2019 City Charter Revision

Improving Government & Increasing Police Transparency
Items the 2019 City Charter Revision Commission Should Adopt for New Yorkers to Vote on in 2019 Elections

The following are key items Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) has been advocating for as part of the 2019 City Charter Revision Process. The 2019 Charter Revision process represents a unique opportunity for New Yorkers to vote on changes to the City Charter that can better advance governmental transparency and safety for all New Yorkers, including increased police accountability and transparency.

Proposed changes to New York City Charter

1)  Increase police accountability for killings, brutality, sexual violence, gender-based violence and other police misconduct – and the systemic culture of related misconduct that obstructs investigations and promotes cover-ups – when officers harm members of the public.

A.     Expand CCRB authority to prosecute on “other related misconduct” in cases that CCRB is investigating – instead of referring those findings to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB).  Examples of other related misconduct that CCRB should investigate and prosecute when they are part of a FADO investigation include: lying in offical reports; false statements; failure to provide aid/intervene; failure to follow BWC/other protocols; failure to document stops and consent searches; leaking sealed information; intimidation of witnesses and complainants, etc.

B.      Provide CCRB with explicit authority to investigate, and if warranted, prosecute complaints against school safety agents, and other “peace officers”.  School safety agent complaints are currently sent to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, providing no transparency or faith in disciplinary action when school safety agents harm children and young people in NYC schools.

C.      Require public disclosure and transparency when the Commissioner deviates on CCRB findings and discipline recommendations. The reason for deviation should be made public (as was intended when CCRB’s Administrative Prosecution Unit was created in 2012). 

D.     Enable Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) to determine discipline in cases that they prosecute (via their Administrative Prosecution Unit).

2)  Create fiscal transparency of the City’s policing -- and ensure opportunities for public oversight of surveillance-related technologies purchased by the NYPD and other City agencies.

A.      Amend Charter procurement process so that it requires public transparency, equity impact statements, public input, and opportunity for the City Council to veto and prevent purchase or renewals of surveillance technologies.

B.      Require NYPD reporting of private sources of income and expenses paid by those sources (& other sources of income not currently subject to Council oversight).

C.      Require detailed units of appropriation in NYPD budget so that New Yorkers understand what the NYPD’s budget of over $5 Billion is spent on.


(Updated 6/10/2019. Click here to download as sharable PDF.)