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Council continues study of Police Accountability Board


Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott
City Council won't vote until at least  March on legislation to create a Police Accountability Board.

Council President Loretta Scott said today that while the legislation was submitted in time for discussion at Council's February committee meetings, it's not certain when Council will vote. Earlier reports in CITY said that the vote would likely be held in February.

Council is still  assessing the legislation and getting public comments. Council postponed a third public forum on the legislation, originally scheduled for January 28, due to weather. No new date for that forum has been set yet.

The legislation would create a nine-member citizen board that would have the power to investigate complaints about police conduct. The board would create a "disciplinary matrix" that would spell out disciplinary action for violations of police policy and conduct, and the board, rather than the police chief, would have disciplinary authority.

Scott said Council members may consider some modifications to the legislation. For instance, she said, they are looking at one of the restrictions it would impose on the composition of the Accountability Board. Currently, the legislation says that board members or members of their immediate family can not be currently or formerly – within the past three years – employed by a law-enforcement agency. But, Scott said, Council is not considering "major" changes to its draft legislation.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has also submitted legislation creating a Police Accountability Board, but unlike Council's bill, Warren's would keep discipline in the hands of the police chief. Warren says state law and the union contract requires that.

Council has held Warren's legislation in committee.