Gotham Gazette

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CITY

Adams 2021: Safety - True Police Reform Through Diversity and Transparency


As a former police officer who stood up against racism and corruption in the NYPD while simultaneously protecting our streets, I know how entrenched systemic bias is in the department. The fastest way to true reform is to add as much diversity to the NYPD as fast as we can, while building trust through transparency. I will do that by:

  • Adding Black and Brown officers who will respect and protect New Yorkers.
  • Appointing the city’s first woman police commissioner.
  • Making it easier for good cops to identify bad cops–and publicizing the list of cops being monitored for bad behavior.
  • Empowering communities to have a say in their precinct leadership.

Add local Black and Brown officers who will respect and protect New Yorkers.

One reason the NYPD continues to be plagued by incidents of bias and brutality is that the department still needs to become much more diverse: About half of the force is white, while the officers are Black, Brown or Asian. We will address this by recruiting from the neighborhoods that are suffering from crime, which are mostly Black and Brown, and by allowing peace officers at City agencies — who are not police officers and who are also more likely to be Black and Brown — to be promoted to the NYPD.

Train new NYPD leaders at top institutions.

The biggest companies in the world regularly send their executives to executive training programs at elite institutions. Our next generation of police leadership should have access to the same training to improve department performance—both on crime and civil rights. The department will work with private companies who are willing to sponsor spots for NYPD supervisors at the leadership academies they send their management staff to, helping train a new generation of brass to think critically, behave honorably and lead effectively.

Appoint the first woman police commissioner.

There are about 6,500 female officers in the roughly 36,000-member force, according to city statistics. While the number of women cops have grown over the years, there are few in the higher ranks, starting at captain and on up. We will encourage more women to test for promotion to join the upper ranks – all the way to the top.

Publicize the list of cops the NYPD is monitoring for bad behavior.

The NYPD keeps its own “monitoring list” of cops with records of complaints and violent incidents. We will make those records more available to the public to be transparent and build trust.

Make it easier for good cops to identify bad cops.

Most police officers could tell you about a few bad cops they work with or have run in to—and most cops resent their behavior because it brings down their profession and makes it harder for them to do their job. At the same time, it is dangerous for cops to report those bad apples. An Adams administration will make it easier for cops to anonymously report bad behavior by their colleagues that results in swift action through an outside system overseen by the Department of Investigation, protecting whistleblowers and exposing problem police.

Create a citywide law enforcement intelligence committee.

To improve NYPD transparency and oversight over sensitive policing operations while still maintaining needed information security, we will create a citywide law enforcement intelligence committee. The NYPD will regularly report to and share information with the committee, which will include the mayor, Council speaker, council public safety chair, public advocate and borough presidents. Each will receive top secret clearance. The committee can also then vote to determine when and how information on operations is disclosed to the public, rather than relying on the NYPD to make proactive disclosures.

Connect precincts to the community.

To make precinct houses more accessible to the communities they serve, we will revamp them to be more welcoming; improve them with public high-speed internet and wi-fi access; and hire specialized outreach and public information staff to change the culture of the houses into places where residents can come to learn about and participate in social and NYPD services and programs, particularly for families, children and youth.

Empower communities to have a say in their precinct leadership.

Community policing is just a slogan if the NYPD is not, in fact, acting on what a community wants and needs. We will empower community boards and precinct councils to play a role in approving and vetoing by supermajority any precinct commander candidates and community affairs officers within their respective areas.



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