Inspector General for the NYPD First Annual Report, 2015
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New York City Department of Investigation The Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD) First Annual Report Mark G. Peters Commissioner Philip K. Eure Inspector General for the NYPD March 2015 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 Table of Contents Executive Summary ............................................................................................. i I. The Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department ........................................................................................................ 1 A. OIG-NYPD’s Origins and Local Law 70 .......................................................... 1 B. The Work of OIG-NYPD.................................................................................. 3 C. About the Inspector General ......................................................................... 4 D. OIG-NYPD Organization and Staff ................................................................ 5 II. OIG-NYPD’s First Year - Office Development and Implementation ............... 11 A. Phase 1: May 2014 through August 2014 .................................................. 11 B. Phase 2: September 2014 through November 2014 ................................. 12 C. Phase 3: December 2014 through Today .................................................. 13 III. Systemic Investigations, Reviews, Studies, and Audits ................................. 15 Report: Observations on Accountability and Transparency in Ten NYPD Chokehold Cases ......................................................................................... 15 IV. Complaint Intake, Analysis, and Investigation ................................................ 21 Summary of 2014 Complaints .................................................................... 22 V. Community Engagement and Outreach ......................................................... 26 VI. Conclusion ........................................................................................................ 28 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 Executive Summary The Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department (OIG-NYPD) is pleased to submit to the Mayor, the City Council, the Commissioner of the NYPD, and the public its first Annual Report. The Annual Report contains an introduction to OIG-NYPD, an overview of OIG-NYPD’s inaugural year, a summary of OIG-NYPD’s efforts and accomplishments, and other useful information about the Office. This inaugural Report will primarily cover the opening of the Office in May 2014 through March 2015.1 OIG-NYPD was created following the passage of Local Law 70 in 2013. Introduced by over 30 New York City Council members, and the subject of grassroots community organizing, widespread public discussion, political mobilization, legislative debate, and significant media attention, Local Law 70 sought to create greater transparency and accountability at the New York City Police Department (NYPD) by establishing an Inspector General for the New York City Police Department. OIG-NYPD is part of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) and is independent of NYPD. In 2014, certain communities in New York City continued to express concerns about policing in the city and raised the discourse surrounding police accountability to levels not seen in decades. Government officials took note and called attention to law enforcement issues across the city. Local events underscored tensions between NYPD and some members of the broader public and highlighted the need for greater transparency, improvements in policing, and repairs to police-community relations. At the same time, in 2014 the NYPD and its officers found themselves in a challenging position. New York City police officers endured significant public criticism, navigated an unusually tense conflict between union officials and City leadership, and suffered the tragic loss of two fellow officers who were shot at point-blank range in their patrol car. Considering these challenges, the official opening of OIG-NYPD in May 2014 could not have been timelier. External review of law enforcement is one of several recognized 1 Future OIG-NYPD Annual Reports will cover the respective calendar years. i OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 mechanisms for enhancing police accountability, as well as for improving law enforcement and strengthening public trust in the police. By approaching police oversight with a balanced, independent, and unbiased mindset, by carefully analyzing facts and thoughtfully considering best practices, and by adhering to standards of excellence, OIG-NYPD aims to enhance the effectiveness of NYPD while increasing public confidence in the police force. I. Overview of OIG-NYPD As amended by Local Law 70, the New York City Charter requires the DOI Commissioner to “investigate, review, study, audit and make recommendations relating to the operations, policies, programs and practices, including ongoing partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, of the new york city police department with the goal of enhancing the effectiveness of the department, increasing public safety, protecting civil liberties and civil rights, and increasing the public’s confidence in the police force, thus building stronger police-community relations.” (Charter of the City of New York, Chapter 34, §803 (c)(1)). OIG-NYPD – which carries out this mandate on behalf of the DOI Commissioner – will publish written, publicly-available reports for any investigation, review, study, or audit it completes. The NYPD Commissioner is required to submit a written response to each published report within 90 days. Within its broad mandate, OIG-NYPD has the authority to look at a wide variety of policing issues, including but not limited to: Use of force Quality of life enforcement Surveillance and intelligence activities focused on political and religious groups Bias and discrimination Officer hiring, training, and supervision Use of technology in policing Response to political protests and mass demonstrations Managing interactions with the mentally ill In considering policing issues, OIG-NYPD’s central mission is to gather and review facts and data, identify and examine broad-based systemic issues relating to the operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD, and develop practical and effective recommendations for resolving those issues. OIG-NYPD’s strategy combines traditional ii OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 investigations and research with community outreach and consideration of public input. Through the release of investigative reports that rigorously examine facts and carefully evaluate various perspectives, OIG-NYPD aims to promote workable, real-world solutions designed to improve policing and build stronger police-community relations. Under the leadership of DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters and Inspector General for the NYPD Philip K. Eure, OIG-NYPD consists of several functional teams. The Investigations Unit and the Policy Analysis and Evaluations Unit – the two largest teams – are supported and complemented by an in-house legal team, a Director of Community Outreach, a Public Information Officer, and an administrative staff. The professionals on staff reflect a range of prior experiences, including as investigators, police oversight specialists, police detectives, prosecutors, defense attorneys, paralegals, academics, criminal justice researchers, civil rights and community advocates, municipal and inter-governmental professionals, communications experts, and others. II. OIG-NYPD’s First Year - Office Development and Implementation A major component of OIG-NYPD’s first year was development and growth. In addition to the Office’s investigative and analytical work, OIG-NYPD spent considerable time and effort in 2014 on a range of start-up activities to ensure that OIG-NYPD would be