Council Seeks To Strengthen Citizen’s Bond With Police Department
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Members have announced a series of steps to strengthen the relationship between communities and the New York City Police Development (NYPD), including citywide town hall meetings and oversight hearings into the training received by police officers.
Starting in early 2007, Council Members plan to hold at least two town hall meetings in each borough. The meetings will give community members the opportunity to voice concerns about and suggest improvements to current police operations in their neighborhoods. Speaker Quinn, along with Public Safety Chair Peter Vallone, Civil Rights Chair Larry Seabrook and local Council Members, will participate in the town halls. The Council’s Public Safety and Civil Rights Committees will then use the community feedback to conduct oversight hearings into: Internal and external monitoring of police. The Council will review the current operations of various police monitoring agencies and consider steps to improve their policies; Training and deployment of police officers. The Council will review training procedures, including the use of firearms, deployment of officers, and tactical methods. The committees will work to find areas where additional training could aid operations and reduce conflicts with community members; and
Community policing. The Council will review community policing and whether the policies and procedures accommodate for the needs of residents.
Quinn said, “Neighborhoods are safer when police officers and community leaders work together, shoulder to shoulder. The Council is meeting with and listening to the concerns of New Yorkers, and then working with law enforcement leaders to help address those concerns. Together we can reach our common goal–a New York where all communities are as safe and secure as possible.”
Public Safety Chair Peter F. Vallone Jr. added, “Out of every tragedy, we learn essential lessons. Through community outreach and oversight hearings, we will do everything in our power to work with communities and the NYPD to ensure such incidents don’t happen again.”
Council Member Larry B. Seabrook stated, “I welcome the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with New York City residents, elected officials and law enforcement, in an effort to foster appropriate and mutually beneficial relationships.
Through better understanding and enhanced training of officers from the academy to the precinct level, city residents will feel more confident in their interactions and further the goals of developing inclusive and effective community policing strategies.”