News Release - Mayor Warren Proposes Independent Police Accountability Board with Full Investigative Powers

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren presented legislation to the City Council today that would establish a new Police Accountability Board (PAB) with full investigative powers, for the first time in the City’s history.

“The PAB would have unprecedented powers to investigate complaints as well as work toward better policies related to the use of force,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “This will improve public safety by improving the public’s trust, creating a fully transparent investigative process that’s fair to both the community and our officers.”

The proposed nine-member PAB would have subpoena power to compel testimony and the production of evidence. Three of the members would be recommended to the Mayor by the community’s Police Accountability Board Alliance, three would be recommended by the City Council and three appointed directly by the Mayor. Except for the first set of appointments, members would serve staggered three-year terms.

The initial board would convene a search committee for an executive director, chosen by the PAB and subject to confirmation by City Council.

In addition to conducting investigations and making recommendations for disciplinary action, the PAB would develop a disciplinary matrix with clearly delineated penalty levels and a range of sanctions; review, assess and make recommendations regarding RPD policies and procedures related to the use of force; publish monthly and annual reports to the City’s website with statistical information on complaints and recommendations, both disciplinary and policy; and provide an annual assessment of public survey data and how the PAB’s own policies can change to accommodate concerns.

In conducting any investigation into the use of excessive force, the PAB would have access to a complete copy of the Police Standards Section investigative files and findings report. The board could then conduct any investigation it feels is necessary, utilizing its subpoena power as needed.

The PAB could then recommend charges and/or discipline to the Chief, who would take no action on a complaint until receiving the board’s findings and recommendations. Any recommendations regarding discipline would be based on the disciplinary matrix created by the PAB.

If the Chief disagrees with the PAB’s recommendations, he would be required to explain his reasoning in writing to the PAB.

The projected cost in the first year, including one-time startup costs, is estimated between $260,000 and $300,000.

Read the legislation here>>>


News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.