well-equipped to fulfill its mission. During “Phase 1” of OIG-NYPD’s work (May 2014 through August 2014), the Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General started OIG-NYPD’s substantive work but also focused heavily on staff recruitment, organizational planning, and outreach to government officials and community groups. In “Phase 2” (September 2014 through November 2014), the arrival of additional staff provided OIG-NYPD with the functional capacity to take on new work. The team continued to research NYPD policies and practices, reviewed and investigated complaints, and submitted formal commentary on pending legislation. OIG-NYPD also launched its website, continued its recruiting and hiring efforts, focused on training, and expanded its outreach efforts. “Phase 3” (December 2014 through today) brought the release of OIG-NYPD’s first report and many new team members. A larger staff and new areas of expertise put the Office in a position to research and investigate several major topics at once. iii OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT III. MARCH 2015 Systemic Investigations, Reviews, Studies, and Audits: Observations on Accountability and Transparency in Ten NYPD Chokehold Cases In the wake of a fatal police encounter on Staten Island in July 2014, OIG-NYPD sought to address questions regarding the NYPD disciplinary process for incidents involving chokeholds. By reviewing the ten cases substantiated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) between 2009 and 2014 where NYPD members had used chokeholds, OIG-NYPD examined the mechanisms by which chokehold allegations were received, investigated, and addressed by NYPD in order to bring greater understanding and transparency to these important processes and to identify potential areas for further OIG-NYPD review. The ten substantiated chokehold cases involved a variety of factual scenarios and resulted in a range of outcomes once presented to NYPD for discipline. In reviewing these cases, OIG-NYPD highlighted how NYPD’s disciplinary process is complex, multi-tiered, and often delivers inconsistent results. OIG-NYPD also noted an apparent disconnect in the approaches by which CCRB and NYPD reviewed and evaluated the same cases. Although the Report drew no conclusions regarding the prevalence of chokeholds used by members of NYPD, the preliminary review revealed that certain policy changes should be made. As detailed in the Report, OIG-NYPD recommended the following: 1. NYPD and CCRB should increase coordination and collaboration to reconsider and refine the disciplinary system for improper uses of force. 2. NYPD should provide transparency with respect to the Police Commissioner’s disciplinary decisions. 3. NYPD should expand the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau’s access to newly-filed complaints and substantive information on use-of-force cases filed with CCRB. 4. NYPD should improve information sharing and case tracking for cases that are outsourced to borough and precinct investigators via the Office of the Chief of Department and the Investigative Review Section. The NYPD Commissioner’s response to this Report is due by April 12, 2015. iv OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 Pursuant to §803(d)(3) of the New York City Charter, OIG-NYPD does not have any open investigations, reviews, studies, or audits that have been open for more than six months as of December 31, 2014. IV. Complaint Intake, Analysis, and Investigation Complaints filed with OIG-NYPD are an important source of information regarding policing in New York City. For every non-anonymous complaint received, OIG-NYPD issues a response letter to the complainant. Even if the complaint does not identify a systemic issue, the complaint is tracked to the degree it relates to the operations, policies, practices, and programs of NYPD. When complaints fall within the scope of another agency, OIG-NYPD refers the matter to that agency for further action. For example, of the 150 complaints received by OIG-NYPD in 2014, more than 90 fell within the jurisdiction of CCRB or NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) because they alleged individual instances of police misconduct and did not directly implicate systemic practices or policies of the police department. OIG-NYPD has and will continue to follow up on such referrals. V. Community Engagement and Outreach OIG-NYPD strongly believes in the value of community outreach and two-way communication with stakeholders. To further the Office’s engagement with New York City’s many diverse communities, OIG-NYPD established a Community Outreach Unit that informs and educates the public about OIG-NYPD’s purpose, goals, and vision. By creating new relationships and strengthening existing ones, the Community Outreach Unit will help OIGNYPD further its mission in shaping the dialogue around improving police-community relations. In its first year, OIG-NYPD held over 30 outreach meetings with community groups, advocates, and civil rights organizations. OIG-NYPD has held briefings with the Police Commissioner and other high-ranking NYPD officials and has conducted outreach with individual NYPD officers. Outreach for OIG-NYPD also includes attending university events, community board meetings, Precinct Community Council meetings, and neighborhood gatherings. v OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT I. MARCH 2015 The Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department The Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD) is a new oversight office charged with investigating, reviewing, studying, auditing, and making recommendations relating to the operations, policies, programs, and practices of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). The goals of OIG-NYPD are to enhance the effectiveness of the police department, increase public safety, protect civil liberties and civil rights, and increase the public's confidence in the police force, thus building stronger police-community relations. OIG-NYPD is part of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) and is independent of NYPD. DOI is one of the oldest law-enforcement agencies in the country and New York City’s corruption watchdog. DOI investigations may involve any agency, officer, elected official, or employee of the City, as well as those who do business with or receive benefits from the City. DOI’s strategy attacks corruption comprehensively, through systemic investigations that lead to high-impact arrests, preventive internal controls, and operational reforms that improve the way the City runs.2 A. OIG-NYPD’s Origins and Local Law 70 OIG-NYPD was created following the passage of Local Law 70 in 2013. Introduced by over 30 New York City Council members, and the subject of grassroots community organizing, widespread public discussion, political mobilization, legislative debate, and significant media attention, Local Law 70 was part of a package of bills known as the Community Safety Act. Supporters of the Community Safety Act called for the creation of an Inspector General in order to create greater transparency and accountability at NYPD. As discussed below, independent review of law enforcement is one of several recognized mechanisms for enhancing police 2 Commissioner Mark G. Peters and Inspector General Philip K. Eure thank the staff of OIG-NYPD for their efforts and contributions in writing this report, especially Sandra Musumeci, Deputy Inspector General; Asim Rehman, General Counsel; Thomas Mahoney, Director of Investigations; Heidi Morales, Director of Community Outreach; Nicole Hanson, Senior Policy Manager; J. Olabisi Matthews, Special Investigator; and Michael Acampora, Special Investigator. Commissioner Peters and IG Eure also recognize the important contributions made by Lesley Brovner, First Deputy Commissioner, and Jeri Powell, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. 