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Cripa Yonkers Pd Al Investigation Findings 6-9-09

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U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division

Special Litigation Section - PHB
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

June 9, 2009


Raymond P. Fitzpatrick, Jr., Esq.

Fitzpatrick & Brown, LLP

1929 Third Avenue North, Suite 600

Birmingham, AL 35203


Investigation of the Yonkers Police Department

Dear Mr. Fitzpatrick:

As you know, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil

Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, with

the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of

New York, is conducting a civil investigation of the Yonkers, New

York Police Department (“YPD”), pursuant to the Violent Crime

Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and

the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C.

§ 3789d. We would like to express our appreciation for the

cooperation that we have received thus far from the City of

Yonkers (“City”) and the YPD. In this letter, we convey

recommendations regarding YPD’s policies.

To date, we and our consultants have reviewed relevant

policies and procedures, interviewed City officials, interviewed

a cross-section of YPD supervisors and patrol officers, and

participated in ride alongs with YPD personnel. We also met with

representatives of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association;

representatives of the Yonkers Police Captains, Lieutenants, and

Sergeants Association; local community leaders; and citizens.

Our issues and concerns regarding YPD’s policies are noted herein

and primarily focus on the following areas: the content,

organization and overall structure of the YPD Policy and

Procedure Manual (the “Manual”); use of force policies and

procedures; investigation of citizen complaints; supervisory

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oversight structure; training program and materials; community

relations; and personnel issues. Where applicable, we have

provided recommendations. In addition to the recommendations

conveyed herein, we would also be able to provide examples of

policies used by other police departments that might address some

of the issues we raise below, as well as to review any additional

YPD policy revisions drafted by the YPD in response to this


Our review process is ongoing and we hope to conclude the

process shortly. Important aspects of our investigation remain

outstanding, however, most notably our review of documents

related to specific use of force incidents. Therefore, this

letter is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather focuses on

significant concerns we can convey based on our review thus far

of the YPD’s policies and procedures, training curricula, and our

observations of officers in the field. Please note that we may

identify additional issues as our investigation progresses. This

letter is therefore preliminary in nature and does not reach any

conclusion regarding any potential violations of the Violent

Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141

and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42

U.S.C. § 3789d.1


Overall Content and Structure of 

YPD Policies and Procedures Manual

Policies and procedures are the primary means by which

police departments communicate their standards and expectations.

Thus, policies and procedures should be current, accessible to

all officers, and consistent with relevant legal standards and

contemporary police practices. 

Prior to our tour, the YPD provided us with its Manual. At

the time of our visit, the YPD indicated that it was already in

the process of reviewing and revising its Manual. YPD’s decision

to review and revise its Manual is an important and noteworthy

step. We make the recommendations herein to assist the YPD in

the essential task of reviewing, updating, and maintaining its



We view the technical assistance provided herein as

recommendations and not mandates. These recommendations were

developed in close consultation with our police practices

consultants. We strongly urge the YPD to consider these

technical assistance recommendations in revising its policies and


- 3 ­
A review of the Manual indicates that many sections are

outdated and not very well organized. In fact, although the

table of contents indicates that the Manual is current as of

December 2005, many of the policies we reviewed had not been

updated since the early 1990s. For example, Policy 1.06.03,

regarding the Police Professional Standards Review Committee, has

an effective date of January 4, 1993. That policy does not

appear to have been updated since 1993. Further, that same

policy has a random and non-sequential set of numbering for each

paragraph within the policy, leaving the impression that the

policy was created by “cutting and pasting” a number of

requirements together without any overall organization or editing

prior to publication. Presentation of a policy in such a

disorganized manner is an ineffective means to convey necessary


In addition, the overall size and structure of the Manual

makes its use as a reference guide impractical for the average

officer. Specifically, the Manual appears to combine policies,

training materials, and technical information in one location,

resulting in a voluminous Manual without any differentiation

between the various topics. Further, as discussed in more detail

below, the Manual does not provide any cross-references between

policies that would make the Manual more accessible.

We recommend that the YPD update and reorganize its Manual

to make it current and more user friendly. We also recommend

that the YPD distribute updated and complete policies and

procedures to all officers and that all officers provide a

written acknowledgment of their receipt, review, and

understanding of the policies and procedures. We also suggest

that the YPD designate an individual to be responsible for

reviewing the Manual, and any revisions or new policies, to

ensure consistency. This individual would also be responsible

for ensuring that all officers receive copies of the Manual and

revisions thereto, by maintaining copies of officers’ signed



Use of Force Policies

In the course of their duties, police officers are sometimes

required to use deadly and less than lethal force. Because the

use of force can place officers, civilians, and subjects at

serious risk of harm, it is incumbent upon law enforcement

agencies to ensure that officers use force appropriately.

Policies and procedures must clearly set forth the legal

standards for the appropriate use of force. We recommend that

the YPD revise its use of force policies to provide a

comprehensive policy that contains the following elements: 

- 4 ­
appropriate definitions, a use of force continuum (including

intermediate weapons), guidance on the appropriate level of force

allowed in specific circumstances, and detailed use of force



Legal Standards Governing Use of Force

Use of excessive force by police officers violates the

Fourth Amendment, as analyzed under the objective reasonableness

standard articulated in Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 394

(1989). The analysis requires a balancing of the quality of

intrusion on the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests against

the governmental interests. Id. at 396. Uses of excessive force

by police officers in the course of arrest, investigatory stop,

or other seizure are violations of the Fourth Amendment.2 The


A seizure -- i.e., by means of physical force or show

of authority -- is the event that triggers Fourth Amendment

protections. See Graham, 490 U.S. at 395, n.10; Papineau v.

Parmley, 465 F.3d 46, 61 (2d Cir. 2006). The Second Circuit has

consistently held that claims of excessive force by law

enforcement in the course of a seizure should be analyzed under

the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness standard rather than a

Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process approach. See

Hemphill v. Schott, 141 F.3d 412, 418 (2d Cir. 1998)(citing

Graham, 490 U.S. at 394); see also Nimely v. City of New York,

414 F.3d 381, 390 n.7 (2d Cir. 2005) (“excessive force used by

officers arresting suspects implicates the Fourth Amendment’s

prohibition on unreasonable seizures, rather than the Fourteenth

Amendment’s guarantee of substantive due process”) (citing

Graham, 490 U.S. at 394-395, “excessive force claims must be

analyzed under the rubric of the constitutional right that is

most directly implicated by the facts giving rise to the claim”);

Tenenbaum v. Williams, 193 F.3d 581, 599-600 (2d Cir. 1999)

(citing Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 273 (1994) (quoting

Graham, 490 U.S. at 395)). The Constitution, however, affords

Fourteenth Amendment Substantive Due Process protection from

physical abuse by police officers for claims that are not

susceptible to proper analysis under a different specific

constitutional right -- e.g., an excessive force claim without a

seizure to trigger a Fourth Amendment analysis. See Hemphill,

141 F.3d at 418 (citing Rodriguez v. Phillips, 66 F.3d. 470, 477

(2d Cir. 1995) (“in the non-seizure, non-prisoner context, the

substantive due process right to be free from excessive force is

alive and well.”)). Similarly, once an arrestee becomes a pre­
trial detainee, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Due Process

protections, rather than the Fourth Amendment, are the

appropriate constitutional basis for excessive force claims. See

- 5 ­
criteria courts apply to assess an excessive force claim include

the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect presents

an immediate safety threat to the officers or others, and whether

the suspect is actively resisting or attempting to evade arrest.

Id.; Sullivan v. Gaugnier, 225 F.3d 161, 165 (2d Cir. 2000). 

Lack of specific policy guidance on the appropriate use of force

may lead officers to believe that they are justified in using

force in situations in which such force would be unreasonable or

unnecessary. Conversely, overly specific policies may result in

officers refraining from using necessary and appropriate force

out of an unwarranted fear of using excessive force. 

The Supreme Court has determined that deadly force is

permissible only when a suspect poses an immediate threat of

serious physical harm to the officer or another person.

Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 11-12 (1985). The only

exception to this general rule is the “fleeing felon” rule, which

allows police officers to use deadly force to prevent the escape

of a suspect in cases where there is probable cause to believe

the suspect either poses an immediate threat of serious harm to

the officer or another, or has committed a crime involving the

infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm.

Id.; Davis v. Little, 851 F.2d 605, 608 (2d Cir. 1988). Yet even

in those circumstances, police are required to provide a warning,

if feasible, before using deadly force. Garner, 471 U.S. at 11.

Deadly force is permissible only for as long as the threat

remains. When the threat is over, officers must cease using

deadly force. 

Although our jurisdiction is, of course, limited to federal

law, we recommend that the YPD’s use of force policy be revised

to track both the federal constitutional and state standards.3

New York has its own statute covering the situations in which law

Nimely, 414 F.3d at 390 n.7 (citing Brown v. Doe, 2 F.3d 1236,

1242 n. 1 (2d Cir. 1993)); United States v. Walsh, 194 F.3d 37,

47 (2d Cir. 1999) (citing Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535



We note that differences between state and federal law

should be explained to prevent confusion, and that the YPD should

be explicit about whether it is mandating a more stringent

standard than required by the law. For example, the Washington

D.C. Metropolitan Police Department adopted a use of force policy

which prohibited the use of chokeholds, although they were

generally allowable as a matter of law in instances where deadly

force was appropriate.

