD budget that enables the department to better serve our communities and keep us safe:
  • Foster a trusting relationship between NYPD Officers and community members.
  • Create accountable leaders within NYPD who will provide beneficial oversight to those under their command.
  • Create transparency around officer behavior.
  • Create accountability for police with zero tolerance for abuse of community members.

Read more below...

The relationship between the NYPD and the people of New York City is broken. We need to build a new relationship, one based on accountability, collaboration, transparency, and unity in order to rebuild a better New York City—one that is just and equitable for all New Yorkers.  

 

The Issues:

Most types of crime are on the rise in District 11 and people are concerned for their safety, especially those who are old enough to remember the 70s and 80s when The Bronx was burning and crime was at an all time high. We know that higher rates of crime lead to diminished quality of life and diminished economic prosperity. District 11 is struggling with break-ins, auto crime, drag racing, and increased gun violence. 

 

At the same time, lawsuits from The Bronx reveal a disturbing behavioral pattern of routinized violence and harassment of residents by police officers, with people of color being those most impacted. In 2019, $30 million of taxpayer money was spent to settle lawsuits with plaintiffs in The Bronx who filed cases around police misconduct. Such lawsuits made up 45% of the city’s police misconduct lawsuits that year, revealing that police abuse and misconduct disproportionately impacts Bronx residents, and such misconduct becomes a major expense to city taxpayers who bail out repeat offenders with no clear system for accountability of offending officers. 

 

Our Solutions: 

We can’t have prosperity without public safety, but we also must hold each member of the NYPD to the same high standards that we hold all governmental officials to when it comes to abuse of power. We need to shift the focus of police reform towards building a collaborative relationship with the police. We need to create a transparent and accountable police system that fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between police and community members. I will advocate for systems that ensure NYPD officers and community members work together for safer, more vibrant communities. We need check points for transparency, and better systems for accountability, with zero tolerance for cases of abuse. 

 

I believe that NYPD has a purpose: to support, and serve our communities of The Bronx, and of New York City as a whole. I believe that a systems perspective is critical to ensuring NYPD and New York City communities mutually benefit one another. We must invest our resources with great intention, to build a better system that can benefit both communities and the officers who serve those communities. 

 

As your City Council Member, I will advocate for a more strategic NYPD budget that enables the department to better serve our communities and keep us safe. Specifically, as your representative I will: 

 

Foster a trusting relationship between NYPD Officers and community members:
  • Introduce legislation to screen for bias and hate crimes as a key part of the evaluation process for hiring new NYPD officers.

  • Call for community-collaboration training. Currently, implicit bias training is used, but it has not proven to be effective, despite costing $5.5 million. In Newark and Camden, New Jersey, community-collaboration training has yielded promising results in healing community trauma and building trust between police officers and community members. 

 

Create accountable leaders within NYPD who will provide beneficial oversight to those under their command: 
  • Train lieutenants and sergeants on how to implement community-trust and accountability systems. 

  • Create a mandatory training program in NYPD to better equip sergeants to lead and hold officers under their command accountable for poor behavior, rather than justifying use of force and other abuses of power.

  • Ensure that the span of control for NYPD is roughly 8:1, meaning that a sergeant should have no more than eight police officers under their direct supervision.

 

Create transparency around officer behavior: 
  • Require a UF-2509 is completed for every Stop, Question, Frisk (SQF) scenario to create a robust data source and a system of greater transparency and accountability. The UF-2509 should require specific reporting of use of force at SQF, and I will call for these to be released as public records with an annual report. 

  • Make illegal the practice of NYPD to withhold evidence from the CCRB, such as body camera footage from investigators on the review board. 

 

Create accountability for police with zero tolerance for abuse of community members:
  • Support all of the current legislation packet for police reforms that has been introduced in City Council which aim to:

    • Remove the Police Commissioner’s final disciplinary authority

    • End qualified immunity for police officers

    • Require confirmation of the Police Commissioner

    • Investigate police officers with a history of bias

    • Report on vehicle stops

    • Preserve freedom of the press 

    • Create a partnership with mental health organizations for mental health emergency calls

    • Redefine the role of school safety officers 

    • Protect students in emotional crisis 

    • Increase transparency on school safety agent turnovers

    • Give principals a larger role in the school safety program 

    • Move traffic crash investigations to the Department of Transportation 

  • Increase funding to the CCRB. At present, they are too small to review cases of abuse and decide on courses for disciplinary action. If we want to expand the power of the CCRB, and create a stronger outside civil body to hold NYPD officers accountable for cases of abuse, then they must be fairly funded and staffed.

  • Support the resolution that removes NYC Police Commissioner’s exclusive authority over police discipline, asking that this also go through the state’s legislative body.

  • Implement roll-outs to critical incidents. This would mean that officials not in the chain of command (that is, not directly responsible for the officers involved) respond immediately to critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings, serious use of physical force incidents, and others. The purpose is to ensure that an independent set of eyes is immediately on the scene to ensure that the investigation of the incident is done properly and that there is no attempt of a cover-up.