1 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 accountability, as well as for improving law enforcement and strengthening public trust in the police. In order to lay the groundwork for the Office, Local Law 70 amended Chapter 34 of the New York City Charter and created new responsibilities for the DOI Commissioner, NYPD, and other agencies. Among other things, the New York City Charter now requires: The DOI Commissioner to “investigate, review, study, audit and make recommendations relating to the operations, policies, programs and practices, including ongoing partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, of the new york city police department with the goal of enhancing the effectiveness of the department, increasing public safety, protecting civil liberties and civil rights, and increasing the public’s confidence in the police force, thus building stronger policecommunity relations.” (Charter of the City of New York, Chapter 34, §803 (c)(1)). The DOI Commissioner to select an individual – now known as the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department – to carry out these responsibilities. (Charter, Chapter 34, §803 (c)(2)). The DOI Commissioner to prepare written, publicly-available reports for any investigation, review, study, or audit completed pursuant to the aforementioned responsibilities. (Charter, Chapter 34, §803 (d)(2)). The NYPD Commissioner to submit a written response to the reports and findings of the Inspector General for the NYPD within 90 days of the issuance of any given Inspector General report. Such written responses are to be sent to the Mayor, the City Council, and the DOI Commissioner. (Charter, Chapter 34, §803 (d)(2)). The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and the Internal Affairs Bureau of NYPD (IAB) to report to the DOI Commissioner “any problems and deficiencies relating to the new york city police department's operations, policies, programs and practices that he or she has reason to believe would adversely affect the effectiveness of the department, public safety, the exercise of civil liberties and civil rights, or the public’s confidence in the police force” which would be relevant to OIG-NYPD’s responsibilities. (Charter, Chapter 34, §803 (c)(4)). The provisions of Local Law 70 took effect on January 1, 2014. On March 28, 2014, DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters announced that Philip K. Eure would serve as Inspector General for the New York City Police Department and provided City Council with a preliminary staffing plan. Mr. Eure began work as Inspector General on May 27, 2014. 2 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 B. The Work of OIG-NYPD As noted, OIG-NYPD has a broad mandate. OIG-NYPD has the authority to look at a wide variety of policing issues, including but not limited to: Use of force Quality of life enforcement Surveillance and intelligence activities focused on political and religious groups Bias and discrimination Officer hiring, training, and supervision Use of technology in policing Response to political protests and mass demonstrations Managing interactions with the mentally ill In considering policing issues, OIG-NYPD’s central mission is to gather and review facts and data, identify and examine broad-based systemic issues relating to the operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD, and develop practical and effective recommendations for resolving those issues. Through the release of investigative reports that rigorously examine facts and carefully consider various perspectives, OIG-NYPD aims to promote workable, real-world solutions designed to improve policing and build stronger policecommunity relations. In order to ensure that NYPD thoughtfully and thoroughly considers these recommendations, the NYPD Commissioner is required to provide the Mayor, the City Council, and the DOI Commissioner with a written response to each report issued by OIG-NYPD. As further discussed below, communication, public dialogue, and outreach are essential to OIG-NYPD’s work. Through community outreach, meetings with public officials, input from subject-matter experts, dialogue with NYPD, and information received from complainants, OIGNYPD can better understand the range of issues affecting policing in New York City today. Furthermore, in keeping with the principles of transparency and accountability, OIG-NYPD’s reports and recommendations are made publicly available for all to access and review. 3 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 C. About the Inspector General Before joining OIG-NYPD, Inspector General Philip K. Eure was the Executive Director of the District of Columbia's Office of Police Complaints – a role he held for nearly 14 years. As Executive Director, Mr. Eure developed and led the agency in its work investigating, adjudicating, and mediating complaints by the public alleging police misconduct, as well as issuing investigative reports and recommendations for improvements in the work of Washington D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department. A nationally-recognized expert in the field of independent police review, Mr. Eure served in 2008, 2009, and 2010 as President of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), a non-profit organization of law enforcement oversight agencies and practitioners that works to enhance accountability and transparency in policing and to build community trust through external review. He has also been a panelist and presenter on police oversight issues nationally and overseas. Prior to his leadership at Washington, D.C.'s police accountability agency, Inspector General Eure served for a decade in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, first as a Trial Attorney and later as a Senior Trial Attorney. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Stanford University. Inspector General Eure reports directly to DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters. 4 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 D. OIG-NYPD Organization and Staff OIG-NYPD Organizational Chart The OIG-NYPD organizational plan contemplates a team of between 40 and 50 professionals working in a range of positions. Considering OIG-NYPD’s broad and complex mandate, having a multidisciplinary team is vital to OIG-NYPD’s success. This includes recruiting and hiring individuals from a variety of professions who bring diverse perspectives to the table. As of March 31, 2015, OIG-NYPD had 23 professionals on staff reflecting a range of prior experiences, including as investigators, police oversight specialists, police detectives, 5 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 prosecutors, defense attorneys, paralegals, academics, criminal justice researchers, civil rights and community advocates, municipal and inter-governmental professionals, communications experts, and others. These individuals bring professional experience from a variety of institutions, including: New York City Police Department New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board New York City Commission to Combat Police Corruption New York City Department of Investigation New York City Law Department New York City Housing Authority New York City Human Resources Administration Office of the Comptroller of the City of New York NYC311 Public Defender Offices New York Civil Liberties Union District Attorney Offices of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia New York State Office of the Attorney General District of Columbia's Office of Police Complaints United States Secret Service United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division United States Federal Courts United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Private law firms and corporate legal departments RAND Corporation John Jay College of Criminal Justice OIG-NYPD conducts its work in multidisciplinary teams that include investigators, policy analysts, attorneys, support staff, and others. Together, these teams identify issues and topics for review, investigate policing practices, collect and assess data and perspectives, and prepare reports containing qualitative and quantitative information regarding NYPD police procedures. They