Two city police unions on Tuesday amped up their campaigns against a November ballot question that would expand the powers of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, sending tweets and letters to members urging them to vote “no” on the measure.
“If these measures are approved, it will further exacerbate the incredibly restrictive environment in which our officers now find themselves enwrapped in,” Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco wrote in a letter to his union’s members.
If green-lit by voters, the ballot question would expand the police-watchdog agency’s subpoena power and charge the board with investigating the truthfulness of officers’ statements.
It would also force the police commissioner — who has the final say in meting out punishment to cops — to provide a reason if he or she does not follow disciplinary recommendation issued by the board.
Turco slammed the agency for employing “predominantly naive, inexperienced and generally anti-law enforcement” staffers, and urged members to vote ‘no’ while encourage family and friends do likewise at the polls. “If you care about your fellow officers and the future of our job, you cannot afford to miss this vote.”
In response to the unions’ campaigns, a CCRB spokesperson encouraged those wanting “more efficient, more transparent system” for police oversight to read up in the ballot question before the election.
“This would be the perfect opportunity to stick a fork in any police officer,” a police source told The Post, adding that members have an “obvious animosity toward police officers.”
The source acknowledged, however, said the NYPD’s own lack of transparency has fueled calls for more oversight.
“More transparency, peeling back some of 50a, being able to monitor when cops get in trouble,” the source said, referring to an oft-invoked state law shielding the personnel records of police officers from public scrutiny. “You gotta give a little bit.”
The city’s largest cop union, the Police Benevolent Association, took a more public, blunt approach to its ballot question campaign. The union took to Twitter calling agency “outrageously dysfunctional.”
“Anti Police bias has infected CCRB…. If it can’t reign [sic] in its bias against police officers, should we be granting CCRB more $$/power?” the union wrote.
In addition to the expanded powers, the charter amendment would also tie the CCRB’s funding to the NYPD’s headcount and add two people to the review board.
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