Bill S3808-2013

Creates the New York State Civilian Complaint Review Board to investigate alleged misconduct by police and peace officers

Creates the New York State Civilian Complaint Review Board to investigate alleged misconduct by police and peace officers.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Feb 21, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

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BILL NUMBER:S3808

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to creating the New York state civilian complaint review board

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To create the New York State civilian complaint review board, an independent and impartial body empowered to investigate allegations of misconduct by police or peace officers employed by the State of New York and/or its agencies, public authorities, and public benefit corporations, and to recommend disciplinary action where appropriate.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends the executive law by adding a new article 43 to include the following:

-Legislative intent

-Defines "officer" as used in this section

-Creates the New York State civilian complaint review board, consisting of nine members; provides for appointment of board members;

-Provides that no member of the board shall hold any other public office or employment, or have experience as a law enforcement professional;

-Provides that members of the board shall be appointed for terms of three years;

-Provides for board members to receive reimbursement for expenses and a per diem allowance;

-Requires the board to appoint an executive director; authorizes the board to appoint employees, including investigators; empowers the board to adopt rules and regulations and to issue subpoenas;

-Provides that the board may offer mediation as an alternative to investigation and discipline;

-Sets forth a complaint review procedure;

-Provides that, in cases where allegations of misconduct are substantiated, the board shall forward the case to the subject officer's employer, and may recommend appropriate disciplinary action; provides that, if no disciplinary action is taken within 30 days, the board shall forward the case to the district attorney for the jurisdiction in which the misconduct occurred;

-Requires that all investigations shall be completed within six months of the date when the complaint was initiated, except in extenuating circumstances.

Section 2: Act to take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: In an orderly and just society, it is critical that the public have confidence in the integrity of its police forces. When

allegations are made of misconduct by police or peace officers, it is in the interest of the officers, the alleged victims, and the public at large that these allegations are investigated by an impartial, independent, and credible body.

For this reason, in 1993 New York City created its civilian complaint review board, a non-police investigative body tasked with providing oversight of the New York Police Department, with the power to issue subpoenas and to recommend disciplinary action where necessary. The New York City civilian complaint review board has played a critical role in building public confidence in the NYPD, and has helped to build trust between officers and the communities they patrol.

Currently, no such body exists to mediate between the public and the myriad police and peace officer forces employed by the State of New York and its agencies, public authorities, and public benefit corporations. Allegations of abuse of authority or use of excessive force by these officers are typically handled by internal investigation processes, which are often murky and inconsistent, and which may have the appearance of lacking impartiality, as they are conducted by colleagues or supervisors of the officers accused of misconduct.

Both officers and members of the public will benefit by having such complaints investigated in a fair, consistent, and transparent manner by an independent and impartial body. By creating the New York State civilian complaint review board, this legislation will enhance New Yorkers' access to equal justice and will build confidence and a better working relationship between New York State police and peace officers and the public they serve.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.741 of 2011-12; A.10618 of 2010

