Rochester City Council to consider amendments to Police Accountability Board legislation

May 15, 2019

Credit cityofrochester.gov

Rochester City Council is considering amendments to the proposed legislation for a Police Accountability Board.

One of the changes to earlier legislation for that oversight board has to do with the makeup of the PAB.

Council’s original proposal barred former law enforcement officers from being on the panel. The amendment would allow up to one member of the board to have a background in law enforcement, as long as three or more years have elapsed since their employment. But anyone who had worked for the RPD would still not be able to be on the board.

City Council President Loretta Scott says they are proposing that amendment to address a fairness issue.

“There was an absolute prohibition in the earlier legislation against anyone in law enforcement or anybody in their family, I mean it was just so absolute that it did not seem fair,” Scott said.

Ted Forsyth has been active with the Police Accountability Board Alliance. He says that group did have concerns about that proposed change, but they are still looking over these amendments. Still, he praises Council for its work so far.

“I think at the same time we recognize the work that City Council has done here and the, sort of,  gigantic step forward toward accountability that they’re proposing,” Forsyth said.

City Council will consider the amendments in committee on Thursday, and may vote on the accountability board legislation at the regular Council meeting next Tuesday, May 21. If it passes there, a referendum would be put before city voters in November.