Council to vote on legislation requiring reporting on NYPD use of force incidents

Today, the City Council will vote on legislation requiring the New York City Police Department to publish reports relating to use of force incidents and deployment of officers engaged in wrong-doing. The Council will also vote on legislation requiring lactation rooms in certain locations providing services to the public. Next, the Council will vote on updates to the New York City Energy Conservation Code. In addition, the Council will vote on legislation requiring the Department of Probation to report on the rate of recidivism of people on probation along with related statistics and to report on the effectiveness of programs offered to probationers. The Council will also vote on legislation relating to the regulation of laundries. Additionally, the Council will vote on several landmark designations and a resolution calling for the designation of the Riegelmann Boardwalk (the Coney Island Boardwalk) as a scenic landmark. Finally, the Council will vote to co-name 65 thoroughfares and public places.

Reporting on NYPD Deployment and Use of Force Incidents and Encounters

Introduction 539-A, sponsored by Council Members Lancman, Cornegy and Barron, requiring the police department to publish quarterly and annual reports relating to use of force incidents. On June 1, 2016 the NYPD implemented new use of force policies and guidelines. Int. 539-A would require the NYPD to provide a quarterly report on the number of use of force incidents disaggregated by the: (1) type of force used, (2) precinct or unit of the officer that used force, and (3) whether the officer was on or off duty when the force was used. In addition, the bill would require the department to report on the number of injuries to an officer or civilian resulting from a police and civilian interaction involving a use of force incident, and the severity of those injuries. Finally, the department would be required to annually provide a report on the uses of force found to be excessive by the department. These excessive uses of force would be disaggregated by the: (1) type of force used, including whether a firearm was used, (2) precinct to which such officer was assigned, (3) whether such officer was on duty, and (4) the outcome of any departmental charges brought against such officer.

This bill would go into effect immediately.

“This legislation is a critical part of the City Council’s ongoing efforts to increase transparency and accountability in law enforcement,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “By gathering information on NYPD deployment and use of force incidents and encounters, we can gain a better understanding of policing and justice in our city and further our commitment to building strong, working relationships between police and the communities they serve.”

“When do our police officers use force, and for what offenses? Right now, we can’t answer basic questions like these. My bill, combined with those of my colleagues, will give us the information we need to oversee whether the police department’s use of force is necessary and appropriate,” said Council Member Rory Lancman.

Introduction 606-B, sponsored by Council Members Williams, Lancman, Gibson, Richards, Rodriguez, Rose, Wills, Mendez, Rosenthal, Menchaca and Cumbo, would require the police department to issue quarterly use of force encounter reports. The Department would be required to report all uses of force disaggregated by the conduct, offense or reason that formed the basis for the initial approach by an officer.

This bill would go into effect immediately.

“It is my hope that as we move toward improved police-community relations that the information from the reporting bill will help us understand overall Use of Force guidelines, including their relation to quality of life offenses, and find ways to de-escalate where at all possible,” Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Introduction 824-A, sponsored by Council Members Rose, Barron, Richards, Rosenthal and Cumbo, would require the police department to report on matters relating to deployment. Certain precincts, housing police service areas, and transit districts have a higher percentage of police officers charged or accused of wrong-doing than other areas in the City. This bill will require the NYPD to post an annual report of the total number and percentage of officers in each precinct that: (1) have two or more substantiated CCRB complaints in the last 3 calendar years; (2) have been the subject of an IAB investigation that resulted in a suspension in the last 5 years; (3) used excessive force in the last 3 years; or (4) have been arrested in the last 10 years for police-related behavior.

This bill would go into effect immediately.

