Roosevelt Island Residents Present Complaints Of RIOC Public Safety Department Brutality Allegations At Board Of Directors Meeting - NY State Inspector General, RIOC Board and Outside Auditor Will Investigate
NYC Council Candidate Ben Kallos, who is seeking to represent Roosevelt Island in the next election, submitted this proposal for a Public Safety Review Board.
Dear Members of RIOC Operations Committee,
In response to repeated allegations of misconduct on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, and a recent incident in which misconduct was alleged, we sent a letter to the Inspector General calling for an investigation of the Public Safety Department’s behavior. Waiting for results is no longer an option. Roosevelt Island residents demand that fair treatment be made available immediately.
We wish to contribute to your discussion of new policies for the Public Safety Department by proposing the creation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) under RIOC as a special
committee or a task force. The proposed board would be comprised of both elected Island
residents, residents nominated from the RIOC Board and the sitting RIRA President.
A summary of the duties of the CCRB, excerpted from our full proposal, follows:
(b) Powers and Duties of the Board
- The Board shall have the power to receive, investigate, hear, make findings and recommend action against Public Safety Officers.
- Any Board action shall be upon complaints against Public Safety Officers that allege misconduct involving excessive use of force, abuse of authority, or use of offensive language, including, but not limited to, comments relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability.
- The findings and recommendations of the board shall be submitted to the RIOC Board and the RIOC Board Operations Committee Chair. No finding or recommendation shall be based solely upon an unsworn complaint or statement, nor shall prior unsubstantiated, unfounded or withdrawn complaints be the basis for any such findings or recommendations. It is the responsibility of the RIOC Board to work with the Roosevelt Island Civilian Complaint Board and the Public Safety Department Director to resolve such complaints.
- (4) The board shall issue to the RIOC Board a monthly report which describes its activities and summarizes its actions.
- (5) The board shall have the responsibility of informing the public about the board and its duties, and shall develop a method of informing the public regarding the provisions of its chapter.
We also call for RIOC to provide free and fair mediation to Roosevelt Island residents in a manner such as the NYC CCRB provides. Because it treats incidents after the fact, mediation alone is not enough, but it can prevent pain and unjust treatment from continuing.
In closing, we ask the RIOC Operations Committee to assess the viability of creating a committee or task force to address Public Safety Department misconduct, and we offer our help toward this end in any way it may be needed. We will submit in paper our full proposal outlining the responsibilities and limits of the proposed CCRB.