Civilian Complaint Review Board Analysis

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Established in its current incarnation in 1993 under the leadership of former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins, the Civilian Complaint Review Board asserts to be the largest civilian oversight agency of its kind within the United States, and investigates thousands of civilian complaints each year. Even though it has only existed in its current form for a little over a decade, the conception of a board delegated power to investigate complaints about potential police misconduct predates the administration of Robert Wagner, who was responsible for investing the nascent Civilian Complaint Review Board-which was then comprised solely of three deputy police commissioners-with new powers in 1955. However, it remained a province of the NYPD, with …show more content…
After much debate-and opposition to the proposal from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association-Mayor Lindsay decided to appoint four civilians to the reconstituted board. This prompted opponents of the newly redesigned board to campaign for a city ballot proposal that would have forbidden any direct civilian oversight of uniformed police officers in New York City. The measure was enacted by an overwhelming margin, and the review board once again came under the sole purview of the New York Police Department. In 1986, the New York City Council enacted a piece of legislation that called for imposing some degree of civilian oversight once again, which led to the appointment of six new members by the mayor-with the advice and consent of the City Council-and six by the police commissioner. The Civilian Complaints Investigative Bureau then began to hire civilians to investigate complaints lodged against the NYPD, but did so with the oversight of police department investigators and …show more content…
Over the years, NYPD officers have come under public scrutiny with allegations of corruption, brutality, excessive use of force, and poor firearm discipline.[1] Individual incidents have tended to receive more publicity; a portion of which have been substantiated while others have not. The Knapp Commission in the 1970s, and the Mollen Commission in 1994 have led to reforms within the NYPD aimed to improve police accountability. However in recent years, likely due to low salaries and declining morale, many more off-duty NYPD officers are being arrested and charged in and outside the city for crimes ranging from drunk driving to homicide.[2] One of the department's most spectacular cases of corruption was that of Lt. Charles Becker, who holds the dubious distinction of being the only NYPD officer to die in the electric chair. Due to repeated public outcry over these and many other incidents, specifically, the Tompkins Square Riot of the 1988, and the Crown Heights Riot, prompted the creation of the Civilian Complaint Review Board[3] (known commonly by its acronym, the CCRB) in 1993, an independent investigative unit of entirely civilian investigators (with some being former members of the

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