will also conduct objective operational, management, and financial audits to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of selected operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD, and develop recommendations for reform. OIG-NYPD is divided into several functional teams, the largest of which are the Investigations Unit and the Policy Analysis and Evaluations Unit. 6 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 Investigations Unit: Led by a Director of Investigations and supervised by Senior Investigators, this Unit conducts confidential and sensitive investigations into problems and deficiencies relating to the operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD. As part of this work, the Unit handles intake of complaints filed with DOI and OIG-NYPD related to NYPD or involving individual members of NYPD. Investigations can involve interviews with members of the public and law enforcement professionals, the gathering and analysis of evidence, field operations, the review of police reports, search warrants, and related documentation, and other investigative tactics. Policy Analysis and Evaluations Unit: Led by a Director of Policy Analysis and Evaluations and supervised by Senior Policy Managers, this Unit includes a team of Policy Analysts, Auditors, and Data Assistants who conduct reviews of selected operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD. Using a data-driven approach, this Unit identifies areas of concern where improvements are needed in how NYPD carries out its law enforcement responsibilities. Policy Analysts and Auditors develop recommendations for reform based on best practices and related research, and they will monitor the extent to which NYPD implements, or does not implement, OIG-NYPD’s recommendations. The work of these Units is supported and complemented by an in-house legal team, a Director of Community Outreach, a Public Information Officer, and an administrative staff. OIG-NYPD Leadership In addition to Inspector General Eure, OIG-NYPD’s work is overseen by a team of experienced subject matter experts: Sandra Musumeci, Deputy Inspector General. Before joining OIG-NYPD, Sandra Musumeci was a Litigation Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP representing an array of organizations in complex commercial and securities-related disputes, and advising companies and individuals in criminal, government, and internal investigation proceedings. She maintained an active pro bono practice involving civil rights and immigration matters. Ms. Musumeci also served as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, investigating and prosecuting hundreds of criminal cases, including street crimes, robberies, sexual assaults, and domestic violence cases. As Criminal Court Supervisor, she trained and managed 7 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 junior prosecutors. Prior to being a prosecutor, Ms. Musumeci served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey. Ms. Musumeci received her undergraduate degree in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Thomas Mahoney, Director of Investigations. Thomas Mahoney is a retired 30-year veteran of NYPD who began his career as a police officer in Brooklyn and worked his way up the ranks, becoming a Lieutenant Detective Commander and Commanding Officer of the Manhattan North Homicide Task Force. During his tenure, Mr. Mahoney conducted and coordinated hundreds of homicide investigations, maintaining an exceptional rate of resolution. In addition to homicide investigations, Mr. Mahoney was the Commanding Officer of three Precinct Detective Squads in Lower Manhattan, responsible for the investigation of various types of crimes, including grand larceny, robbery, burglary, and misdemeanor crimes. As the Commanding Officer of a Detective Squad, Mr. Mahoney worked with the Precinct Commanding Officer and community members to reduce crime in the assigned area. Mr. Mahoney also has a great deal of experience related to uniformed patrol in varied precincts throughout Brooklyn. Mr. Mahoney was a supervisor in NYPD for 23 years. Asim Rehman, General Counsel. Asim Rehman came to OIG-NYPD from MetLife where he served as Corporate Counsel, providing global litigation support to over 40 foreign MetLife companies, advising the company on legal risk, and defending MetLife’s interests in a broad range of domestic and international disputes. He also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, worked on internal investigations, complex litigation and regulatory defense with two private law firms, and clerked for a Federal District Court Judge in Manhattan, New York. Mr. Rehman is a Co-Founder and former President of the Muslim Bar Association of New York, through which he worked on various police accountability issues. An expert on civil liberties issues, he has testified before the United States Commission on Civil Rights regarding government engagement with Arab and Muslim communities in a post 9/11 world. Mr. Rehman received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and undergraduate degree from Haverford College. Heidi N. Morales, Director of Community Outreach. Heidi Morales joined OIG-NYPD from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), where she assisted with the formulation of political and communication strategies and the identification of operational issues as they relate to public housing. Ms. Morales collaborated with elected and appointed officials as well as community organizations in order to advance the legislative priorities of NYCHA. Ms. Morales has over a decade of experience in media, community relations, and legislative affairs in New York City government. Her expertise also includes community relations with Hispanic/Latino communities, Spanish translation and interpretation, and managing media relations 8 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 with Spanish-speaking and other ethnic groups. Ms. Morales received a Master of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Rhetoric from Binghamton University of the State University of New York. Nicole Turso, Public Information Officer. Nicole Turso previously served as Press Officer for the Comptroller of the City of New York, helping to steer press strategy for the agency and leading a variety of media campaigns for individual bureaus including Labor Law, Contract Administration, and Law and Adjustment. Prior to joining the Comptroller’s Office, she was Speechwriter and Senior Editor at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President and worked as a writer and associate producer for Time Warner Cable NY1 News. Ms. Turso received her Master’s degree from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and her undergraduate degree in Journalism from St. John’s University. 9 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 The Benefits and Principles of Independent Review of Law Enforcement By providing external oversight of NYPD, OIG-NYPD is well-placed to improve NYPD and increase public trust in law enforcement. As exemplified by agencies across the country, policing and police-community relations are made stronger when there is independent review of law enforcement. As Sir Robert Peel noted nearly 200 years ago, one of the principles of a democratic society is that police are accountable to, and part of, the public.3 The ability of the police to effectively fulfill their duties is dependent on, among other things, their ability to secure and maintain the respect, support, and cooperation of the public. Police legitimacy – when police enjoy the understanding, trust, and support of the people they serve – improves police efficacy. When the public trusts their police departments, they are more willing to report crimes, discuss community issues, supply evidence, and identify offenders. Further, those “who trust the legal system are more likely to obey the law, cooperate with authorities, and accept the results of any proceeding.”4 While there are a number of internal mechanisms that exist to hold police accountable – such as internal affairs bureaus – outside review serves to enhance police legitimacy in a unique way. External review, at its core, improves both accountability and transparency, 5 and a perspective independent of the police organization allows oversight agencies to address a varied range of community concerns without any actual or perceived bias. The activities of police oversight agencies have broad societal benefits. Successful agencies help to build bridges between police and the public, provide a meaningful forum for the public voice, increase public confidence in law enforcement, and unite stakeholders in working collaboratively toward solutions that protect public safety and allow the public to trust their police forces. Outside review provides valuable feedback to law enforcement on public perceptions of police, which can aid departments in the development of practices that enhance police-community relations and eliminate divisive rhetoric. Similarly, oversight provides a window for the public to better understand how their law enforcement agency is performing, whether police practices and priorities reflect local values, and the daily struggles and experiences of members of law enforcement in their efforts to protect the public. These enhancements in communication, transparency, and accountability are key benefits of external oversight. 3 Lee, William L. M. A History of Police in England. London: Oxford University, 1901. Walker, Samuel, and Archbold, Carol A. The New World of Police Accountability. Los Angeles: Sage, 2013, p.10. 5 Chanin, Joshua, and Courts, Jacob. Examining the Determinants of Police Department Transparency. Unpublished manuscript, as cited in Joshua Chanin and Salvador Espinosa. Examining the Determinants of Police Department Transparency: The View of Police Executives. Publication for National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement conference, Seattle: February 6th, 2015. 4 10 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT II. MARCH 2015 OIG-NYPD’s First Year - Office Development and Implementation As with any new municipal office, a major component of OIG-NYPD’s first year was development and growth. While OIG-NYPD is part of DOI and benefitted from the executive and administrative support in place at DOI, OIG-NYPD essentially needed to be built from scratch with respect to personnel, procedures, and logistics. In addition to the Office’s investigative and analytical work, OIG-NYPD spent considerable time and effort in 2014 on a range of start-up activities to ensure that OIG-NYPD would be well-equipped to fulfill the mission established by Local Law 70. Such activities included: Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring staff, including the development of job descriptions Acquiring and configuring a physical office space Training new professionals Engaging with senior NYPD leadership and heads of various NYPD bureaus and divisions Meeting with various community organizations, elected officials, relevant City agencies, and other interested parties Developing internal protocols and procedures Establishing an online presence Attending relevant events and gatherings Chronologically, the development of OIG-NYPD during its first year can be divided into the three phases. A. Phase 1: May 2014 through August 2014 Inspector General Eure officially opened the Office on May 27, 2014, and Deputy Inspector General Sandra Musumeci joined the Office shortly thereafter. OIG-NYPD’s early months were focused primarily on hiring a senior staff, planning the functional structure of the organization, and conducting early outreach meetings with NYPD officials, City Council members, City agencies, community organizations, concerned citizens, and others. These outreach meetings allowed Inspector General Eure and Deputy Inspector General Musumeci to learn about issues of concern while introducing the public to the role and purpose of the Office. At the same time, Inspector General Eure and Deputy Inspector General Musumeci also used this early period to begin OIG-NYPD’s substantive work. They requested and reviewed 11 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 materials from NYPD and other agencies, researched best practices on various policing issues, analyzed legislation concerning police accountability, and responded to complaints submitted to the Office. B. Phase 2: September 2014 through November 2014 By the end of September 2014, OIG-NYPD’s staff had grown from two to seven. With the hiring of a General Counsel, a Director of Investigations, a Public Information Officer, and two Investigators, OIG-NYPD now had the functional capacity to take on new projects. In addition to assisting with establishing protocols, continuing to develop the operational structure, and handling other start-up activities, the team began intensive research into what would later become OIG-NYPD’s first report. The substantive work of the Office also included reviewing and investigating complaints, submitting formal commentary on pending legislation, and engaging the press. September 2014 also marked the opening of OIG-NYPD’s official office space as well as the launch of the OIG-NYPD website, www.nyc.gov/oignypd. The website contains information about OIGNYPD and the Inspector General, instructions on how to file a complaint, news about the Office, contact information, and job opportunities. The website was followed by the launch of the OIG-NYPD Twitter account (https://twitter.com/OIGNYPD), which has been a useful vehicle for sharing news and understanding public sentiment about topics of interest. During this period, OIG-NYPD continued its recruitment and hiring work by bringing on board additional Investigators and support staff. With a larger staff, OIG-NYPD was able to expand its outreach work. In addition to meetings with advocates, City officials, and representatives of various NYPD units, OIG-NYPD professionals attended police oversight events where they were able to examine the practices of peer oversight agencies and build 12 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 stronger contacts in the profession. Most importantly, in late November, OIG-NYPD hired a Director of Community Outreach. The work of the Director of Community Outreach is detailed below. During Phase 2 and through Phase 3, training and skills development for new employees became a priority for OIG-NYPD. OIG-NYPD has conducted internal trainings on the NYPD Patrol Guide, NYPD structure and operations, and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), as well as focused trainings on specific skills, tools, and policies. OIG-NYPD staff members have likewise participated in several external seminars on law enforcement oversight and investigative techniques as well as informational events on policing and police accountability throughout the New York City metro area. Going forward, OIG-NYPD will continue to identify and participate in relevant training on an ongoing basis. C. Phase 3: December 2014 through Today By the end of 2014, OIG-NYPD had completed its first Report, Observations on Accountability and Transparency in Ten NYPD Chokehold Cases. The Report was released in January 2015 and, as discussed below, examined a sample of NYPD disciplinary cases – specifically, substantiated CCRB complaints that officers used chokeholds in altercations with the public. Recruitment and hiring remained a priority item, and by the end of 2014, OIG-NYPD had 17 employees on staff. The newest team members – which included a growing team of Policy Analysts and several more Investigators – brought a variety of new skills and talents to the OIGNYPD team. With this staff, OIG-NYPD was in a better position to analyze and investigate multiple policing issues in tandem. The investigative and policy review teams began to address several new matters, some of which remain under examination. Beginning in Phase 2 and moving into Phase 3, OIG-NYPD also focused on how technology would assist the Office’s work. The team reviewed multiple case management systems for project administration, designed internal databases, and obtained access to several external research and investigative databases. OIG-NYPD also began to procure research software that would allow the team to conduct rigorous and advanced quantitative and 13 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 qualitative analyses on various datasets. This procurement is aligned with the vision of OIGNYPD to perform data-driven reviews and studies with corresponding recommendations. By March 31, 2015, OIG-NYPD had a total of 23 employees, including recent additions to the Investigations Unit, the Policy Analysis and Evaluations Unit, the legal team, and support staff. With a goal of mentoring and nurturing future police-oversight professionals, OIG-NYPD also launched policy internship, legal internship, and legal fellowship programs for students and recent graduates. OIG-NYPD’s first legal fellow joined the Office in February 2015. 