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Act to take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3808 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 21, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SERRANO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to creating the New York state civilian complaint review board THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new article 43 to read as follows: ARTICLE 43 NEW YORK STATE CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD SECTION 930. NEW YORK STATE CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD. S 930. NEW YORK STATE CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD. 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND PEACE OFFICERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE THAT THE INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS CONCERNING MISCONDUCT BY OFFICERS TOWARDS MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC BE COMPLETE, THOROUGH AND IMPARTIAL. THESE INQUIRIES MUST BE CONDUCTED FAIRLY AND INDEPENDENTLY, AND IN A MANNER IN WHICH THE PUBLIC AND THE POLICE HAVE CONFIDENCE. AN INDEPENDENT CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED AS A BODY COMPRISED SOLELY OF MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WITH THE AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION. 2. DEFINITIONS. (A) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE TERM "OFFICER" SHALL MEAN "POLICE OFFICERS" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPHS (A), (E), (F), (H), (J), (K), (L), (M), (P), (Q), (S), AND (V) OF SUBDIVISION THIRTY-FOUR OF SECTION 1.20 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW AND "PEACE OFFICERS" AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISIONS THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, EIGHT, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, FIFTEEN, SIXTEEN, TWENTY, TWENTY-ONE, TWENTY-TWO, TWENTY-THREE, TWENTY- FOUR, TWENTY-FIVE, TWENTY-SIX, TWENTY-SEVEN, TWENTY-NINE, THIRTY-TWO, THIRTY-THREE, THIRTY-FOUR, THIRTY-FIVE, THIRTY-SIX, THIRTY-EIGHT, FORTY, FORTY-FIVE, FORTY-SIX, FORTY-SEVEN, FIFTY-TWO, FIFTY-NINE, SIXTY-ONE,
SIXTY-TWO, SIXTY-EIGHT, SEVENTY-FOUR, SEVENTY-NINE, AND EIGHTY-TWO OF SECTION 2.10 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW. (B) AS USED IN THIS SECTION "BOARD" SHALL MEAN THE NEW YORK STATE CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD. (C) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "INVESTIGATOR" SHALL MEAN AN INVESTIGATOR AS APPOINTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION. 3. APPOINTMENTS. (A) THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF NINE MEMBERS; THREE, INCLUDING THE CHAIR, AS SELECTED BY THE GOVERNOR; AND SIX MEMBERS TO BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR UPON THE RECOMMENDATIONS, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE COMPTROLLER, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY. ANY VACANCY IN THE BOARD SHALL BE FILLED FOR THE UNEXPIRED TERM IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT. (B) NO MEMBER OF THE BOARD SHALL HOLD ANY OTHER PUBLIC OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT. NO MEMBERS SHALL HAVE EXPERIENCE AS LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFES- SIONALS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, EXPERIENCE AS A LAW ENFORCE- MENT PROFESSIONAL SHALL INCLUDE EXPERIENCE AS A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR, SPECIAL AGENT, OR A MANAGERIAL OR SUPER- VISORY EMPLOYEE WHO EXERCISED SUBSTANTIAL POLICY DISCRETION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT MATTERS, IN A FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGEN- CY, OTHER THAN EXPERIENCE AS AN ATTORNEY IN A PROSECUTORIAL AGENCY. (C) THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR TERMS OF THREE YEARS. (D) EACH MEMBER OF THE BOARD SHALL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR HIS OR HER ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS WHEN RENDERING SERVICE AS A MEMBER; PROVIDED THAT THE AGGREGATE OF SUCH PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO ANY ONE MEMBER IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR OF THE BOARD SHALL NOT EXCEED THE SUM OF FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. 4. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD. (A) THE BOARD SHALL APPOINT AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WHO SHALL ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICIES OF THE BOARD. (B) THE BOARD IS AUTHORIZED, WITHIN APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE THEREFOR, TO APPOINT SUCH EMPLOYEES AS ARE NECESSARY TO EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND FULFILL ITS DUTIES. THE BOARD SHALL APPOINT INVESTIGATORS TO INVESTIGATE CIVILIAN COMPLAINTS. SUCH INVESTIGATORS SHALL HAVE INVESTIGATIVE EXPERI- ENCE AS A CONDITION OF THEIR APPOINTMENT BY THE BOARD. (C) THE BOARD SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ADOPT, AMEND AND RESCIND RULES AND REGULATIONS TO GOVERN PROCEDURES OF THE BOARD IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION. (D) THE BOARD SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO SUBPOENA AND REQUIRE THE ATTEND- ANCE IN THIS STATE OF WITNESSES AND THE PRODUCTION OF BOOKS AND PAPERS PERTINENT TO THE INVESTIGATION AND INQUIRIES HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND TO EXAMINE THEM AND SUCH PUBLIC RECORDS AS IT SHALL REQUIRE RELATING TO ANY SUCH MATTER. A SUBPOENA ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS ACTION SHALL BE REGU- LATED BY THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES. (E) THE BOARD MAY ALSO OFFER, BUT MAY NOT REQUIRE, MEDIATION BY AN EXPERIENCED MEDIATOR BETWEEN A COMPLAINANT AND A SUBJECT OFFICER AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO INVESTIGATION AND DISCIPLINE. THE BOARD SHALL SET GUIDE- LINES TO DETERMINE CASES APPROPRIATE FOR MEDIATION. 5. COMPLAINT REVIEW PROCEDURE. (A) COMPLAINTS MAY BE INITIATED BY ANY PERSON WHETHER OR NOT THAT PERSON IS A VICTIM OF, OR A WITNESS TO, AN INCIDENT ALLEGING THE USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE OR ABUSE OF AUTHORITY. A COMPLAINT MAY ALSO BE INITIATED BY THE BOARD, UPON A MAJORITY VOTE THER-
EOF, IF THE BOARD DETERMINES THAT THERE IS A CLEAR PUBLIC INTEREST IN DOING SO. (B) THE BOARD MUST TAKE REASONABLE MEASURES TO ENSURE THE CONFIDEN- TIALITY OF ALL COMPLAINANTS. (C) ALL COMPLAINTS, OTHER THAN THOSE IN WHICH BOTH THE COMPLAINANT AND THE SUBJECT OFFICER AGREE TO MEDIATION, SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO AN INVESTI- GATOR, WHO SHALL TAKE SUCH STEPS AS ARE NECESSARY TO INVESTIGATE THE COMPLAINT, INCLUDING OBTAINING A STATEMENT FROM THE COMPLAINANT, WITNESS STATEMENTS, DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, AND INTERVIEWS WITH SUBJECT OFFICERS. WHEN THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE, IT SHALL BE FORWARDED TO THE BOARD, OR A PANEL CONSISTING OF AT LEAST THREE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, WHICH SHALL READ THE CASE, REVIEW ALL OF THE EVIDENCE AND VOTE ON THE DISPOSI- TION OF EACH ALLEGATION RAISED BY THE COMPLAINT. (D) THE BOARD'S VOTE ON EACH ALLEGATION BROUGHT BEFORE IT SHALL RESULT IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING DISPOSITIONS: (I) SUBSTANTIATED; A FINDING THAT THERE IS SUFFICIENT CREDIBLE EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE THAT THE SUBJECT OFFICER COMMITTED THE ACT CHARGED IN THE ALLEGATION CONSTITUTING MISCONDUCT; (II) EXONERATED; A FINDING THAT THE SUBJECT OFFICER WAS FOUND TO HAVE COMMITTED THE ACT ALLEGED, BUT THE SUBJECT OFFICER'S ACTIONS WERE DETER- MINED TO BE LAWFUL AND PROPER; (III) UNFOUNDED; A FINDING THAT THERE IS SUFFICIENT CREDIBLE EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE THAT THE SUBJECT OFFICER DID NOT COMMIT THE ALLEGED ACT OF MISCONDUCT; (IV) UNSUBSTANTIATED; A FINDING THAT THE WEIGHT OF THE AVAILABLE EVIDENCE IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUBSTANTIATE, EXONERATE OR UNFOUND THE ALLE- GATION; (V) OFFICER OR OFFICERS UNIDENTIFIED; A FINDING THAT THE BOARD WAS UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE SUBJECT OR SUBJECTS OF THE ALLEGED MISCONDUCT; OR (VI) MISCELLANEOUS; A FINDING THAT THE SUBJECT OF THE ALLEGATION IS NO LONGER AN OFFICER. (E) IF ANY OF THE ALLEGATIONS ARE SUBSTANTIATED, THE BOARD SHALL FORWARD THE CASE TO THE SUBJECT OFFICER'S EMPLOYER, AND MAY RECOMMEND TO THE EMPLOYER APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION. IF, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF A CASE BEING FORWARDED FOR DISCIPLINE, NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION IS TAKEN BY AN OFFICER'S EMPLOYER WITH RESPECT TO THE SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT, THE BOARD SHALL FORWARD THE CASE TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE MISCONDUCT OCCURRED. (F) EXCEPT IN EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES, ALL INVESTIGATIONS SHALL BE COMPLETED WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE DATE WHEN THE COMPLAINT WAS INITI- ATED. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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