NYPD officers to take three day retraining program

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(PIX11) -- Beginning later this fall, NYPD officers will undergo a sweeping retraining that will focus on the department's use of force procedures.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton faced a firestorm of questions from City Council members first thing Monday morning.

For nearly three hours, Bratton answered those questions. He also explained a new direction for the force: a re-engineering, retraining and a change in many policies and procedures for his officers.

Bratton says the three day training courses will begin in November. They may cost the city an additional $25 million.

He says media coverage shows police use of force is commonplace, but that is not the case.

"We are all in support of doing more training," he said. "Nobody is denying that."

The fact-finding hearing came as a direct response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died as a result of a chokehold maneuver used by a police officer.

While the Commissioner himself says chokeholds were banned by the department in the early 90s, he stated at times it is the behavior of the public that also needs to be put into question.

"While the focus is on police behavior, I'll be very frank and upfront with you," the Commissioner said. "we also need to focus on the behavior of our citizens ... they need to understand that in a democracy we have a joint obligations."

Beginning this November, 600 officers will go through the three day retraining course.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says there's still a long road ahead before the city sees how changes could work.

She believes that a simple acknowledgement of a problem between the community and the city police force by Bratton is strides ahead of the previous administration.

"We're talking about a lot of policy changes that are going to be implemented," Mark-Viverito said. "So we need time and that's why we're going to come back and do our oversight in a couple of months and see if those changes are being felt in the community."

Regardless of this apparent progress, some members of the public took the steps of city hall prior to today's hearing.

They said they don't believe change will come -- not to this city and not by this police department.

"No matter what they talk about here today," one protestor said, "They're not talking about accountability ... the culture of police brutality will continue."

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