Civilian Review Board - Rochester Police Department

About the Rochester Civilian Review Board (CRB)

The purpose of the Rochester Civilian Review Board (CRB) is to review and make recommendations on completed internal affairs investigations of alleged misconduct by employees of the Rochester Police Department (RPD).  CRB falls under The Center for Dispute Settlement (The Center or CDS).

Groupings of three CRB panelists are selected on a rotating basis from a pool of qualified individuals of varied ethnic, racial, age and gender backgrounds. Each board contains varied representation, given panelist availability. The panelists have received extensive training in their roles as impartial reviewers, as well as in police procedures and policies.

Panelists are required to complete a 40-hour Principles of Mediation Training and apprenticeship program with Center for Dispute Settlement to become certified mediators. These aspects of CRB requirements are under the auspices of the New York State Unified Court System, Office of Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program. Panelists must also complete a 40-hour training on police policies, procedures and practices. Each new candidate observes a complete session of the CRB review process before being appointed as a panelist.

From the list of CRB panelists, Chairpersons are nominated by CDS for Mayoral approval and appointment. Chairpersons are responsible for all administrative duties before, during and after a CRB, as well as maintaining appropriate focus, impartiality and processing in the CRB.

The determining criteria for an investigation to be reviewed by the CRB are allegations of actions that would constitute a crime and allegations involving the use of force. The categories are listed as Investigation of Force, Investigation of Procedure and Investigation of Courtesy.

The main focus of the CRB is to determine the fairness, thoroughness and timeliness of the investigation, as well as any possible deficiencies. Where appropriate, panelist(s) may make training, investigative or policy recommendations to the Chief of Police and the Professional Standards Section(PSS).

Should the review panel conclude that the investigation is inadequate in any manner, it is returned to the investigating Sergeant with specific reasons stated. Once the follow-up investigation is complete, the investigation is returned to the same panel for review and Recommended Findings. The panel may then render Recommended Findings or if not satisfied with the packet, the panel may return the packet to the command officer in PSS.

The following is the chain of responsibility should the panel return a packet more than once: 

  • Commanding Officer in charge of PSS;
  • Chief of Police of the RPD;
  • Mayor’s Office;
  • Rochester City Council (with discretionary subpoena powers).

Possible recommended findings are: 

  • SUSTAINED:       An act occurred that amounts to misconduct or misjudgment;
  • UNPROVABLE:   There is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove an allegation;
  • UNFOUNDED:    The act complained of apparently did not occur;
  • EXONERATED:   RPD personnel conduct was justified, lawful and proper.

The findings and recommendations of the Civilian Review Board are forwarded to the Chief of Police for review. The Chief of Police then issues a final decision on all complaints and determines any remedial or disciplinary action. 

Civilian Review Board Quarterly and Annual Reports