14 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT III. MARCH 2015 Systemic Investigations, Reviews, Studies, and Audits In January 2015, OIG-NYPD released its first report and set of recommendations on the operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD. OIG-NYPD continues to investigate, review, study, and audit several issues relating to NYPD and will release additional reports in the months ahead. In the letter to the Mayor, City Council, and NYPD Commissioner accompanying OIG-NYPD’s first report, the Office identified four primary issues which will be the subject of detailed reports in the coming year: the improper use of force by NYPD officers and discipline regarding the same; patterns of low-level arrests and summonses; surveillance of religious and political groups; and police encounters involving people with mental illness. Pursuant to §803(d)(3) of the New York City Charter, OIG-NYPD does not have any open investigations, reviews, studies, or audits that have been open for more than six months as of December 31, 2014. Report: Observations on Accountability and Transparency in Ten NYPD Chokehold Cases On January 12, 2015, OIG-NYPD released its inaugural Report entitled Observations on Accountability and Transparency in Ten NYPD Chokehold Cases.6 On July 17, 2014, Staten Island resident Eric Garner was brought to the ground during what should have been a routine arrest for a non-violent quality-of-life offense – the sale of loose cigarettes. Eric Garner’s death led to a widespread public outcry, brought heightened attention to the use of chokeholds, and prompted OIG-NYPD to take a close look at NYPD’s chokehold policy and the use of this prohibited tactic by members of NYPD. 6 The full Report is available at www.nyc.gov/html/oignypd. 15 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 Section 203-11 of the NYPD Patrol Guide explicitly and unequivocally prohibits the use of chokeholds by members of NYPD: Members of the New York City Police Department will NOT use chokeholds. A chokehold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air. In the wake of Mr. Garner’s death, OIG-NYPD conducted a focused review to address questions regarding the policies, practices, and procedures surrounding the use of chokeholds and to shed light on how the disciplinary process and interactions between NYPD and CCRB operate. By reviewing ten recent substantiated CCRB cases where members of NYPD had used chokeholds, OIG-NYPD examined the mechanisms by which allegations that NYPD officers used chokeholds were received, investigated, and addressed between 2009 and 2014 in order to bring greater understanding and transparency to these important processes and to identify potential areas for further OIG-NYPD review. OIG-NYPD obtained documents from NYPD and CCRB relating to the ten substantiated chokehold cases and carefully studied and analyzed both the documents and the governing rules. OIG-NYPD also engaged in multiple discussions with relevant groups, including, but not limited to, leadership from numerous units within NYPD and representatives of CCRB. The ten substantiated chokehold cases involved a variety of factual scenarios and resulted in a range of outcomes once presented to NYPD for discipline. In reviewing these cases, OIG-NYPD highlighted how NYPD’s disciplinary process is complex, multi-tiered, and often delivers inconsistent results. OIG-NYPD also noted an apparent disconnect in the approaches by which CCRB and NYPD reviewed and evaluated the same cases. Among other findings, OIG-NYPD observed the following: CCRB recommended Administrative Charges, the most serious level of discipline within NYPD, in nine of the ten cases which were reviewed. In the one case in which CCRB made a different recommendation – where the officer had died before CCRB’s recommendation was reviewed or acted upon – CCRB recommended Command Discipline, a lesser form of discipline. 16 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 NYPD’s Department Advocate’s Office (DAO) – the NYPD unit that prosecutes NYPD disciplinary matters and, until April 11, 2013, was responsible for prosecuting all substantiated use-of-force cases that resulted in Administrative Charges – handled seven of the ten substantiated cases reviewed. CCRB recommended Administrative Charges in six of those seven cases, but none of the substantiated cases ever went to trial before a NYPD Trial Commissioner. Instead, DAO departed from CCRB’s recommendation every time. Rather than pursue the more serious Administrative Charges, DAO recommended Instructions – a lesser penalty – in four cases, Command Discipline in one case, and no discipline whatsoever in one case. The Police Commissioner made a final determination about discipline in six of the ten cases reviewed.7 All six times, the Police Commissioner rejected CCRB’s disciplinary recommendation, imposing a less severe penalty than that recommended by CCRB or deciding that no discipline was warranted at all. Recommendations Although the Report drew no conclusions regarding the prevalence of chokeholds used by members of NYPD based on the review of ten cases, the preliminary review revealed that certain policy changes should be made. OIG-NYPD’s recommendations are summarized as follows:8 Recommendation #1: NYPD and CCRB Should Increase Coordination and Collaboration to Reconsider and Refine the Disciplinary System for Improper Uses of Force. OIG-NYPD’s review revealed that CCRB and DAO applied different standards in determining the appropriate level of discipline recommended against an officer. Each office had access to different levels of information, and even though they both followed the legal 7 At the time in question, the Police Commissioner was Raymond W. Kelly. The full text of the recommendations are in the published Report, which is available at www.nyc.gov/html/oignypd. 8 17 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 “preponderance of the evidence” standard in evaluating cases, DAO consistently overruled the disciplinary recommendations made by CCRB. When determining whether misconduct occurred and whether discipline was warranted, CCRB tended to apply a strict definition of “chokehold” while DAO considered multiple factors, including the officer’s CCRB and disciplinary history, as well as the overall viability of a successful prosecution. With CCRB’s new ability to bring certain disciplinary cases to trial, greater communication and coordination between CCRB’s Administrative Prosecution Unit and DAO on charging decisions and disciplinary recommendations is important in order for greater consistency and more efficient use of resources in the prosecution of cases. At the same time, NYPD should re-evaluate its view of discipline for use-of-force cases and confer with CCRB, whose investigators and prosecutors are most familiar with the facts of individual cases, to ensure that officers are being held accountable for substantiated violations of the Patrol Guide’s use-of-force policy. Even though the Police Commissioner continues to have the sole and final authority to determine discipline, NYPD’s process for determining