- 6 ­
enforcement agents may employ deadly force. Specifically,

McKinney’s Penal Law § 35.30 provides in relevant part:

. . . deadly physical force may be used for such purposes

only when [the officer] reasonably believes that:

(a) The offense committed by such person was: (i) a

felony or an attempt to commit a felony involving the use

or attempted use or threatened imminent use of physical

force against a person; or (ii) kidnapping, arson, escape

in the first degree, burglary in the first degree or any

attempt to commit such a crime; or

(b) The offense committed or attempted by such person was

a felony and that, in the course of resisting arrest

therefore or attempting to escape from custody, such

person is armed with a firearm or deadly weapon; or

(c) Regardless of the particular offense which is the

subject of the arrest or attempted escape, the use of

deadly physical force is necessary to defend the police

officer or peace officer or another person from what the

officer reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use

of deadly physical force.

We note that the Manual does not address legal standards

governing the use of force. We recommend that the Manual be

reviewed to address applicable legal standards to provide

officers with a framework for making appropriate use of force



Use of Force Definitions

YPD should provide officers with clearly written policies

that establish guidelines for the use of force, including

appropriate limitations on the use of deadly and less than lethal

force, and prohibitions on the use of unauthorized types of

force. An essential component to a clearly written use of force

policy is a definition of deadly and less than lethal force. The

YPD does not have a central use of force policy that provides a

comprehensive list of actions that are considered uses of force.

Instead, YPD’s use of force policy is fragmented among separate,

individual, use of force policies for separate use of force

tools, such as the Use of Heckler & Koch MP-5 or the Use of

Oleoresin Capsium (“OC”) Spray policies. See Policy 1.08.06;

1.09.03. Further, these individual use of force policies are not

arranged in any organized and coordinated format vis-a-vis deadly

and less than lethal force. For example, the use of a shotgun

- 7 ­
and the use of the Heckler & Koch MP 5, both of which can be

deadly, are not addressed in Policy 1.09.01, under Use of Deadly

Force; rather, they are addressed in Policy 1.08.08. We

recommend that the YPD consider reorganizing all individual use

of force policies into a comprehensive, single use of force

policy as appropriate.

Currently, in order for a YPD officer to grasp the YPD’s

requirements for use of force, the officer must read several

different policies and extrapolate from those policies the YPD’s

definition of use of force and what constitutes permissible and

impermissible uses of force. Policy 1.09.05 best illustrates

this problem. Policy 1.09.05 is entitled “Use of Force

Restrictions”; however, the text of the policy is limited.

Indeed, the policy incorporates New York State law, Article 35,

by reference, but does not go into detail as to how Article 35 is

applied. Policy 1.09.05 requires an officer to research Article

35, rather than provides the language and guidance on its

application, and offer situational examples. Therefore, we

recommend that the YPD establish a use of force policy that

defines when the use of force is permissible and provides clear

definitions and operational guidance on the use of deadly and

less than lethal force.4

Moreover, the term “use” is inconsistently applied.

Compare, for example, Policy 1.08.01, Use of Shotgun, with Policy

1.08.06, Use of Heckler & Koch MP-5. The term “use” carries a

different meaning for both policies. The term “use” in 1.08.01 

relates to the care and maintenance of the shotgun rather than

application and use. By contrast, the term “use” in 1.08.06

refers to the actual application of the Heckler & Koch MP-5 and

not care. The inconsistency may be confusing to officers who are

looking to the policy for guidance on when it is appropriate and

permissible to use a weapon, such as the shotgun, in a specific

situation. Thus, we recommend that the YPD select different

terminology when referring to the care and maintenance of a

weapon vis-a-vis its actual use. We reiterate our recommendation

noted above that the YPD consider separating technical

information that refers to the care and maintenance of weapons,

as well as training materials relating to weapons, from a use of

force policy. 


For example, Prince George’s County, Maryland Police

Department defines “use of force” as any physical coercion used

to effect, influence or persuade an individual to comply with an

order from an officer.

- 8 ­

Less Than Lethal Force

YPD’s force-related policies fail to fully address what

constitutes less than lethal force. Although there are various

policies that address the use of a specific weapon, there is no

policy that specifically defines use of force and delineates

permissible uses of force. Because YPD officers should be fully

informed of the actions that may constitute a use of force, we

recommend that the YPD’s use of force policy provide a

comprehensive list of actions that are considered uses of force,

including physical force. These examples should include actions

such as takedowns and firearm brandishing. In addition, we

recommend that the YPD’s use of force policy identify any uses of

force that are prohibited or restricted to limited circumstances

(e.g., chokeholds). 


Deadly Force

YPD’s force-related policies also inadequately address

“deadly force.” Specifically, YPD’s deadly force policy does not

define deadly force. See Policy 1.09.01. The policy addresses

the topic of deadly force, but there is no specific departmental

definition for what constitutes deadly force. The YPD’s deadly

force policy is fragmented and an officer reading the policy must

extrapolate from several provisions in order to create a

definition of deadly force. Such extrapolation is dangerous, as

the YPD has no control over what an officer subjectively believes

is deadly force. Accordingly, we strongly recommend that the YPD

adopt a uniform definition of deadly force.5

Moreover, the deadly force policy contains vague language

and undefined terms. For example, the policy states: 

“[a] police officer is authorized and has a duty to

prevent an attack with deadly force upon himself, a

fellow officer or member of the public, by utilizing

whatever force is necessary, including the use of a


See Policy 1.09.01.III.A. (emphasis added). The policy should

delineate the appropriate uses of force rather than suggest an

indiscriminate application of force. The term “whatever” may


For example, many police departments define deadly

force as that force which could result in a substantial risk of

death or serious bodily injury.

- 9 ­
suggest that an officer has the authority to use both authorized

and unauthorized uses of force to quell a dangerous situation and

may allow for unconstitutional applications of force.

Further, according to the policy, an officer may discharge

his firearm under specific circumstances: in “Confrontation

Situations” and “Apprehension and Pursuit Situations.” See

Policy 1.09.01.III.A.1-2. The language in this section of the

policy is similarly vague and may lead officers to believe they

are justified in using force in situations in which the force

would be unreasonable. For example, Policy 1.09.01.III.A.1-2

provides that an officer may discharge his firearm:


To defend himself or other persons from death or
serious bodily harm; or


To prevent or terminate the commission of a robbery
or kidnapping, including the taking of hostages,
when there are no other reasonable means available
to prevent or terminate such offenses.

See Policy 1.09.01.III.A.1.a-b. First, the term “reasonable” in

subsection (b) is not defined. Second, the language depends

heavily on interpretation rather than offering objective

situations and scenarios. For example, subsection (b) suggests

that if an officer determines that a subject was about to commit

a robbery or kidnapping, then deadly force is per se permissible.

This is a dangerous proposition, because subsection (b) does not

specify whether or not the subject is armed. Moreover,

subsection (b) does not allow for alternatives to deadly force,

such as verbal commands, if appropriate and safe. As written,

the policy suggests that an officer who sees a subject attempting

to rob or kidnap, or is in the process of robbing or kidnaping an

individual, may use deadly force. Such interpretation does not

allow for de-escalation techniques to neutralize the situation

without having to resort to deadly force. Moreover, allowing for

the indiscriminate application of force conflicts with the

imminent harm requirement of subsection (a). Subsection (a)

allows force where there is imminent harm; however, subsection

(b) is broader and, as written, may nullify subsection (a). We

also note that the arbitrary selection of specific crimes (i.e.,

robbery and kidnapping) may not be a helpful guideline for

officers as the selection implies that only those crimes warrant

deadly force. 

The YPD’s deadly force policy also does not adequately

identify the types of force that constitute deadly force (except

for the use of a firearm). YPD’s deadly force policy fails to

- 10 ­
indicate that a strike to the head with an impact weapon,

including a police radio or flashlight, is an application of

deadly force. Similarly, the policy fails to identify uses of

physical force which may constitute deadly force, such as the

application of a chokehold.6 We thus recommend that the YPD

include in its definition of deadly force any use of force that

is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. Similarly, we

recommend that the YPD’s use of force policy limit strikes to the

head with impact weapons, such as batons or flashlights, as

tactics of last resort to be used only when the use of deadly

force would otherwise be authorized. Lastly, we recommend that

the revised policy identify uses of physical force that may

constitute deadly force. 

Moreover, the deadly force policy does not reference seminal

federal and state case and statutory law, including Graham and,

as noted, New York State Article 35. Similarly, there is no

reference to the YPD’s overall mission and value to preserving

the life of its officers and members of the community. Instead,

the background section to the Use of Deadly Force Policy

emphasizes “unwavering support” by the YPD to officers “when they

act in a reasonable and prudent manner within the framework of

State Law and Department Policy.” Policy 1.09.01.II. Yet no

guidance on what is “reasonable,” and “prudent,” is provided, nor

are there any explicit guidelines of what “State Law” and

“Department Policy” are being referenced. Lastly, the deadly

force policy, effective as of July 1, 1996, is outdated and

should be revised to comport with other provisions of the YPD

policies and procedures and contemporary police practices.

Given the above, we recommend that the revised deadly force

policy clearly and accurately define all terms, including

reasonable force (e.g., the minimum amount of force necessary to

effect the arrest or protect the officer or other person). We

further recommend that the YPD clarify its deadly force policy,

explicitly limiting the use of deadly force to situations

involving an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury

to an officer or other person. The revised policy should also

identify all uses of force that constitute deadly force. 