“Two years ago, I was shocked to learn from the press that 7 of the 10 most sued police officers in the NYPD were based in my district. These numbers left me and my constituents with a lot of questions, and Intro 824A will help us begin to answer some of those questions. This bill will enable us and the NYPD to zero in on any potential problems within the department and better determine whether additional training is needed. Experience has shown us time and again that transparency, accountability and trust are key to building strong police-community relationships. My hope is that the reports produced as a result of this bill will be part of a productive conversation about how we can best ensure the safety of all of our residents, as well as those who are sworn to protect us,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

Lactation Rooms

Introduction 1063-A, sponsored by Council Members Cornegy, Cumbo, and Johnson (by request of the Brooklyn Borough President) would require the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to ensure that every job center, SNAP center, medical assistance program center of the Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration, as well as every city-owned borough office of the Administration for Children’s Services and the Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center, and every health center operated or maintained by DOHMH to make at least one lactation room available upon request to an individual utilizing on-site services. The presence of such a lactation room would not interfere with such an individual’s right to breastfeed in public. DOHMH would also be required to create a list of all public spaces with lactation rooms and make this list available on its website. The bill would also require the Department of Education to submit to the Speaker of the Council on or before August 1, 2017 and on or before every August 1 thereafter, a report summarizing policies at NYC public schools to allow a student or parent/guardian of a student to access a lactation room upon request.

The bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

“After years of watching my wife struggle to find a comfortable place to breastfeed in the City, I made it my mission to support families that make the healthy decision to breastfeed their infants. This legislation not only reinforces a woman’s right to breastfeed in public, but it also illustrates the City’s commitment to supporting families and nurturing our youngest citizens from the very start,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.

“As Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I would like to acknowledge the incredible women throughout this city and beyond that unequivocally breastfeed their children anytime and anyplace. This is a personal decision for every woman, which ought to be respected within our society. As working and stay-at-home mothers transition into their new roles, it is often a challenge to identify safe spaces where women can nurse and pump to care for their child(ren). This legislation will transform certain public spaces into safe havens to support the bonding experience between mother and child while promoting their well-being,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.

“Breastfeeding is one of the fundamental acts of love and nurturing that a mother shows her child,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “It contributes significantly to the child’s health in both short-term and long-term ways. We must work to protect the right of mothers to breastfeed and encourage this important aspect of child-rearing, and that includes legislation like Intro 1063. I thank Council Members Robert Cornegy for this important bill as well as the many activists and organizations who have fought this battle for so long.”

“We have birthed a new breastfeeding movement in the borough of Brooklyn, starting with the opening of Brooklyn Borough Hall’s Lactation Lounge last Mother’s Day. Today, the passage of Intro 1063-A marks a monumental and meaningful expansion of this public health imperative for New York City, not only for its nursing mothers but for everyone invested in raising healthy children and families. The creation of publicly-accessible spaces as a choice for breastfeeding and expressing milk empowers mothers to bond with their children in a safe, comfortable, and hygienic environment. It is time for the City to embrace and nurture its future. After all, what could be more nurturing than a mother’s milk?” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Updating the New York City Energy Conservation Code

Under State law, New York City is empowered to create its own energy code, provided that it is at least as strict as the State’s energy code. Because the State energy code was recently updated, the Council needs to pass a new City energy code before October 3, 2016. Introduction 1169-A, sponsored by Council Members Williams and Richards (at the request of the Mayor) , would update the City’s energy code to reflect the State’s changes, and would make certain amendments to accommodate the unique character of construction in New York City.

This legislation would take effect on October 3, 2016.

“As new construction continues to develop every day, we must ensure that new buildings have a minimal impact on our environment. With a population of more than eight million people in New York City, it’s important we create energy efficient initiatives that will help decrease our carbon footprint,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Reports from Department of Probation on Recidivism and Program Efficacy

Introduction 1142-A, sponsored by Council Members Crowley, Rose and Cohen, would require a comprehensive yearly report from the DOP on recidivism and compliance rates. The Department of Probation (“DOP”) supervises approximately 22,000 adults and 1,100 juveniles on any given day, all of whom have been sentenced to a period of probation by a court as an alternative to incarceration (except for a small number of juveniles who are supervised by the DOP through a process of diversion from the Family Court system). A number of these individuals are arrested during their period of probation, or otherwise violate the terms of their probation for reasons such as a lack of attendance at a mandated program or a lack of reporting to their probation officer. This report would provide statistics for all probationers under the supervision of the DOP during the previous year, and for all probationers whose periods of probation either did terminate, or would have terminated, during the previous year but for a re-arrest or other violation of their probation.

