STATEN ISLAND, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that community groups will now play a role in the selection and election of NYPD constituency commanders, with the city’s second police reform policy being put in place these last weeks.
De Blasio said constituency commanders are “absolutely essential leaders” and help set the tone for police-community relations in the neighborhoods they serve.
Along with Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Brooklyn Borough President and mayoral candidate Eric Adams and Jennifer Austin Jones, the mayor said that in the future, the police district community councils will play a direct role in the nomination process for constituency commanders.
Prior to becoming Borough President, Adams was captain of the NYPD.
“We cannot provide honest public safety without public trust in our police service,” Adams said.
Boards will have the opportunity to interview each candidate – with between three and five candidates considered – and make a recommendation. The police commissioner will have the final say on who is hired after receiving the recommendation.
Council members will also review the commander’s performance once hired.
“I think this is going to be a real positive step,” said Shea. “This is an opportunity for circuit commanders to speak to and know the community they strive to protect and serve from the start.”
The new process will begin immediately, the mayor said.
“This is unprecedented in the history of the NYPD. We are making the voice of the community heard to determine who would be the right leader, ”said de Blasio.
Jones-Austin, a member of the city’s Police Reform Advisory Council – worked with the mayor, Adams and Shea to bring the reform to fruition. She said the reform was another significant step towards safe, equitable and just community policing.
Tania Kinsella was assigned to the 120th arrondissement, replacing Isa Abassi; Timothy Wilson replaced Deputy Inspector Melissa Eger in the 122nd arrondissement and Captain Andrey Smirnov was assigned to the 123rd arrondissement.
Earlier this month, de Blasio announced the NYPD Disciplinary Matrix, which outlines new guidelines on penalties for officers convicted of a wide range of offenses.
The 57 pages document, which took effect Jan. 15, took almost two years to create and “establishes clear and consistent presumptive penalties for specific offenses and eliminates the perception of favoritism or bias that can undermine our disciplinary process, as well as the legitimacy of the ministry in the eyes of the people we have sworn to serve and protect, ”said Shea.
The matrix provides a long list of potential infractions, including the use of lethal force and the application of strangulation, and delineates the penalties for each infraction.
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