NEW YORK (PIX11) — A new database allows New Yorkers to look up the disciplinary records of police officers they encounter.
The Legal Aid Society launched Law Enforcement Look Up on Monday, saying it’s the city’s most comprehensive source of police-misconduct records.
“You can find basic information like their shield number, their precinct assignment, the day that they were hired, you can find payroll information,” Legal Aid attorney Jennvine Wong noted in an interview with PIX11 News. “You can also find some more detailed information like civil lawsuit information, information about CCRB allegations and investigations.”
The project started years ago as a way for public defense attorneys to share information with each other. Then in 2020, New York State law changed, clearing the way for once sealed police discipline records to be shared with the public.
Victoria Davis, whose brother — Delrawn Small — was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in 2016, welcomed the news. At the time of Small’s death, David said her family struggled to learn more about the officers’ background.
“I think this information should be shared widely,” she said about police records.
But former NYPD Officer Dr. Oscar Odom questioned the use of the database.
“Looking at someone’s record doesn’t help you better understand anything,” Odom said.
Odom doesn’t want members of the public to form opinions about an officer based on information on a website.
“We already have a big enough issue now trying to recruit police officers and have so many police officers leaving the force,” Odom said.
President of the Police Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Lynch, responded to the new database.
“This isn’t really about ‘transparency’ – it’s about advancing the anti-police narrative and making it easier for cop-haters to target individual police officers,” Lynch said.
A spokesperson for the NYPD also shared a statement on the database.
“The NYPD strongly believes in the importance of transparency, which is why the NYPD already makes discipline information, with links to the Law Department and CCRB websites, available to the public on our website,” the spokesperson said. “This is an ongoing project and we expect more information to be included as we continue to digitize department records.”