Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kelly: NYPD Will Retrain Officers In Stop-And-Frisk Policy

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was grilled by members of the City Council Thursday over the department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, says the department will make changes to the policy and retrain officers. 

Several City Council members aggressively questioned Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about the department's stop-and-frisk policy Thursday, telling him it does not work.

A day after a federal judge approved a class action suit over stop and frisk, Kelly told council members he realizes it's a sensitive issue. He outlined what he said would be ways to prevent officers from wrongfully stopping people while still trying to get guns of the street.

He says the NYPD will retrain officers and stress that racial profiling is prohibited. He said the department is also coming up with a plan to determine if officers are over-using the procedure.

"We are first training our impact officers, but we will be training other patrol officers as well," he said.

The NYPD is also developing a video to show officers how stopping, questioning and frisking should be done. Kelly said the executive officer in each precinct will keep track of stop and frisks.

Kelly says the police department will also be involved in more outreach programs. an effort to strengthen the relationship between officers and the community.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said it is a good first step.

"I want to thank the commissioner, but I want to be clear that more work needs to be done," she said. "We will continue that work because 700,000 stop-and-frisks is simply too many."

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said the new procedures are only a band-aid approach.

"The biggest thing to take home is, not only is it racist and prejudicial, it is ineffective by their own numbers," he said. "I don't know what use you would need to say this is a program that needs to be reformed."

The police commissioner said there will not be a complete revamping because he says stop-and-frisk keeps crime down.

Meanwhile, members of the group 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement held a public meeting in the Fordham section of the Bronx on Thursday night to advise residents how to "survive" a stop-and-frisk incident with police.

The retired police officers said at the meeting that police are often trained to interpret gestures as "probable cause" for such a search.

They also advised residents to remain respectful when they are being approached and questioned by police, and to wait to filed complaints against officers with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. 

(By: Dean Meminger NY1 News)

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