Manhattan, Brooklyn leaders urge NYPD to reform community relations - Metro US

Manhattan, Brooklyn leaders urge NYPD to reform community relations

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Seven public forums across Manhattan and Brooklyn over the summer added up to a 192-page report full of recommendations by New Yorkers on how NYPD can improve relationships with communities they police.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and civil rights attorney Norman Siegel released the report on Tuesday.

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“This was not a ‘I hate the police’ report or gathering,” Adams told reporters. “People want good, healthy police interactions.”

More than 1,000 New Yorkers took part in the various events in the two boroughs, which were organized with attorney Siegel’s help.

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Siegel listed off a series of reforms proposed in the report, which largely focused on what police and top brass can do and included an increase in police training to one year from six months, requiring or incentivizing officers to live in the neighborhoods they patrol, and offering police a sabbatical period after eight years on the job.

A former police officer himself, Adams said he could have used his own sabbatical period after someone shot his car windows.

“I was overwhelmed,” he said, adding that the idea for a sanctioned break for officers came from a teacher who attended the town halls.

While some individual police officers were at a number of the town halls, Siegel lamented that no one from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office participated save for an early press event.

Siegel said he was disappointed in de Blasio and his “self-proclaimed progressivism.”

“The idea of not participating in town hall meetings, that he and his staff were invited to, what does that say?” he said.

Describing the report as unintendedly, only referring to de Blasio once, Siegel added that NYPD Commissioner Bratton has expressed a willingness to sit down and review the report with the leaders.

But Adams did not let the mayor off the hook.

“We did not elect Bratton — we elected Mayor de Blasio. This is his legacy. He can’t leave his mayoralty not addressing this problem,” the borough president said.

“Police agencies, chiefs and commissioners have a tight fist,” Adams added. “They’re not going to be able to shake the hands with community residents if that fist stays tight. It’s up to the mayor to set the tone.”

A spokeswoman for de Blasio did not immediately respond to Metro’s requests for comment.

Read the full report at http://bit.ly/policecomm.

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