For Immediate Release

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Community Input into Policing is Necessary for Public Safety

NEW YORK, NY - At a New York City Council hearing today, the New York Civil Liberties Union will testify endorsing community policing, a policing model that would entail greater community involvement and oversight of NYPD practices.

“New York City can’t afford to stand by as NYPD practices create distrust between the police and the communities they are supposed to serve and protect,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “The city needs the NYPD and communities to work together on creating a successful policing model based on community input. After decades of abusive police practices, the City Council’s willingness to embrace community policing strategies is a ray of hope for public safety in New York City.”

In New York City, years of aggressive stop-and-frisk practices and selective enforcement of minor crimes have driven a wedge between police and residents in the communities hardest hit by crime. At the end of 2014, after the death of Eric Garner at the hand of law enforcement, New Yorkers took to the street to demand an end to police abuse and misconduct.

In response to the public outcry for increased NYPD accountability, the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety is holding a hearing regarding community policing strategies for New York City.

The NYCLU will provide the following four recommendations for an effective community policing policy:

  • End aggressive enforcement of nonviolent, noncriminal infractions. Violations for infractions as minor as an open container or riding a bicycle on the sidewalk account for almost half a million police encounters each year that have the potential to unnecessarily escalate.
  • Improve collection and reporting of data about violation enforcement, particularly demographic information on summonses, which is currently not collected or reported by the NYPD.
  • Increase racial diversity of the police department, with City Council investigating how the NYPD recruits and promotes officers of color.
  • Increase accountability for officer misconduct by mandating that the NYPD commissioner provide complete explanations when discipline recommendations are rejected or downgraded despite substantiated officer misconduct.

To read the NYCLU’s complete testimony and recommendations, visit:​.


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The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's foremost defenders of civil liberties and civil rights. Founded in 1951 as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, we are a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with eight chapters and regional offices and nearly 50,000 members across the state.

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