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New CCRB Head Proposes Computer Analysis to Study Police Misconduct

By Ben Fractenberg | August 5, 2014 8:24pm
 The new board chairman for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Richard Emery, speaks during a public meeting Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. 
The new board chairman for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Richard Emery, speaks during a public meeting Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. 
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

TRIBECA — The city police department watchdog could be taking a cue from the NYPD's crime data analysis program to keep an eye on police officers.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board is considering a Cop Stat program, based on the NYPD's effective Comp Stat system, to help review how police are interacting with different communities throughout the city, director Richard Emery said.

Emery floated the idea Tuesday during his first public meeting since being appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The basic place where complaints come is to the CCRB, seven or eight thousand a year. That is a trove of information,” Emery said at the agency's 100 Church St. headquarters.

The board hopes “to make sense of that and to make judgments that will enable the police department to be forewarned about things that are developing, that are percolating up among this trove of information.”

Emery said he got the idea from the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The board chairman said the CCRB could use computer programs to spot trends of improper police behavior.

“That can result in transfers, can result in training, can result in all kinds of prophylactic measures to prevent abuse from occurring down the road."

Later in the meeting, Emery said the CCRB was still investigating chokehold complaints, and plans to issue a report as early as the end of this month.

The agency received 1,128 complaints of chokeholds over the past five years, and 10 of those cases were substantiated, Emery said.

“[We will] look at the ways we hope we can better advise the police department to enforce the patrol guide standards, which prohibits any action which may interfere with breathing,” he said.

Things got contentious during the public comments section of the meeting, with several community members saying the CCRB should be doing more to halt the use of the banned practice after Eric Garner’s death in Staten Island.

“What is lacking today is a sense of urgency and a sense of impatience for what everybody came here for,” said Michael Meyers, who leads the New York Civil Rights Coalition. “And that is what in the heck is going on [with] the CCRB to not discover a long time ago these patterns and practices of chokeholds, and what are you going to about it by virtue of transparency and bringing about change?”