the appropriate level of discipline should be non-arbitrary, consequential, consistent, predictable, and transparent. Recommendation #2: NYPD Should Provide Transparency with Respect to the Police Commissioner’s Disciplinary Decisions. The Police Commissioner should strive to provide transparency in making disciplinary decisions, particularly when departing from CCRB disciplinary recommendations. For each of the cases reviewed by OIG-NYPD which resulted in a final disciplinary determination, the Police Commissioner imposed a less severe penalty than was recommended by CCRB. In two such cases, the Police Commissioner imposed no discipline whatsoever. The lack of transparency in the disciplinary determination process hinders accountability on the part of NYPD. Fortunately, as noted in the Report, there have been recent changes to the New York City Rules which now require the Commissioner, in certain specific cases, to provide CCRB with a detailed written explanation of deviations from CCRB’s disciplinary recommendation. OIG-NYPD recommends that CCRB considers including metrics on NYPD’s adherence to this new requirement and 18 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 reporting on the types of discipline actually imposed, perhaps in its semi-annual reports, in order to increase transparency into police discipline for the public at large. Recommendation #3: NYPD Should Expand the Internal Affairs Bureau’s Access to Newly-Filed Complaints and Substantive Information on Use-of-Force Cases Filed with CCRB. City law defines CCRB as the primary investigator of use-of-force complaints made against police officers, and accordingly, IAB notifies CCRB of all use-of-force complaints that it receives upon receipt, even where IAB decides to conduct its own investigation. OIG-NYPD’s review revealed that the converse is not necessarily true; CCRB does not routinely and affirmatively notify IAB of all use-of-force cases that are reported directly to CCRB. Although CCRB is not required to share this information with IAB, IAB’s early knowledge of and access to use-of-force complaints will give IAB the opportunity to, if necessary, conduct its own investigations, assess and refer the non-CCRB aspects of the complaint for internal NYPD investigation, and incorporate the information into an early warning system about potentially problematic officers. As a result, OIG-NYPD recommends that NYPD have discussions with CCRB about proactively sharing information on incoming use-of-force complaints with IAB so that NYPD has full early information about these important cases. Recommendation #4: NYPD Should Improve Information Sharing and Case Tracking for Cases that are Outsourced to Borough and Precinct Investigators via the Office of the Chief of Department and the Investigative Review Section. OIG-NYPD’s review suggested a need for better and more consistent information sharing and case tracking in connection with internal NYPD investigations that are referred to borough and precinct investigators. Currently, when IAB assesses a case as an internal NYPD matter that will not be investigated by IAB, it sends the case to the Office of the Chief of Department where the matter is further delegated for investigation. Due to a variety of factors, including antiquated data systems which are not synchronized, information about these nonIAB internal investigations is not consistently tracked and not routinely provided to IAB. OIGNYPD discerned an opportunity to improve communication and coordination within NYPD by aligning the computer systems used by the various internal investigative units. Such 19 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 improvements would promote more consistent tracking of these internal NYPD investigations overall and would allow information to be more readily shared internally. * * * * * As noted in the Report, NYPD has already begun implementing some of these changes. NYPD Response to OIG-NYPD’s Recommendations Under Local Law 70 – which requires the NYPD Commissioner to provide the DOI Commissioner, the Mayor, and City Council with a written response within 90 days of receiving OIG-NYPD’s Report – NYPD’s written response is due by April 12, 2015. 20 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT IV. MARCH 2015 Complaint Intake, Analysis, and Investigation In amending Chapter 34 of the New York City Charter, Local Law 70 underscored the importance of allowing members of the public – including City employees – to make anonymous and non-anonymous complaints to OIG-NYPD regarding problems and deficiencies relating to NYPD’s operations, policies, programs, and practices. OIG-NYPD has been receiving such complaints since its inception. OIG-NYPD receives complaints via U.S. mail, through the OIG-NYPD website and the DOI website, from the NYC 311 system, by telephone, and other methods. Each complaint is logged, given a case number, and saved for current and future reference. OIG-NYPD investigators review each complaint, conduct further investigation as needed, and determine the proper course for addressing the complaint. First, investigators ascertain whether the complaint relates to a systemic issue within NYPD that might be the focus of a current or future OIG-NYPD investigation. Complaints filed with OIG-NYPD are an important source of information regarding policing in New York City. For certain complaints received in 2014, OIG-NYPD investigators conducted preliminary reviews to determine whether the complaint concerned systemic issues regarding NYPD. Even if the complaint does not identify a systemic issue, the complaint is assessed and tracked to the degree it relates to the operations, policies, practices, and programs of NYPD. Tracking complaint data will assist OIG-NYPD with identifying potential trends and systemic issues. Second, investigators assess whether the complaint should be referred to another agency. For example, in 2014, OIG-NYPD received numerous complaints which fall within the jurisdiction of CCRB or IAB because they involved allegations of police misconduct involving individual officers and did not implicate systemic practices or policies of the police department, and would therefore be handled more efficiently by CCRB or IAB. Accordingly, in addition to keeping the complaint on file, OIG-NYPD has referred complaints to CCRB, IAB (for IAB 21 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 investigation or for further referral within NYPD, such as to a local precinct commander), the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and other relevant agencies. OIG-NYPD has and will continue to follow up with the agency receiving the referral to make sure referrals are handled. For every non-anonymous complaint received, OIG-NYPD issues a response letter to the complainant summarizing the mission of OIG-NYPD, explaining OIG-NYPD’s position regarding the complaint, and, if applicable, noting that OIG-NYPD has referred the complaint to an agency that is better suited to address the matter. Summary of 2014 Complaints In the calendar year 2014, OIG-NYPD received 150 complaints. OIG-NYPD corresponded with each complainant (unless the complaint was anonymous). As illustrated below, approximately two-thirds of the complaints were referred to other agencies because they did not concern systemic issues, fell into the jurisdiction of other bodies, and could be more efficiently managed by those other entities. Pursuant to §803(d)(3) of the New York City Charter, OIG-NYPD does not have any complaints that have been open for more than six months as of December 31, 2014. A majority of the complaints related to individual incidents with members of the police department. As noted, these complaints can be important sources of information to the degree that they relate to the operations, policies, programs, and practices of NYPD. These complaints covered a range of topics, including: Allegations of wrongful arrests and convictions Allegations regarding parking, including NYPD parking near police facilities Allegations regarding police officers not taking