During our on-site interviews, YPD officials assured us

that YPD prohibits the use of chokeholds. Nevertheless, we were

unable to locate such a prohibition in the Manual.

- 11 ­

Use of Force Continuum

A use of force continuum is central to a comprehensive use

of force policy.7 When properly designed and implemented, a use

of force continuum is a fluid and flexible policy guide. Many

departments employ the continuum because it provides a useful

tool in training officers to consider lower levels of force, when

appropriate, which protects the safety of both the officer and

the civilian. Moreover, a use of force continuum can emphasize

that officers’ presence, verbal commands, de-escalation

strategies, and the use of “soft hands” techniques (using hands

to escort rather than control subjects) be used as alternatives

to more significant uses of force. 

The Manual does not include a use of force continuum that

encompasses all authorized weapons available to the YPD.

Instead, references to elements of a use of force continuum are

widely dispersed in the voluminous Manual, limited to one

specific weapon, and characterized as training information,

guidelines, or recommendations, but not policy. Policy 1.09.02,

addressing the Use of the Straight and PR-24 Type Police Baton,

best illustrates this problem. Rather than setting forth a

policy, this section sets forth “General Training Guidelines

Reminders.” Policy 1.09.02.V. As part of training, the Manual

reminds officers to use the minimum amount of force necessary

when using a baton, and suggests that the officer consider only

the following prior to using a baton:

1. 	 Whether other officers at the scene can provide

assistance to subdue the subject;

2. 	 The feasibility of summoning backup assistance; and

3. 	 The feasibility of using chemical agents.

Policy 1.09.02.V. There is no policy, nor even a suggestion, of

using less force (if appropriate). The section then states that

when use of the police baton is “justified,” -- without setting

forth a policy on justified use -- then the officer should

deliver “short and snappy” blows to “vulnerable areas of the body

which will render the subject temporarily incapacitated but are

not likely to cause serious physical injury.” Finally, the


A use of force continuum is a guide which attempts to

rank uses of force, ranging from de-escalation techniques to

deadly force, which an officer may employ to gain control and

compliance of a suspect in an appropriate and justified manner. 

- 12 ­
policy references a coded chart highlighting “the appropriate

target of choice,” without any policy on what is an “appropriate”


Although YPD officers may carry a variety of weapons,

ranging from OC spray and PR-24 baton to service firearms, the

YPD’s policies do not guide officers on when to use each weapon

in relation to other choices.8 We thus recommend that the YPD’s

force policy include a use of force continuum describing how the

various force options may be used, how the various applications

of the options affect their placement in the use of force

progression, and what level of force is appropriate in response

to suspects’ resistance. The continuum should include all types

of force the YPD authorizes for use (e.g., canine, OC spray, PR­

Because officers are often confronted with difficult use of

force decisions with respect to persons with mental illness or

who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we also

recommend that the YPD’s use of force policy and force continuum

include the de-escalation techniques appropriate to interactions

with such persons.9

In sum, the Manual should be revised to include a use of

force continuum that applies to all uses of force. 


For example, Policy 1.09.03 indicates that OC spray

should be used at a “level less than that of a firearm, but

greater than the application of ordinary physical force.” This

paragraph may confuse officers regarding appropriate situations

for deploying OC spray rather than using a PR-24 baton (although

Policy 1.09.03 regarding the PR-24 may clarify such a

discrepancy, a single force continuum containing all force

options will ensure consistency of appropriate use).


Although we understand that YPD officers are already

trained to identify persons with mental illness, or who are under

the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, we recommend that the YPD

establish a working relationship with the local public mental

health provider, as well as organizations providing assistance

with substance abuse, as an added resource for training and

support when faced with individuals with mental illness or who

are under the influence. A good model for a successful police

and mental health services partnership is one used by the

Cincinnati Police Department.

- 13 ­

Specific Uses of Force

We have reviewed the YPD’s use of force policies regarding

specific uses of force and have the following comments:



The YPD policies fail to provide clear guidance and

comprehensive procedures regarding the use of firearms. Indeed,

while Policies 1.08.02 through 1.08.04 define the YPD authorized

firearms and Policy 1.09.01 references the discharge of firearms

as it relates to deadly force, there is no policy regarding

brandishing a weapon or specifying procedures following deadly

force situations (including procedures for reporting and

documenting firearm discharge). We recommend that the YPD

develop a clear policy for the authorized use of firearms,

including clearly delineating appropriate and inappropriate uses.

We further recommend that the YPD consolidate its various firearm

policies into one policy providing clear guidance and

comprehensive procedures regarding the use of firearms.

We additionally note that the policies on Authorized

Personal Firearms, Policy 1.08.02, and Authorized Ammunition,

Policy 1.08.03, seem outdated, leaving the impression that

neither has been updated since its effective date of October 13,

1993, and September 14, 1993, respectively. For example, it can

be inferred from Policy 1.08.02, that “Uniformed Duty Officers”

will carry both a double action revolver, as well as a 9mm double

action semi-automatic pistol, thus leaving to doubt whether an

officer must carry a revolver, a semi-automatic pistol, or has

another option. Policy 1.08.02.III.A.1-2. Thus, YPD’s gun

issuance policy should be revised to precisely reflect its

current policy on department issued weapons.


Use of Shotguns

The Manual acknowledges “the lethal potential of the

shotgun’s wide shot dispersion pattern.” Policy 1.08.01.II. 

Yet, as noted above, the Manual does not address the use of

shotguns in the context of deadly force. See, supra, Section

II.B. Moreover, the Manual does not set forth a clear policy on

when the discharge of a shotgun is justified. Rather, the focus

of the policy is on the handling and carrying of shotguns.

Accordingly, we recommend that the YPD develop a clear policy for

the authorized deployment of shotguns, and that such policy

address legal standards on use of force, as well as its placement

on a use of force continuum.

- 14 ­

Use of the Heckler & Koch MP-5

As with shotguns, we recommend that any use of the Heckler &

Koch MP-5 be addressed in the context of deadly force. The

policy, as written, acknowledges the inherent danger of this

weapon and limits its use to the Emergency Services Unit and

selected supervisors of the Special Operations Division. Policy

1.08.06.II. Although restricting the use of the Heckler & Koch

MP-5 to specific personnel is advisable, we note that the policy

does not set forth the criteria for the selection of supervisors

who are authorized to use the Heckler & Koch MP-5, nor does it

provide any cross-reference to the Emergency Services Unit or

Special Operations Division and the types of situations in which

the use of the Heckler & Koch MP-5 by these units would be


Thus, we encourage the YPD to expressly set forth the

criteria to be used for the selection of supervisors who are

authorized to use the Heckler & Koch MP-5, as well when such use

would be reasonable. We also encourage the YPD to review its

entire use of force policy with respect to all firearms to

address the fragmented nature of its policy, as well as

streamline and differentiate policy from training, maintenance,

and care of firearms. 


OC Spray

While Policy 1.09.03, addressing use of OC spray, is

generally adequate in content, we recommend that when practical,

the YPD require officers to make all attempts to warn subjects

prior to deploying OC spray. In addition, while the YPD’s OC

policy indicates that OC spray “is most effective when a well-

aimed one second burst is directed at the face of an aggressor

from a range of ten feet or less,” we recommend that the policy

also set a threshold number of bursts and distance within which

OC spray may only be used in exigent circumstances. 


The Straight and PR-24 Type Police Baton

The Manual acknowledges that police batons are defined as

“deadly weapons” under the New York State Penal Law. Policy

1.09.02.II. This policy references a use of force continuum

indicating that use of a baton is regarded “as an escalation in

the use of force to a level greater than the application of

chemical agents and physical force but less than the use of a

firearm.” Id. This policy also references Article 35 of the New

York State Penal Law; however, as noted below, those legal

standards are not set forth in the Manual, nor is a use of force

- 15 ­
continuum presented as a specific policy requirement. 

Policy 1.09.02, regarding use of the straight baton and the

PR-24 baton, indicates that “improper or unreasonable” use of the

baton may cause serious physical injury or death. This policy

contains a color-coded diagram of the human body divided into

three levels of trauma (highest, moderate, and caution) caused by

baton strikes. While the policy cautions that misuse of the

baton could result in serious injury or death, the policy does

not indicate when such use would be appropriate. We recommend

that the YPD further detail the policy to clarify that blows

capable of inflicting permanent injury must be avoided unless the

officer is confronted with a situation in which the use of deadly

force would be authorized. Moreover, we recommend that the YPD

specifically identify strikes to the head as blows capable of

inflicting permanent or deadly injury.

Further, the policy contains vague references as to when use

of the police baton is warranted, such as to “subdue a violently

resisting subject” or an “uncooperative subject in custody.”

Policy 1.09.02.IV.B.1,5. Neither of these terms are defined, and

no effort is made to distinguish between armed and unarmed

subjects. We also note that the policy states that officers are

“reminded that the force used must be reasonable for the

circumstances encountered.” See id. Once again, as there is no

express use of force definition in the policy, nor any legal

standards explaining the term “reasonable,” it remains unclear

how an officer will be able to properly determine when it is

objectively reasonable to use a potentially deadly impact weapon

such as a police baton. 

