The mayor announced the next phase of police reform in New York City Friday, consisting of 36 specific reforms that are part of the administration’s “ongoing effort to undo the legacy and harm of racialized policing,” his office said Friday.
“When I took office, I vowed to reform a broken stop and frisk policy—both to protect the dignity and rights of young men of color, and to give our brave police officers the partnership they need to continue their success in driving down crime,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “There were so many who said it couldn’t be done. But we proved them wrong. Now, we must go further to confront the harmful legacy of racialized policing. These reforms will restore trust and accountability to create a police force that reflects the communities they serve – all while keeping New York City the safest big city in America.”
The plan is broken down into five sections or goals: Transparency and Accountability, Community Representation, Recognition of Racialized Policing, and the Decriminalization of Poverty.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan — published in a report Friday — has the support of the police commissioner as well.
“As I said in a recent speech to community leaders in Harlem, there is a history in this country that goes back hundreds of years involving the enforcement of unjust laws and racist policies of society. Police have been an inexorable part of that history,” says Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in the report. “We have to acknowledge this truth – and I do. And we must acknowledge the NYPD’s historical role in the mistreatment of communities of color. I am sorry. Our challenge today is to ensure that we will not participate in, or tolerate, any further inequality or injustice. We have engaged in years of steady reform and we must continue.”
Each of the 36 reform points fit into one of the five goals.
Transparency and Accountability to the People of New York City
- Hold police officers accountable for misconduct through internal NYPD disciplinary decisions that are transparent, consistent, and fair
- Strengthening the CCRB via the David Dinkins Plan
- Consolidate NYPD oversight by expanding the authority of CCRB to include the powers of the NYPD OIG and the CCPC
- Supporting a change in State law to give CCRB access to sealed PD records for purposes of investigations, especially biased-policing investigations
- Public and comprehensive reporting on key police reform metrics
Community Representation and Partnership
- Working with communities to implement NYC Joint Force to End Gun Violence
- Incorporate direct community participation in the selection of Precinct Commanders
- Involving the community in training and education by expanding the People’s Police Academy
- Immersing officers in the neighborhoods they serve
- Elevate the feedback of the community through CompStat and Enhanced Neighborhood Policing
- Launching the Neighborhood Policing App and expanding training
- Improving policing of citywide demonstrations
- Expanding the Precinct Commander’s Advisory Councils
- Expanding Pop Up with a Cop
- Supporting and expanding the Citizen’s Police Academy
- Enhancing Youth Leadership Councils
- Expanding the Law Enforcement Explorers Program.
- Transforming public space to improve community safety
Recognition and Continual Examination of Historical and Modern-Day Racialized Policing in New York City
- Acknowledging the experiences of communities of color in New York City and begin reconciliation.
- Eliminating the use of unnecessary force by changing culture through policy, training, accountability, and transparency.
- Augmenting racial bias training for NYPD leadership
- Comprehensive restorative justice training for NYPD leadership and NCOs to repair relationships with communities.
- Train all officers on Active Bystandership in Law Enforcement (ABLE) by the end of this year.
- Enhancing positive reinforcement, formally and informally, to change culture
- Consistently assessing practices and policies through accreditation.
The Decriminalization of Poverty
- Developing a health-centered response to mental health crises
- New approaches to safety, outreach and regulation through civilian agencies
- Interrupt violence through expanded community-based interventions
- Expanding the successful Brownsville pilot via the community solutions program
- Consolidating all crime victim services within the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to support survivors
- Strengthening community partnerships with domestic and gender-based violence providers
A Diverse, Resilient, and Supportive NYPD
- Recruiting officers who reflect the communities they serve, with a commitment to recruit and retain more people of color and women
- Reform the discretionary promotions process to improve equity and inclusion
- Expanding mental health support for officers
- Supporting professional development through the Commander’s Course and leadership development programs
- Updating the patrol guide so it is more user friendly and less complex for officer and transparent to the public
The mayor’s office said hundreds of people from a variety of backgrounds, organizations and neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs shared their insights in forums.
Police reform has become a renewed topic of importance in New York City in the past year, primarily sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis. In the days, weeks and months following his death, protests and marches erupted nationwide — including very prominently in New York City — calling for justice and reform.
The draft plan released Friday will go through a public comment period before further revisions.