Frequently Asked Questions
No, the CCRB is not. The CCRB is an impartial agency that has been independent of the police department since 1993.
The CCRB investigates complaints about four types of misconduct by sworn officers of the NYPD: force that is excessive or unnecessary; abuse of authority; discourtesy; and offensive language. The CCRB does not investigate the actions of civilian employees of the NYPD such as school safety officers or crossing guards.
Civilian staff members conduct investigations. New investigator training includes: agency jurisdiction and rules, effective interviewing techniques, methods of evidence gathering, patrol guide mandates, police department operations and structure, and the legal principles governing use of force, stops, frisks, and searches. Investigators also complete a two-day training course at the Police Academy, ride-along on a police patrol, and receive instruction on firearms and tactics at the NYPD outdoor firing range.
Investigators work under the direction of managers who have at least 8 years of investigative experience gained through prior employment in agencies such as the NYC Department of Investigations, the NYC Transit Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the CCRB.
In order to investigate fully and fairly, we need to get many more details than are ever included in a person's initial complaint.
To learn what happens after you file a complaint, read a detailed description of our investigations and the possible outcomes of your complaint.
No. When we substantiate a complaint, we refer the case, with a disciplinary recommendation, to the police commissioner. In the most serious cases, CCRB attorneys prosecute officers at disciplinary trials. Only the police commissioner has the authority to decide the level of discipline and impose punishment on an officer.
We are required by law to conduct investigations that are thorough and fair. This means we must gather all possible evidence and information pertaining to the incident that prompted your complaint, not just your statement. This entails interviewing the subject officer, interviewing people who may have witnessed the incident, looking at video when it exists, examining medical records when there are injuries, and much more.
There are many cases where an officer's actions prompt a complaint, yet those actions are within the law and within police guidelines. This emerges when we investigate fully and in such a case, the officer will be exonerated.
Other times, a complaint is substantiated, based upon the preponderance of evidence. Substantiated cases are referred to the police department for discipline. When the board recommends the most serious form of discipline, the case stays with the CCRB and Agency attorneys prosecute the officer at a disciplinary trial.
Yes. All complaints, regardless of the outcome, remain on an officer's CCRB history which is part of their personnel record at the police department.
You should notify us immediately if you are threatened or retaliated against after filing a complaint.
Yes, you have that right; it doesn't matter whether or not you are currently incarcerated. Our investigators routinely visit city jails in order to interview complainants.
Yes. We often get complaints against unidentified officers. In most of these cases, our investigators are able to identify the officer using police department records and documents. We may need to interview you a second time and have you view officer photos to make a positive ID.
Every case is different. Sometimes an investigation can be done quickly, in a matter of a few months. Some investigations take longer. It depends on many things, such as the availability of witnesses and the complexity of the incident, including the number of alleged victims and subject officers.
Yes. If your case is suitable for CCRB's mediation program, you may have the chance to have a confidential discussion with the officer about the incident, with the assistance of a neutral mediator.
The IAB is a unit within the police department, staffed by police officers. The CCRB is a completely separate agency from the police department. The CCRB is staffed by civilians and has a mandate to investigate four types of police misconduct: excessive or unnecessary force; abuse of authority, discourtesy, and offensive language.
The IAB functions as the police department's internal watchdog, to prevent, uncover, and investigate corruption, perjury and off-duty criminal conduct. When the IAB receives a complaint that falls within the CCRB's jurisdiction, it refers the case to us. Likewise, when the CCRB gets a complaint that is outside its jurisdiction, it refers that to the IAB. For example, if you file a complaint that an officer punched you and cursed at you during an arrest, and then stole your money, we would investigate the force and discourtesy allegations, but the alleged theft of money would be referred to the IAB.
No, we do not have the jurisdiction. A summons or an arrest can only be resolved in court. Please call 311 for more information or contact an attorney.
In 2016, the police commissioner disciplined 525 officers On cases where the police commissioner made a final disciplinary decision in 2016, the disciplinary action rate was 82%.