The section of the policy on use of the police baton also

combines reporting requirements and training materials. YPD

should consolidate all use of force reporting requirements ­
regardless of the weapon - and separate training materials from



Canine Deployment

While the YPD’s canine policy, Policy 2.03.03, does not

identify the YPD’s canine handling methodology,10 we were informed

during our interviews with YPD personnel that the YPD employs a


The canine handling methodology refers to the use of a

dog to search for and apprehend a suspect, including the commands

used by the handler to hold the suspect at bay (i.e., “guard and

bite”; “find and bite”; “find and bark”).

- 16 ­
“find and bite” policy. Generally accepted police practice for

canine use of force, however, calls for a “find and bark”

methodology. We recommend that the existing canine policy and

all related policies be revised to reflect this methodology. A

“find and bark” policy prevents canines from biting subjects in

situations in which such force is not necessary to effect an

arrest or protect the safety of officers or civilians, such as

where a subject is passively hiding in a building. This policy

also allows for the canine handler, not the dog, to be in charge

of controlling the application of force. 

Moreover, YPD policy does not sufficiently articulate the

circumstances in which use of canines is permitted. For example,

the policy allows officers to use canines in order to “effect the

arrest or prevent the escape of a person whom the police officer

has reasonable grounds to believe has committed a crime, as long

as the force used is reasonable under the circumstances.” 

See Policy 2.03.03.III.A.3.a. This policy raises two issues.

First, it does not define what type of “crime” warrants the use

of canines (i.e., because use of a canine or a canine bite is

such a high level use of force, it likely would be inappropriate

to deploy a canine to apprehend an unarmed suspect for petty

theft). While we were informed that the YPD teaches canine

officers that canines may be used only in the context of

felonies, we urge the YPD to amend its policy to reflect that

limitation. Second, the policy does not define when force is

“reasonable under the circumstances,” which is particularly

problematic given the YPD’s use of a “find and bite” policy and

the absence in the YPD policy of both a definition of

“reasonable” use of force as well as a use of force continuum. 

Moreover, while the YPD policy is silent as to who may

authorize the use of a canine, we were informed that the decision

to deploy a canine is left to the handler in the absence of an

Emergency Services Unit supervisor. We recommend that YPD policy

require canine handlers to have approval from a supervisor before

a canine can be deployed, except in extraordinary circumstances

where time does not allow for the securing of such approval.

When a canine supervisor cannot be located, the canine handler

should seek approval from another supervisor.

The YPD appropriately forbids the use of canines for “crowd

control” at demonstrations, strikes, or peaceful gatherings.

See Policy 2.03.03.III.A.3.g. Nevertheless, we note that the

policy appears inconsistent because it permits the use of canines

to “assist at the scene of public dem[o]nstrations or other

violent situations where the presence of a canine team would

effectively contribute to the maintenance or restoration of the

- 17 ­
peace.” See id. To correct this inconsistency, we recommend

that the YPD streamline the policy by prohibiting the use of

canines as a deterrent to protect property only. We also

recommend a prohibition on the use of canines in riots, potential

riot conditions, or other large assemblies. In light of the

diversity of the Yonkers community, we also recommend that any

warnings issued to individuals prior to the deployment of the K-9

Unit be issued in Spanish, as well as in English. 

Finally, we recommend that the YPD amend its policy

regarding the reporting and investigation of canine bites.

Currently, YPD policy limits review to an on-scene investigation

by a supervisor. See, e.g., Policy 2.03.03.III.D.3. Because a

bite is a use of force (and a potentially serious one), the

protocol for investigating and evaluating bites should track the

protocol employed by the YPD for serious use of force incidents.

See, infra, Section II.E.


Use of Force Reporting

The routine supervisory review of officer uses of force is

critical to a department’s ability to ensure officers are using

force in a manner consistent with constitutional standards and

the department’s policies. Use of force reviews may identify

both officer training needs and patterns of unauthorized or

excessive uses of force. The YPD lacks a clear policy on

reporting uses of force, as well as for reviewing uses of force

and investigating those that appear excessive, avoidable,

inconsistent with YPD policy and/or indicative of potentially

criminal conduct. 

With respect to reporting use of force, for example, it does

not appear that the YPD has a separate form for reporting use of

force incidents. To the contrary, the YPD appears to use the

same YPD-28 Form for every arrest, incident, and use of force

that does not involve a firearm. We understand that Form U.F.

104 is to be completed when use of force involves the discharge

of a firearm. However, use of a baton and deployment of a K-9

Unit are examples of uses of force that should be reported in the

same manner as the discharge of a firearm. We would thus

recommend that one form be used when documenting any use of force

incident. Without such form, the review process of use of force

incidents becomes more difficult. 

Further, the YPD’s reporting requirements on
force appear arbitrary. For example, a review of
requirements when a police baton is used provides
than one officer used their baton during the same

the use of


that “[i]f more


- 18 ­
supplemental reports are to be completed by each of those

officers.” Policy 1.09.02.IV.D.6. By contrast, reporting

requirements for the use of shotguns is different; the policy

provides that “[i]n an incident where several shotguns were used,

the reporting officer will make one report concerning the entire

incident, including the names of officers involved, thereby

eliminating the need for a report from each officer.” Policy

1.08.01.IV.F.3. We recommend that the YPD correct such

discrepancies, requiring each officer involved in using force to

complete a use of force report. Doing so allows a supervisor to

assess the reasonableness of each separate use of force to

determine its appropriateness. 

III. Investigations

As a general matter, supervisory oversight of officers’ use

of force is critical for a department to ensure that its

officers’ use of force is consistent with departmental standards.

It is also important for a department to ensure that its officers

are using force in a constitutionally reasonable manner. See

Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985). 


Investigation of Citizen Complaints

An open, fair, and impartial process for receiving and

investigating citizen complaints serves several important

purposes. An appropriate citizen complaint procedure ensures

officer accountability and supervision, deters misconduct, and

helps maintain good community relations, increasing public

confidence in and respect for the YPD. Improving the YPD’s

current procedure for handling citizen complaints would maximize

these goals. 


Public Awareness of YPD’s Citizen Complaint


While the YPD currently has a system for intake of citizen

complaints, the YPD should increase public awareness of how to

utilize the citizen complaint process.11 The YPD should


We understand that a citizen may submit a complaint in

person; by phone through a twenty-four hour service; by calling

Internal Affairs directly; by mail; and by facsimile. While this

system provides the Yonkers community with a variety of methods

to submit a complaint, it is ineffective if the community at

large is not fully aware of the various methods that a citizen

may employ to submit a complaint.

- 19 ­
disseminate information to the public about the citizen complaint

process. Each police station should have complaint process

information posted in a visible place in the public reception

area. While information regarding the citizen complaint process

is currently available on-line, the Internet should not be the

only means of public notification of the complaint process. Not

all members of the Yonkers community have access to a computer or

the Internet. Indeed, many of the citizens we encountered did

not appear to be aware of the alternative methods available for

submitting a complaint. Therefore, we recommend that information

about the complaint process also be posted prominently at the YPD

headquarters and other public facilities. The YPD should also

consider soliciting feedback regarding public perception of that

process and establish a citizen survey to gauge the public’s

perception of the complaint process. See, infra, Section VI.A.2.

Responses to a survey from citizens will enable the YPD to

ascertain whether members of the community are intimidated by the

process of filing a complaint, and thus, allow the YPD to address

any concerns raised.


Intake and Tracking of Complaints

A complaint process should allow the public unfettered

access to make complaints. An open complaint process

contemplates that complaints will not be actively discouraged.

We encourage the YPD to adopt a policy that explicitly prohibits

any conduct that would tend to discourage a citizen from making a

complaint. The recommended policy would further provide that an

officer who violates the policy will be met with discipline or

other corrective action. 

The YPD should accept all complaints of actions that, if

true, would constitute a violation of the applicable laws, or

YPD’s rules and regulations.12 In particular, the YPD should be

mindful of language that may conflict with its policy requirement

to document all citizen complaints. The YPD should also strongly

discourage informal complaint resolution in all circumstances.

For example, Policy 5.03.01.IV.A.7 allows an officer to resolve a

citizen inquiry. While noting that there is a “fine line ...

between complaints and inquiries,” the provision contains

potentially dangerous language whereby an officer receiving a

complaint may believe it is permissible to encourage a citizen

not to file a complaint. The YPD should also reinforce with its


The manner in which the complaint is submitted, either

by telephone, submission of a citizen complaint form, or personal

letter, should not be an impediment to its receipt.

- 20 ­
staff that failure to accept a citizen complaint is always

unacceptable. Therefore, we recommend that the YPD create a

specific Departmental Order clarifying all employees’ roles in

accepting and investigating complaints. We also understand that

Patrol Sergeants are required to carry complaint forms. We

recommend that sergeants and other YPD personnel charged with

providing and accepting citizen complaints be given appropriate

training on handling citizen complaints with an emphasis on

interpersonal skills.

Similarly, complaint forms should be readily accessible and

available to any person who wishes to lodge a complaint.

Currently, citizen complaint forms are available at the Police

Department, upon request from a Patrol Sergeant, or on the

Internet. The complaint forms, however, are not available at

public facilities, such as libraries. It can be intimidating to

request a complaint form directly from the YPD. Accordingly, the

complaint forms should be available for collection in publicly

accessible locations that should permit the forms to be obtained

without a specific request by a citizen, e.g., blank forms placed

in a publicly accessible area for the taking. The citizen would

be responsible for submitting the complaint form to the YPD. 

