Staten Island Advance
updated August 31, 2015 at 11:37 AM

CCRB head wants more cameras watching NYPD officers

By John M. Annese | 

Richard Emery, the chairman of the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board, as seen in this Advance file photo, is calling for more cameras monitoring NYPD officers. 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The head of the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board is calling for more cameras to monitor cops -- including on any officer entering a suspect's home and at any NYPD facility that handles people who are arrested.

Richard Emery, who chairs the civilian NYPD watchdog panel, made the recommendations Wednesday alongside new statistics showing an increase in substantiated misconduct complaints against police.

According to a CCRB press release, 29 percent of the cases it fully investigated last month were substantiated, "the highest substantiation rate in the history of the agency."

And of the September cases, the CCRB substantiated 51 percent of those with video evidence, compared to 22 percent of cases without video, the agency announced.

Emery is calling for body cameras on every officer involved in any NYPD entry into a person's home, regardless of whether that entry is the result of a search warrant.

"Home entries are probably the most invasive police action short of a strip search. Complaints are inevitable. It serves both the police and civilians to have them documented so accusations can be fairly resolved," Emery said in a prepared statement.

He's also calling for the NYPD "to install surveillance cameras in police station houses, public housing PSAs (Police Service Areas) and Transit Districts and other NYPD locations where people may go to file crime or misconduct complaints or where arrestees are taken," according to the CCRB release.

Both recommendations were expected to be discussed at the CCRB's monthly public meeting Wednesday night.

In a statement Wednesday, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch blasted the CCRB, and Emery's recommendations.

"Once again the CCRB has tipped its hand as an organization hell-bent on doing nothing more than justifying its own existence by failing to highlight the 19 percent reduction of allegations against police officers in their press release," Lynch said. "They are part of a political apparatus that has been systematically denigrating the reputation of a fine police department and its officers and that must stop."

Lynch added, "Furthermore, their recommendations to use body cameras on those conducting home entries and for surveillance of police facilities goes well beyond the CCRB's charter authority to serve as an 'impartial' investigative body, a role it has never fulfilled in the first place."