The Police Accountability Board is disappointed with the decision by the New York State Appellate Court to remove the agency’s disciplinary power. While the ruling is impactful to civilian oversight, the PAB remains committed to conducting rigorous, unbiased investigations into allegations of police misconduct. The agency will continue to recommend appropriate actions and disciplinary measures to the Rochester Police Department based on our findings. The RPD is still required to inform the community if they plan to implement the PAB’s recommendations, a condition outlined in the City Charter and demanded by Rochester voters in 2019.
“The people of Rochester called for an independent and robust Police Accountability Board. Since then we have established an agency that gives them a voice. Not just through independent investigations of alleged misconduct, but through policy reform, and increased community input on how public safety is carried out in this city,” said Sherry Walker-Cowart, Interim Executive Director of The PAB. “This is disappointing, but it is not the end. With community support, the Police Accountability Board will continue to provide transparency, accountability, and justice in Rochester.”
In addition to investigation efforts, the Police Accountability Board will also persist in making policy recommendations to promote the highest standards of law enforcement. The agency’s policy Proposals for Change and Oversight Investigations will continue to serve as a critical tool for driving systemic change, ensuring that best practices are adopted to enhance community safety and trust.
The Police Accountability Board calls upon policymakers, legislators, and the public to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the role and responsibilities of the Police Accountability Board and to explore avenues for equipping the agency with all it needs to conduct its work.