Moreover, the citizen complaint process should be accessible

to all members of the Yonkers community, including non-English

speaking members of the community. Yonkers is a diverse

community, with a growing Hispanic population; however,

information regarding the citizen complaint process and the

citizen complaint forms is available only in English. We

recommended that YPD make available information regarding the

citizen complaint process and that complaint forms be in

languages consistent with, and reflective of, the city’s

diversity. In this regard, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

requires that recipients of federal funds take reasonable steps

to provide meaningful access to limited English proficient

As recipients of such funding, and given the City



Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.

§ 2000d et seq. For the YPD’s convenience, we attach two

documents that contain examples of steps that might be taken or

considered by the YPD. Specifically, we attach a Memorandum of

Agreement between the United States of America and Lake Worth,

Florida Police Department, dated March 13, 2007 (Exhibit A), and

a Law Enforcement Planning Tool, entitled “Considerations for

Creation of Language Assistance Policy and Implementation Plan

for Addressing Limited English Proficiency in a Law Enforcement

Agency” (Exhibit B).

- 21 ­
of Yonkers’ growing Hispanic population, the YPD should ensure

that complaint forms and information regarding the complaint

process are available in Spanish and that some officers are

familiar with rudimentary Spanish. In addition, officers would

benefit from receiving diversity training. Such training would

increase cultural awareness, allow the YPD to better interact

with the community it serves, and eliminate biases. By way of

example, we note that during our visit with the YPD, we had

several discussions relating to diversity issues. During one of

these discussions, a YPD supervisor unintentionally used

questionable language to refer to minorities on staff. Diversity

training can enable the YPD to better address and interact with

all individuals.

Upon receiving a citizen complaint, all complaints should be

assigned a tracking or control number. The YPD should promptly

confirm receipt of the complaint with the complainant, in

writing, and provide the tracking number to the complainant,

along with the YPD contact information, in the event the

complainant would like to check the status of the complaint.


Investigation Timeline

Policy 5.03.01.IV.G.4 requires all investigations, where

practicable, to be completed within 15 days (unless the deputy

chief is notified and agrees to an extension) and all precinct-

level investigation to be completed within 30 days (unless the

Commissioner grants an extension). Our interviews, however,

revealed that YPD complaint investigations do not consistently

follow the timelines set forth in the Manual. 

On its face, the YPD’s current timelines for the completion

of citizen complaint investigations does not seem to provide

adequate time for a thorough investigation and may lead,

especially at the precinct level, to a mere paperwork review by

the supervisor, resulting in an ineffective complaint resolution


We recommend that the YPD policy on complaints specify a

clear and adequate timeline under which complaints will be

investigated and adjudicated. We recommend that the policy

require that, absent exigent circumstances, all investigations be

completed within 45 days, including review of the investigation

by the Commissioner or his command staff designee within that

time frame. Internal adjudication, if any, of the results of the

investigation should be timely completed within deadlines

specified under the YPD’s labor agreements. Imposition of

discipline, if any, should occur within 30 days of the end of the

- 22 ­
Commissioner’s review or the end of internal adjudication.

Extensions beyond these time periods should require the

Commissioner’s written approval (rather than the deputy chief’s

approval), based upon criteria set out in the Manual, and be

communicated in writing to the complainant.


Identification of YPD Employees by Complainants

A complainant should be encouraged to identify the YPD

employee related to the incident described in the complaint.

Some departments have prepared a directory that includes the

names and faces of department staff so that complainants are able

to identify the employee involved in their incident. We

recommend that the YPD consider creating something similar to a

directory that is accessible to complainants at all times at the

precinct, and during working hours, where Complaint forms or

letters may be submitted. We also recommend that the YPD update

the Complaint form to provide a space for a complainant to submit

the case number or ticket number of the police action from which

the complaint arises. Obtaining this information from

complainants should facilitate an accurate and more efficient

resolution to complaints.

In the course of our investigation, we observed that YPD

officers did not wear name plates. The lack of name plates poses

a potential impediment to the accurate identification of YPD

employees involved in alleged misconduct. The lack of name

plates complicates efforts by citizens to report complaints of

misconduct, and may lead to instances of officers incorrectly

being the subject of citizen complaints. Therefore, we further

recommend that, as part of the YPD uniform, YPD officers wear

name plates indicating their rank and surname.


Investigation of Citizen Complaints

The YPD should develop and implement a centralized, formal,

structured, and consistent system for resolving complaints

without discouraging the filing of complaints. 

Currently, the YPD resolves complaints through two avenues:

(1) investigation by the Office of Professional Standards,14 or

(2) investigation conducted by personnel at the precinct or

division level. Policy 5.03.01 indicates that the Office of


Recent YPD organizational charts indicate that the

Office of Professional Standards has either been incorporated

into, or renamed as, the Internal Affairs Division.

- 23 ­
Professional Standards will investigate all allegations of

criminal conduct, as well as allegations of “corruption,

brutality, death or serious physical injury of a complainant.”

While YPD policy indicates that for each complaint, the subject’s

commanding officer, the deputy chief, and a commanding officer

from the Office of Professional Standards will confer to

determine who will conduct the investigation, it does not detail

which types of allegations may be resolved at the precinct level

or what factors must be considered before referring a complaint

for precinct level investigation.

We recommend that YPD revise its policies to provide

objective criteria for the assignments of citizen complaints to

both precinct level and Office of Professional Standards

investigation. Moreover, YPD should memorialize all such

investigative decisions in writing. Implementing a written

criteria will bolster accountability regarding investigation

referrals and increase the public and internal perception of

legitimacy in the complaint process by both YPD personnel and


In addition, the YPD should revise its investigation policy

to include examples of incidents the YPD considers should be

investigated at the precinct level, versus those that should be

investigated by the Office of Professional Standards. Further,

the YPD should offer guidance on incidents that would otherwise

be dealt with at the precinct level, but because of repeat

complaints would warrant a more expansive review by the Office of

Professional Standards.


Investigative Training

We recommend that YPD personnel charged with handling

complaints, whether conducting intake or investigating

complaints, receive specialized training before undertaking such

responsibilities. The training should include investigative and

interview techniques, such as examining and interrogating

witnesses (e.g., not asking inappropriate leading questions or

automatically giving undue weight to an officer’s statement

versus a citizen’s statement); identifying misconduct even if it

is not specifically alleged in a complaint; ethics; integrity;

professionalism; the factors to consider when evaluating

complainant or witness credibility; and the appropriate burden of

proof (i.e., preponderance of evidence).

- 24 ­

Centralized Investigation Assignments

Policy 5.03.01.IV.B.1 indicates that the Office of

Professional Standards provides supervisors with inter-unit case

control numbers for all complaints. While the Office of

Professional Standards investigates a number of citizen

complaints, many complaints are investigated and resolved at the

precinct level. 

Policy 5.03.01.IV.G.5 does not indicate that the Office of

Professional Standards stores any information (other than the

inter-unit case control number) regarding precinct level

investigations. YPD should revise its policies to require that

all precinct supervisors forward copies of all complaint

documents, findings, and recommendations to the Office of

Professional Standards for tracking and monitoring. YPD policy

should also require the Office of Professional Standards to

conduct periodic reviews, across all precincts, of precinct level

investigations to determine whether complaints are investigated

thoroughly, appropriate recommendations are being made, and

corrective actions are being implemented. 


Potential Criminal Investigations

Some allegations of misconduct, including citizen

complaints, may be sufficiently serious to warrant referral to

local or federal prosecutors or other law enforcement agencies.

While Policy 5.03.01.B.4 indicates that the Commissioner will

authorize all criminal investigations arising out of complaints

reviewed by the Office of Professional Standards, YPD policy does

not address bifurcation of criminal investigations and

administrative investigations. Such investigations should be

separated (although they may proceed along parallel tracks, if

appropriate) so as to avoid compromising the integrity of the

criminal investigation or infringing upon the rights of officers.

See Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967) (ruling that

officers must be adequately apprised of rights against self-

incrimination to preserve the integrity of any potential criminal


In revising its policy on administrative investigations, the

YPD should provide guidance to command staff and their

designee(s) as to which complaints are appropriate for internal

review and which complaints should be referred outside the YPD or

to a separate unit within the YPD for potential criminal


- 25 ­
The Manual should also clarify the rights of officers

involved. During investigations of potentially criminal

misconduct officers should be read rights pursuant to Miranda v.

Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), before questioning; and may be

entitled to have counsel present. Moreover, each YPD officer is

entitled to protection pursuant to Garrity, 385 U.S. 493, against

the use in subsequent criminal proceedings of statements

compelled from him or her in administrative proceedings under

threat of disciplinary action. This policy should be consistent

and coordinated with the policy regarding investigation and

evaluation of complaints. Such coordination will prevent

situations in which the protocol used to investigate a complaint

is incompatible with the requirements for the investigation of

serious misconduct, thus compromising the integrity of each

investigation. For example, if a complaint alleges that serious

misconduct might have occurred, YPD policy should require that

such a complaint be investigated under the heightened standards,

rather than the standards applicable to complaints that do not

involve allegations of serious misconduct.

Accordingly, we recommend that the YPD adopt and adhere to a

policy requiring that the Commissioner, in consultation with the

YPD’s legal counsel, timely refer allegations of potentially

criminal conduct to appropriate local or federal prosecutors.


