Changes considered for Police Accountability Board legislation

May 15, 2019 09:04 PM

ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — The City Council is considering some amendments for the proposed legislation to create a Police Accountability Board.

Council President Loretta Scott says the proposed amendments were created after the council held three public forums throughout the city. Scott also credited those who contacted the council through phone calls and emails for feedback that helped create these amendments.


The amendments the council is considering include:

- The legislation will only apply to sworn members of the Rochester Police Department and not civilians in the Department. 

-The definition of the Disciplinary Matrix will clarify that the matrix will determine a range of disciplinary actions.

- In order to ensure a smooth transition, the Civilian Review Board will continue to operate until an Executive Director has been hired by the PAB and the Board policies and procedures have been installed. 

- Allowing up to one member of the PAB to have a background in law enforcement, as long as three (3) or more years have elapsed since their employment in the sector. However, any person who has been employed by the Rochester Police Department would still be prohibited from serving on the PAB.

- Filling of vacancies will be determined by a process created by the PAB. 

- Anonymous complaints will not be investigated. 

- In order to issue a subpoena, the majority of the PAB must vote in the affirmative.

- A member of the Rochester Police Department, with the rank of Captain or higher, will be available to the PAB to answer questions on police policies, practices or general orders. That person will not be a member of the RPD’s Professional Standards Section or a Commanding Officer of the officer(s) involved in the case. 

- PAB decisions will be communicated to the Chief and the complainant only.  

- The PAB may seek legal counsel at its discretion. 

- The PAB legislation, if passed, would go to a referendum vote this November. Ultimately giving the electorate the power to decide if a PAB should or should not be in place

- Miscellaneous edits cleaning up language and maintaining continuity throughout. 

The council can take action on these amendments at the Committee Meeting on May 16. However, legislation may only be adopted at a formal Council Meeting; the next meeting is scheduled for May 21. 


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