complaint reports While OIG-NYPD keeps a record of these complaints on file in order to research trends and other issues, most of these individual complaints were referred to IAB. As noted below, of the 93 cases that OIG-NYPD referred to other agencies, 85 were referred to IAB. Furthermore, as these allegations involved NYPD, OIG-NYPD referred them to IAB so that 22 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 IAB could keep a record of the complaint and either conduct its own investigation or forward the complaint to the appropriate unit or bureau within NYPD to be properly addressed. OIG-NYPD’s practice, however, is to assess whether privacy concerns warrant against forwarding certain complaints to NYPD. OIG-NYPD retained 57 complaints in 2014, 50 of which were closed because no further action was warranted. A majority of these complaints concerned individual allegations that did not lend themselves to separate investigations by OIG-NYPD, either because they did not fall within OIG-NYPD’s jurisdiction or because they did not present actionable information. These complaints included: General statements about NYPD without specific complaints alleged Allegations about individual complainants being followed, tracked, and harassed by unidentifiable recording devices Opinions, in response to public news reports, about NYPD encounters with celebrities Complaints about laws and rules unrelated to law enforcement Complaints about inter-personal conflicts unrelated to law enforcement Other complaints alleged systemic, policy-level issues, either with respect to NYPD as a whole or with respect to certain NYPD units or geographic areas. The topics in these complaints included: Surveillance of political groups Improper use of force Free speech violations Issues relating to policing in minority communities Precinct-level complaints, including the inability to obtain crime or incident information from specific precincts and officers not assisting with such requests In 2014, OIG-NYPD also received nine complaints from individuals ultimately identified as current or retired NYPD employees. Lastly, a few complaints submitted to OIG-NYPD 23 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 covered topics unrelated to NYPD, such as inter-personal disputes between private citizens or concerns regarding the state judiciary. 2014 Complaints Received by OIG-NYPD (150 Total) 1% Open / Under Review (7) 5% Closed (50) 33% Referred to Civilian Complaint Review Board (6) 57% Referred to NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau (85) 4% Referred to Other Agencies (2) Status of 2014 Complaints Retained by OIG-NYPD (57 Total) 12% Open / Under Review (7) Closed (50) 88% 24 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 2014 Complaints Referred by OIG-NYPD to Other Agencies (93 Total) Referred to Civilian Complaint Review Board (6) 2% 7% Referred to NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau (85) Referred to Other Agencies (2) 91% 25 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT V. MARCH 2015 Community Engagement and Outreach OIG-NYPD strongly believes in the value of community outreach and two-way communication with various interested parties. Considering the importance of engagement with New York City’s many diverse communities, OIG-NYPD established a Community Outreach Unit charged with informing and educating the public about OIG-NYPD’s purpose, goals, and vision. By creating new alliances and strengthening existing relationships, the Community Outreach Unit will help OIG-NYPD further its mission in shaping the dialogue around improving police-community relations. OIG-NYPD held over 30 outreach meetings with community groups, advocates, and civil rights organizations in 2014. This included participation in a series of forums with the following groups, among others: New York Civil Liberties Union Communities United for Police Reform National Action Network Center for Constitutional Rights Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition Police Reform Organizing Project National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Brennan Center for Justice Center for Popular Democracy OIG-NYPD also participated in less formal gatherings with smaller, community-based organizations interested in criminal justice reform, and with a collection of family members of people killed in police encounters. These outreach activities are ongoing, and OIG-NYPD will continue to work with all interested parties. In November 2014, OIG-NYPD hired a Director of Community Outreach who has increased OIG-NYPD’s outreach efforts. Building on prior momentum, OIG-NYPD has, since that time, continued to meet with a variety of individuals and groups and has attended university events, community board meetings, Precinct Community Council meetings, and neighborhood gatherings. OIG-NYPD has also presented before civil rights organizations such as the Brooklyn Branch of the NAACP and good government groups like Citizens Union. 26 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT MARCH 2015 For OIG-NYPD, community outreach includes connecting with law enforcement communities. Accordingly, OIG-NYPD has held multiple meetings and briefings with the Police Commissioner and other high-ranking NYPD officials. OIG-NYPD has also met with police union representatives. Additionally, the Community Outreach Unit has sought out opportunities to engage NYPD officers and to educate them about the Office and its mission. The Unit made a presentation at the Police Academy before hundreds of NYPD Training Sergeants and has presented at several Precinct Community Council meetings with the goal of educating officers and the community about OIG-NYPD, and offering an opportunity to communicate directly with the Office. The goals of OIG-NYPD’s Community Outreach Unit for 2015 will continue to focus on building a dialogue with community organizations, advocacy groups, NYPD members, and other impacted and concerned people and groups. These efforts will be directed by a Community Outreach Strategic Plan that sets forth OIG-NYPD’s outreach goals for the year. Included in this blueprint for strengthening and enhancing community ties and visibility will be a special emphasis on engaging communities that have historically struggled with accessing police services and that have not been part of the ongoing dialogue around police reform, including immigrant communities, non-English speaking communities, advocates for the mentally ill, and youth organizations across all five boroughs. The Community Outreach Unit likewise plans to provide more briefings to community and advocacy organizations, and increase its outreach efforts to police officers and police unions with the goal of opening the lines of communication and tackling any misinformation. The Unit will continue to participate in outreach events and ensure accessibility to all New Yorkers. 27 OIG-NYPD FIRST ANNUAL REPORT VI. MARCH 2015 Conclusion In less than 12 months, OIG-NYPD progressed from being a concept to being a fully- functional oversight office. Operationally, the Office has secured a space, met more than half of its staffing requirements by hiring a talented and diverse group of 23 employees, established policies and procedures, and completed the core aspects of its start-up work. Substantively, OIG-NYPD has engaged the issues, conducted focused reviews of NYPD practices and policies, released its inaugural report, and engaged various parties across the city. OIG-NYPD looks forward to continuing this work and issuing more annual reports in the years to come. Please contact us at: Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department New York City Department of Investigation 80 Maiden Lane New York, NY 10038 Telephone: (212) 806-5200 www.nyc.gov/oignypd For general inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org For OIG-NYPD’s Press Office, please call (212) 806-5225 or email email@example.com For OIG-NYPD’s Community Outreach Unit, please call (212) 806-5234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 28