Investigation of Collateral Misconduct

and Duty to Report Misconduct

While Policy 5.03.01.IV.D.3.e allows for a YPD investigator

to indicate that acts of misconduct were discovered during the

investigation that were not alleged in the original complaint,

there is no corresponding YPD policy requiring the alleged

misconduct to be investigated. Therefore, we recommend that YPD

investigators be required to report and investigate evidence of

violations of law or policy that come to light in the course of

internal affairs investigations.

Moreover, Policy 1.02.06, regarding officer responsibilities

and procedures, does not explicitly state that officers must

report violations of law or YPD codes of conduct that would

subject an officer to disciplinary action. We recommend that the

YPD revise its policies to require that officers who witness

misconduct by other officers be required to affirmatively report

such conduct to the sergeant on duty. We recommend that an

officer who fails to report the misconduct of another officer be

subject to discipline or other corrective action. 

- 26 ­


The imposition of discipline or corrective action (e.g.,

retraining) is crucial to address and minimize officer misconduct

or policy violations. While Policy 5.03.01 references discipline

as a potential result of an internal investigation, the policy

does not delineate a specific disciplinary system. A proper

system puts an officer on notice as to which conduct is

prohibited and informs the officer on the range of penalties for

each violation. 

Consistent with state law and the relevant bargaining unit

contract, we recommend that the YPD develop a consistent and

transparent system to impose discipline. Such a system should

identify ranges of appropriate disciplinary action that would

consider not only the nature of the infraction, but also other

factors, such as prior disciplinary history. Those serving on

any departmental hearing panel charged with imposing discipline

must be trained appropriately. The YPD should track records of

any discipline received by an officer, as well as the date of the

disciplinary action.


Supervisory Oversight


Risk Assessment and Management

As part of routine supervisory activities, YPD command staff

should examine and review officer conduct on a regular basis as a

proactive measure to minimize and detect misconduct, and to

identify training and policy issues. Our investigation thus far

has revealed a lack of structured oversight of YPD officers by

command staff. Due to an agreement with the Yonkers Police

Benevolent Association, the YPD does not conduct evaluations for

police officers, and any review of officer activity appears to be

informal and ad hoc. 

We recommend that the YPD implement policies and procedures

for supervisors to routinely review all aspects of officer

conduct, including a review of: (1) all uses of force;

(2) probable cause for arrests and the appropriateness of charges

filed; (3) reasonable suspicion for stops and searches that do

not result in an arrest; and (4) citizen complaints filed against

an officer. We recommend that YPD policy require supervisors to

review and approve all arrest reports and search-and-seizure

reports, and to record their approval on the arrest or incident

reports by handwritten or electronic signature. We recommend

that the Commissioner, or his designee, meet annually with at

least the YPD officers who have been subject to discipline or

- 27 ­
corrective action within the prior year to discuss positive

aspects of his or her police work, his or her complaint history,

if any, and to discuss any problems or concerns officers may have

concerning the department.


Disparate Scheduling

Policies 1.06.04, regarding Authority, Responsibility, and

Command, and 1.06.05, regarding Chain of Command, illustrate the

YPD’s desire for unity of command. In particular, Policy

1.06.04.III.A requires that each individual and division

commander have only one supervisor on duty to prevent conflicting

orders, confusion, and discord. Nevertheless, the YPD’s current

practice of scheduling lieutenants and sergeants to work

overlapping (but not concurrent) shifts with patrol officers

leads to a lack of continuity in supervision and may contribute

to potential problems such as those that Policy 1.06.4 seeks to

expressly avoid: “conflicting orders, confusion and discord.”

Policy 1.06.4.III.A. 

In order to increase responsibility and ensure

accountability, the YPD should align patrol officer and

supervisor schedules. Arranging patrol officer and supervisor

schedules to provide consistency of supervision will enable

supervisors to build necessary relationships to effectively

mentor patrol officers. We understand that a solution to this

problem may require either negotiations regarding the collective

bargaining agreement or an entirely new supervisory strategy that

takes into account YPD’s disparate scheduling. While this

difficult task requires a creative solution, resolution of this

issue is essential to ensure accountability within the YPD.


Early Warning System

The YPD has no risk management policy requiring

comprehensive review of use of force and complaint incidents.

Commissioner Hartnett and other YPD command staff have

acknowledged the need for an Early Warning System (“EWS”) to

address risk management.15 We credit the YPD for identifying this


An EWS is a data-based police management tool

designated to identify potentially problematic behavior and allow

early intervention to correct misconduct and assist in

identifying deficiencies in supervision, management, and

policies. Police departments typically use EWS data regularly

and affirmatively to promote best professional police practices,

accountability and proactive management; to manage the risk of

- 28 ­
weakness, and we encourage quick adoption of an EWS that is

appropriate and applicable to the YPD’s needs and size, as an

integral part of its risk management program. Either a

paper-based or a computer-based EWS will provide a useful

assessment tool for each officer’s conduct and an overall

assessment of YPD as a law enforcement agency.

We recommend that the YPD implement policies and procedures

to collect data on individual officers for the purpose of

maintaining, integrating, and retrieving information necessary

for effective supervision and management of YPD personnel. The

EWS should contain information on all investigations and

complaints, including non-sustained complaints and complaints

prior to final disposition, discipline and other supervisory

corrective measures, uses of force, arrests and charges, searches

and seizures, service calls, training, awards and commendations,

sick leave, civil lawsuits, and other items relevant to an

officer’s conduct. The effective gathering of data will require

the support of other City departments. The City of Yonkers law

office should report to the YPD when an officer is named in a

civil complaint relating to policing work or risk factors.

Similarly, the Yonkers District Attorney’s office should report

to the YPD on any matters relating to an officer’s integrity or


The YPD should then use EWS data regularly and proactively

to: (1) promote best professional police practices; (2) improve

accountability and management; (3) manage the risk of police

misconduct and potential liability; (4) evaluate and audit the

performance of all levels of the YPD, its members, and its units

on an ongoing basis; and (5) evaluate and assess the

effectiveness of training and policy. We recommend that the YPD

require supervisors, including command staff, to review this data

for every officer they supervise on a regular, predetermined

basis, such as on a quarterly basis. When supervisors review

their subordinates’ data, we recommend that the YPD utilize

comparisons to peers. Supervisors should compare their

subordinates’ data concerning complaints, use of force reports,

and other pertinent information about a particular officer with

the same categories of information from other officers on the

same patrol team or shift. Similarly, command staff should

review the data for the units they command and compare these data

with peer units. In addition, the policy should provide explicit

guidance to supervisory officers reviewing reports to ensure that

police misconduct and potential liability; to evaluate and audit

the performance of officers and units; and to identify, manage,

and control at-risk officers, conduct, and situations.

- 29 ­
patterns of possible misconduct are identified, analyzed, and

addressed properly by command staff. The aim of this process is

to give supervisors valuable information that, if received early,

could identify potential problem officers before misconduct

actually develops. In addition the process can be used to

promote, commend, or otherwise recognize outstanding officer


To use the EWS effectively as a predictive model tool, the

EWS must have defined triggers for management intervention. The

policy implementing these recommendations should also establish

guidelines regarding specific events that will trigger an

additional supervisory review, such as a specific number of uses

of force or citizen complaints within a discrete period. Once an

officer has been selected for this additional review, a report

should be prepared for his or her supervisor that details all use

of force reports, formal and informal complaints, calls for

service, sick leave, counseling reports, civil lawsuits, and

commendations pertaining to the officer over an appropriate time

of review. The officer’s immediate supervisor and command staff

should then meet to discuss the report and determine if any

corrective action is warranted. The supervisor’s and command

staff’s recommendations should then be forwarded to the

appropriate Deputy Chief for his or her timely review and

implementation. The effectiveness of the implemented

recommendations should be determined by monitoring the officer

and drafting written reports on the officer’s conduct on a

monthly basis. The officer’s supervisor should retain the

supervisory recommendations and the written monthly report in his

or her supervisory file. 


Expansion of CompStat Process

During our site visit, one of our police practices

consultants observed YPD’s CompStat process, finding it

impressive and effective.16 We encourage Commissioner Hartnett to

implement his plan to include civilian complaints in the CompStat

process. In addition, we recommend that the YPD consider

expanding its successful CompStat process to track officer

conduct though review of materials generated from any Early


CompStat, short for Computer Statistics, refers to a

management tool used by police departments to collect, analyze,

and map crime statistics and patterns, as well as other data, in

an effort to reduce crime, improve quality of life, assist in

formulating deployment strategy, and measure police performance

on a regular basis. 

- 30 ­
Warning System the YPD chooses to implement. Finally, we suggest

that the YPD include a community relations aspect in its current

CompStat process to ensure that the YPD’s current

relationship-building initiatives are effective and to encourage

creation of new initiatives. 


Training Program and Materials


Field Training Program

A structured field training program for training new

recruits is an integral component of any comprehensive officer

training program. An effective field training program can

reinforce training learned at the police academy, as well as

minimize the risk of officers engaging in problematic behaviors,

including the use of excessive force. Although YPD has some form

of field training for new officers, there is no formal field

training program in place that delineates the substantive content

and goals of the program or sets forth the criteria for

selection, training, and, if warranted the deselection of field

training officers (“FTOs”), who are instrumental to any field

training program. 

