After a CCRB board panel substantiates one or more allegations in a CCRB complaint, it forwards the case to the police commissioner for his review. The CCRB can make disciplinary recommendations when forwarding such complaints. There are three types of penalties that the police commissioner can impose: instructions, command discipline and charges and specifications. Under New York State Civil Service Law, officers who are the subjects of substantiated CCRB complaints must be disciplined or served with disciplinary charges within 18 months of the date of incident. The only exception to the statute of limitations occurs when the alleged misconduct committed by the officer constitutes a crime.
involve a subject officer's commanding officer instructing him or her on the proper procedures that should have been followed under the circumstances. They can also involve an officer being sent for in-service training or Police Academy presentations. Instructions are considered the least punitive measure because they do not result in formal proceedings.
A "command discipline"
is imposed directly by the subject officer's commanding officer and may vary based on the seriousness of the misconduct, the officer's disciplinary history, and the officer's performance records. The penalties range from an oral warning and admonishment to a forfeiture of up to 10 days of vacation or accrued time.
Charges and Specifications
The most serious disciplinary measure is "charges and specifications." This involves the lodging of formal administrative charges against the subject officer who, as a result, may face loss of vacation time, suspension, or termination from the police department.
Types of Misconduct Substantiated
From 2008 through 2012, the board substantiated more abuse of authority allegations than any other
category of allegation, with 1,708 substantiated during this time period.
Abuse of authority allegations were substantiated at a rate of 8.5%, the highest substantiation
rate among the 4 basic types of misconduct investigated by the CCRB -- force, abuse of authority,
discourtesy and offensive language. Abuse of authority was also the most common allegation in complaints
received during the 5-year period.
The abuse of authority category includes many different types of misconduct, and improper stop,
frisk, search, vehicle search, and premises entered or searched garnered the highest
number of complaints in this category. Also, the highest substantiation rate of any allegation type,
in any category was in the abuse of authority category, notably retaliatory summons allegations
were substantiated 55% of the time and retaliatory arrest allegations were substantiated 44% of the time.
From 2008 through 2012, the category with the next-highest substantiation rate was discourtesy at 3%,
while force allegations were substantiated at a rate of 2%. In 2012, substantiation rates of all
four allegation categories -- force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language -- were
higher than the five-year average, most markedly in the categories of abuse of authority (15.5%) and discourtesy (5%).