The YPD should develop and implement a comprehensive policy

regarding field training. Field training typically occurs during

an officer’s first 12 weeks on duty following police academy

training. YPD’s field training program, however, is

significantly less than twelve weeks, and exposes new recruits to

only two of the four precincts, rather than providing each

recruit with exposure to all the various precincts and the

uniqueness of each precinct. Additionally, there does not seem

to be a consistent lesson plan for all new recruits, or an

evaluation process that tracks the development of skills and

substantive knowledge taught throughout the program. We

encourage the YPD to develop a formal and structured field

training program. 

We also note that well-qualified FTOs are critical to

ensuring well-trained police recruits. The YPD, however, has no

formal policy addressing the selection, training, and deselection

of FTOs. FTOs should have at least three years experience on the

YPD. An FTO candidate’s experience, use of force and complaint

history, and interpersonal skills should also be considered as

selection criteria. All FTOs should have completed a course on

how to serve in that capacity, and the course should be similar

in length and scope for all FTOs. We recommend that the YPD take

measures to recruit and train qualified FTOs, including providing

incentives to current officers to encourage them to apply to

- 31 ­
become FTOs. The YPD should also develop and implement a

comprehensive policy and mechanism for evaluating and/or

recertifying FTOs and for removing FTOs who fail to perform

adequately, or whose actions while serving as an FTO would have

disqualified them from selection in the first instance. 


Training Materials

A review of the YPD’s training materials indicates that, in

many instances, the training materials are highly technical and

mechanical, comprised of reprinted materials from the Manual, as

well as general manufacturing information on design, function and

maintenance of firearms. The training materials lack skills and

context training, fail to train on the use of force, how to use

alternative defensive measures (e.g., verbal judo), legal issues

(e.g., the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tennessee v. Garner) or

other issues essential to police work. 

Additionally, as the training materials are comprised of

excerpts from the Manual, and/or cross reference the Manual, the

training materials are as dated as the policies on which they

rely. Thus, some of these materials are more than 10, and in

some instances more than 20, years old. To the extent any of the

training materials cross-reference the Manual, we recommend that

those training materials be revised and updated.17

The training materials should also be revised and updated to

instruct officers on reporting requirements, and on how to

interact and communicate with citizens. As noted above, training

should include de-escalation techniques for interacting with

citizens, especially those who may be mentally ill or who may be

under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Implementing In-Service Training

It does not appear that the YPD has a formal in-service

training program. We recommend in-service training as a valuable


Like the Manual, the training materials are also

voluminous and fragmented. We would recommend that the YPD

undertake to condense and organize the training materials to

allow for ease of reference. Additionally, certain aspects of

the training materials, such as teachings on the use of force

continuum, should be incorporated and made part of YPD policy. 

- 32 ­
tool for reinforcing officer safety and for ensuring that

officers maintain familiarity with issues that are essential to

police work, such as evolving legal developments, tactical and

use of force updates, searches and seizures, and police

integrity. By way of example, such in-service training could be

incorporated as part of officer roll call, so as to take

advantage of that time on a more substantive level. We also

recommend that any training during roll call or otherwise be

conducted by instructors who have been trained and certified to

be instructors and who are competent in the subject matter being


VI.	 Community Relations

The YPD should work to improve its relationship with the

Yonkers community. Citizen interviews and news reports revealed

allegations of distrust and fear of the YPD. Deep seated

concerns of racial animus impede attempts at reconciliation. The

fact that a negative perception exists is reason enough for the

YPD to address these concerns. Therefore, we recommend that the

YPD emphasize community relations as one of its core values and

expand its community outreach beyond the Community Affairs

Division by making it an integral part of policing. To improve

relations, we recommend the following: (1) reexamination of the

role of the Police Professional Standard Responsibility Committee

(“PPSRC”) in community affairs and broader dissemination of the

committee and its requirements to increase public awareness and

participation; (2) citizen participation in the review of

policies and procedures; (3) formulation of citizen surveys;

(4) increased professionalism, including the courteous

interaction with members of the community and wearing of name

plates that indicate an officer’s rank and surname on their

uniform; and (5) as recommended above, education about how to

access and utilize the complaint process.


The Police Professional Standard Responsibility



The Role of the Police Professional Standard

Responsibility Committee in Community Affairs

The PPSRC was established in 1993 to allow representatives

of the community an opportunity to review internal investigations

alleging excessive use of force, abuse of authority, discourtesy,

and the use of offensive or discriminatory language. The PPSRC

- 33 ­
was to serve a dual function: review of select internal

investigations and community liaison. However, in practice, the

PPSRC is outdated and inconsistent with later enacted policy.

Specifically, Policy 1.06.03, circa 1993, is inconsistent with

the Community Relations Policy (“CRP”), Policy 2.04.03,

established in 2003. In particular, Policy 2.04.03 does not

reference the PPSRC or its policy. Moreover, given Policy

2.04.03, the purpose of the PPSRC is in question as officers may

perceive the requirements of this policy to override rather than

incorporate the requirements of the PPSRC policy. For example,

the PPSRC policy references the Task Force on Police-Community

Relations; however, there is no mention of this Task Force in the

CRP nor did command staff mention this Task Force during our

interviews. The PPSRC does not appear to fall within the current

YPD organizational structure and it is unclear whether oversight

for the committee falls within the responsibility of the

Community Affairs Division, Internal Affairs, or the Office of

Professional Standards. It is also unclear whether the Task

Force on Police Community Relations identified in the PPSRC

policy still exists, and if so, to which department it is

accountable. As a result, the role of the PPSRC within the YPD

and as a necessary component of community relations and the

citizen complaint process is diminished. 

It appears that the YPD is seeking to revise the PPSRC in

order to respond to public criticism regarding police misconduct.

However, revising an outdated policy without accounting for

potential conflict stemming from later enacted policies may cause

confusion and inconsistencies that may derail the intended goal.

Therefore, we recommend that the YPD reexamine the PPSRC Policy

in light of the CRP to ensure cohesion with YPD policies and

organizational structure, including oversight and management.

Lastly, we further recommend that the Community Affairs Division

be involved in the administration of the PPSRC, including its

promotion within the Department and throughout the Yonkers



Public Awareness of the PPSRC

The YPD should provide the community with complete and

accurate information regarding the PPSRC in order to increase

public awareness and participation in the committee. Based on

our interviews with members of the YPD and the community, it

appears that the PPSRC has not been convened for some time. In

fact, some citizens and community leaders were either unaware the

committee existed or were skeptical of its purpose. 

- 34 ­
Community representation is an essential component of the

PPSRC. YPD Policy requires the committee to have four community

representatives. During our investigation we learned that YPD

has encountered recruiting difficulties regarding the PPSRC. We

recommend that the YPD take a proactive approach in recruiting

members for the PPSRC by widely disseminating information

regarding the committee and its mission. It is also important

for YPD representatives promoting the PPSRC to be well versed in

the policy, especially the extensive selection and participation

criteria. Participation in the PPSRC involves a time commitment

that may deter some citizens who are interested but may find it

difficult to balance with work and/or personal responsibilities.18

Thus, it is especially important for the YPD to address these

concerns so as to maximize community involvement. During our

investigation, for example, we attended a community meeting where

the YPD representative gave a cursory presentation of the PPSRC

and was unable to respond to community questions. One question

involved the program’s structure and time commitment. The YPD’s

representative was unable to answer the question. The

Department’s inability to provide a complete and accurate

portrayal of the PPSRC, including scheduling and anticipated time

commitment, may discourage community involvement and derail the

YPD’s recruiting efforts. Therefore, we recommend that the YPD

ensure the meaningful distribution of information about the

PPSRC, its function, selection process, and participation

requirements, to maximize community involvement. 


Citizen Participation in Policy Development

The YPD is in the process of revising its policies and

procedures, many of which are substantially dated. The absence

of substantial revisions to the Manual suggests that the YPD does

not have a formal process for policy development and as a result,

no mechanism to ensure community feedback. See, supra, Section

I. Therefore, we recommend that the YPD elicit input from the

community on policies that are of particular concern to members

of the public. Indeed, the PPSRC policy provides some guidance

for this recommendation and allows for measured community

involvement in policy development. See Policy 1.06.03.V.F. 


The selection and participation criteria includes a

residency requirement, exemption of law enforcement professionals

or member of public office, and successful completion of the

Yonkers Civilian Police Academy and a series of workshops on the

civil rights and liberties of civilians during police encounters. 

- 35 ­
While we appreciate that not all recommendations by the community

may be practical or appropriate, we believe that the very act of

allowing for community involvement and feedback may increase

community acceptance, understanding, and awareness of law

enforcement issues. Partnering with the PPSRC could alleviate

some of these concerns, given the extensive selection and

participation requirements community members must undergo in

order to sit on the committee. Community involvement may also

provide an opportunity for awareness and education on public and

departmental concerns, as well as promote positive citizen-police



Citizen Surveys

Citizen surveys provide a valuable tool to gauge the

community’s perception of the YPD’s performance. Citizen surveys

also provide an opportunity for YPD management to identify areas

for improvement and to address serious areas of concern. The

YPD, for example, has a Community Affairs Division that is

responsible for interacting with the community to identify needs

and address problems. However, it is unclear how successful this

community outreach has been. An independent citizen survey could

serve to enhance this commitment. Therefore, we recommend that

the YPD conduct a comprehensive citizen survey that will identify

areas for improvement and address concerns regarding community

relations and policing. To assist in this effort, we further

recommend that the YPD enlist the assistance of a third party to

co-design and administer the survey. Enlisting the assistance of

a third party to administer the surveys will allow for greater

accuracy and a more candid exchange of ideas. 



While the vast majority of YPD personnel we encountered were

courteous and professional, we have received numerous complaints

of rude and discourteous conduct by officers towards citizens.

Indeed, YPD command staff raised similar concerns and in response

has developed the Mutual Courtesy & Respect Campaign (“MCRC”) to

encourage its officers to engage the community respectfully. The

goal of the MCRC is to foster positive relations between the YPD

and the Yonkers community by requiring members of the community

to adhere to a similar level of respect and courtesy when dealing

with members of the YPD. Although the ultimate goal of the

campaign is admirable, the MCRC, as written, is confusing and

indicative of a larger cultural problem within the YPD.

Specifically, the MCRC fails to identify the nexus between

- 36 ­
courtesy and safety and fails to articulate the sentiment that

the more professional a police officer is, the more likely it

will be for the police officer to receive respect and courtesy

from the community. 

As we recommended earlier in this section, the YPD should

emphasize community relations as one of its core values. Respect

and courtesy is part and parcel to those values. Therefore

professionalism should be an integral component of the YPD’s core

values. However, the tone of the MCRC detracts from this goal

because the language is at times defensive, focuses on police

officers receiving respect rather than giving respect, and

suggests that the community is incapable of being civil and


The MCRC language reads more like a campaign to treat the

police with respect rather than focusing on an officer’s duty to

treat the community with respect. Police encounters are, at

times, volatile, and sometimes the community may not be as

courteous and respectful as an officer may like; however, an

officer must be respectful at all times. Even in situations

where a citizen is not respectful or courteous, police officers

are required to resolve the situation in a professional manner.

However, the MCRC language implies that there may be an end to

courteous treatment depending on the situation. The MCRC defines

the term “mutual” as “given and received in equal amounts;

shared, common, reciprocate.” This definition suggests that in a

situation where courtesy and respect is no longer “given and

received in equal amounts” an officer is no longer required to be

professional. This philosophy negates the very intent of the

Campaign and is a dangerous philosophy to impart to police

officers. Rather than penetrating existing precinct culture and

philosophy that may impede its successful implementation, the

MCRC language reinforces this philosophy. Indeed, during our

tour we interviewed one commanding officer whose philosophy was

similar to this interpretation, that is, an officer should treat

citizens with respect, “until they prove they don’t need to be

treated with respect.” 

Moreover, the MCRC language appears to devalue the

importance of the Yonkers community. On the one hand, the MCRC

states that there is a “strong bond” and a “solid” “partnership”

between the Department and the community. On the other hand, the

MCRC suggests that the Yonkers community does not recognize or

value the police department. In both instances, the community’s

sentiments, positive or negative, are ignored. First, it is

- 37 ­
disingenuous to suggest a strong community bond, where community

groups have been vocal about police misconduct and

discrimination. To do so, sends a negative message to the

community that their concerns are being ignored. Second, instead

of building a bridge towards understanding and dialogue, this

Campaign suggests that the community does not appreciate the YPD

and should be more respectful of officers. The MCRC contains

several references to the “thankless” nature of police work.

While police work can be thankless and difficult, such repeated

references appear defensive, may create a barrier between the YPD

and the community, and may ultimately detract from the purpose of

the Campaign. 

Mutual sensitivity and on-going dialogue and partnership

between the YPD and the Yonkers community will help to facilitate

a growing bond between the Department and the community. The

YPD’s attempt at fostering this dialogue with the MCRC is

laudable, however, the sentiments conveyed by its language may

impede its successful implementation. Professionalism is a

sensitive topic because how police officers interact with the

community impacts perception. Currently, the community has a

negative perception of the YPD. The MCRC, as written, does

little to combat that perception and may even reinforce it.

Accordingly, we recommend that the YPD seek out community

involvement in evaluating the MCRC and providing feedback

regarding its language. Community involvement at the drafting

stage may assist the YPD with delivering the appropriate message.

Moreover, in order for this campaign to be successful among the

rank and file, it is important for the YPD to address any

existing YPD philosophy that may impede its successful

implementation. Thus, we further recommend that officers be

given appropriate training on community interactions, emphasizing

interpersonal skills. We cannot overstate the importance of

respect and courtesy in obtaining and maintaining successful

community relations. Professionalism breeds confidence and being

professional in all situations will improve the YPD’s

relationship with the community and its reputation within the


VII. Personnel


Police Officer Evaluations

While Policy 1.03.09 addresses employee performance

evaluations, we understand that, as the result of a court

decision regarding a grievance filed by the Yonkers Police

- 38 ­
Benevolent Association, the YPD does not conduct evaluations of

police officers. The lack of such reviews strikes directly at

the heart of accountability and is compounded by inconsistent

supervisory schedules, lack of tracking use of force incidents,

and the lack of an early warning system.

We recommend that the YPD create a formal evaluation system

for police officers. In creating the system, we recommend that

the YPD revise Policy 1.03.09 to incorporate standards for

conduct and detail any disciplinary consequences that could

result from an officer’s failure to maintain such appropriate

standards of conduct. In addition, in order to promote better

relations between the YPD and the community, the YPD should

evaluate its officers on how they interact with the community,

and thus address any citizen complaints against an officer as

part of the evaluation process. See supra Parts III.D; IV.A.,B.

As the YPD implements an officer evaluation system, we

recommend that one person timely train the entire department on

the composition and use of the system. This person should train

all managers how to evaluate their staff, and inform all line

officers as to how they will be evaluated. This uniform training

should eliminate different interpretations of the system, and

ensure the integrity of the evaluation information.

We recommend that direct supervisors evaluate their

subordinates annually. Prior to the evaluations, supervisors

should explain the evaluation process and the expectations to

their subordinates. After the direct supervisor completes the

evaluation, the entire chain of command should review the

evaluation and add comments. The evaluations should be stored in

the employee’s training or personnel file. The YPD should tie

these evaluations into its promotion process, to the extent

permitted by law and the YPD’s collective bargaining agreements.



During our investigation we learned of the YPD’s desire to

attract minority applicants. Indeed, Command Staff acknowledged

during interviews that the YPD has far fewer minority and female

officers than one would expect in a diverse community like

Yonkers, particularly among the command staff (as of the time of

our visit, there was only one African American male sergeant;

four Hispanic sergeants; and one Caucasian female captain). In

light of the racial and ethnic composition of the Yonkers

community, we recommend that the YPD develop a specific

- 39 ­
recruiting and marketing strategy to increase the number of

candidates of diverse background so that the composition of the

Department is a reflection of the community it serves. Such

strategies may include a public relations campaign geared towards

particular racial and ethnic groups in various languages.

Currently, the YPD does not have a recruitment plan that

identifies the various marketing strategies it intends to employ.

We recommend that the YPD establish a recruitment plan that

identifies recruitment goals and objectives for the next

recruiting cycle. We also recommend that the Department review

its selection process, including hiring and promotion. The City

should also designate and train an Equal Employment Opportunity

officer to ensure compliance with federal anti-discrimination

laws and to assist the YPD in developing a more diverse personnel

roster. The police department in Montgomery, Alabama, for

example, was ordered to appoint an EEO officer to remedy

longstanding discrimination against minority and female officers.

See generally, Jordan v. Wilson, 667 F. Supp. 772 (M.D. Ala.

1987). We are not comparing the YPD to the Montgomery Police

Department, however we do recommend that the Department examine

the remedial measures in Jordan, and other cases like it, to

ensure that it is in compliance with federal anti-discrimination



Please note that this letter is a public document. It will

be posted on the Civil Rights Division’s website. While we will

provide a copy of this letter to any individual or entity upon

request, as a matter of courtesy, we will not post the letter on

the Civil Rights Division’s website until 10 calendar days from

the date of this letter.

- 40 ­
Thank you for your cooperation and assistance with this

investigation. We hope that these recommendations will be

received in the spirit of assisting in our mutual goal of

ensuring that the best possible law enforcement services are

provided to the people who reside in and travel through Yonkers.

We look forward to meeting with you and the staff at the YPD.

Please feel free to contact us at the numbers listed below if you

have any questions.




By:/s/ Shanetta Y. Cutlar
Shanetta Y. Cutlar
Special Litigation Section
(202) 514-6255

By: /s/ David J. Kennedy
David J. Kennedy
Civil Rights Unit
(212) 637-2800

/s/ Zazy L. Lopez
Tammie M. Gregg
Principal Deputy Chief
Zazy L. López

Regina M. Jansen

Trial Attorneys

/s/ Carolina A. Fornos

Carolina A. Fornos 

Danna Drori 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys

- 41 ­

By First Class Mail

The Honorable Philip A. Amicone


City of Yonkers, New York 

The Honorable Chuck Lesnick

City Council President

City of Yonkers, New York

Edmund Hartnett

Police Commissioner

City of Yonkers New York Police Department

Frank J. Rubino

Corporate Counsel

City of Yonkers, New York Corporation Counsel

Paul Hart

Assistant Corporation Counsel

City of Yonkers, New York Corporation Counsel

Rory McCormick

Assistant Corporation Counsel

City of Yonkers, New York Corporation Counsel

David J. Kennedy

Chief, Civil Rights Unit

United States Department of Justice

Unites States Attorney

Southern District of New York