These reports would be required annually, would include comparisons to previous reporting periods, and the first report would be due within 90 days of January 1, 2017

Introduction 1026-A, sponsored by Council Members Crowley, Mealy, Mendez, Rodriguez and Rose, would require the DOP to submit an annual report on the programs it utilizes, including: (1) the amount of funding each program received, (2) the number of individuals served, (3) a brief description of the services provided, and (4) recidivism and compliance rates, where applicable.

The first report would be due within 90 days of January 1, 2017.

“The Department of Probation serves a crucial role in our city’s justice system, but the services we depend on the Department to provide need greater oversight. This legislation would give much-needed transparency within the agency as well as non-profit organizations subcontracted to provide enhancement and supportive services. The City invests tens of millions of dollars into the Department each year, and needs this legislation in order to take a finer look at how to better reduce recidivism rates. I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her dedication to criminal justice reform and look forward to these bills being passed,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.

Regulation of Laundries

Introduction 697-A, sponsored by Council Member Torres, would update and clarify the City’s regulation of the laundry industry. Laundries have been regulated by the City since at least the early Twentieth Century, when the industry operated very differently than it does today. In addition to storefront laundries, businesses known as industrial laundries operate largely outside of City regulations and sometimes fail to meet basic consumer protection standards regarding cleanliness and hygiene. Further, businesses that deliver laundry into the City are not covered by current regulations. In response to these concerns, this bill would create a new licensing scheme to better regulate the laundry industry as it currently operates. The bill would create additional requirements for industrial laundries and industrial laundry delivery services to ensure cleanliness and hygiene. The bill would also create a task force to assess the industry, and make recommendations to the Council and the Mayor on future updates to the law.

The bill would go into effect 180 days after enactment, except that laundries currently licensed by DCA would remain subject to the existing licensing scheme until their current licenses expire on December 31, 2017. Any new licensees before that date would be subject to the new licensing scheme. Starting January 1, 2018, all laundries will be subject to this law.

“The CLEAN Act, Intro.697-A, not only modernizes the licensing scheme for laundromats it also updates it to include licensing and regulations for industrial laundromats that are currently under the radar. The current laws relating to laundries have fallen short of protecting consumers and public health, and this bill ensures that industrial laundries are doing just that when they operate and launder textiles and fabrics for restaurants, hotels and hospitals. I look forward to it being signed into law by the Mayor and its implementation,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

Landmark Designations

Resolution 985, sponsored by Council Members Treyger and Deutsch, calls upon the Landmark Preservation Commission to designate the Riegelmann Boardwalk (the Coney Island Boardwalk) as a scenic landmark.

The boardwalk was originally constructed between 1918 and 1924, and now stretches a distance of 2.7 miles, from West 37th Street to Corbin Place along the Coney Island waterfront. The boardwalk is an internationally recognized tourist attraction, and a vital part of the Coney Island community. Designation of the Boardwalk as a scenic landmark would require LPC to issue an advisory report for any significant improvements or alterations of the designated structure or landscape feature.

“The iconic Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk is not just a symbol of Coney Island and Southern Brooklyn, but one synonymous with New York City,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “Millions have walked the Boardwalk’s wooden planks for nearly a century, forging the legend of one of our city’s cultural touchstones. I believe we must preserve this legend, this symbol so that our children, their children, and millions of others who visit our great city will be able to walk those same wooden planks and create their own memories, as well. With the entire City Council, including Speaker Mark-Viverito, supporting our resolution to landmark the Boardwalk, as well as officials including Comptroller Stringer, Borough President Eric L. Adams, all of the elected officials who represent Coney Island, and so many residents and community leaders, there is no reason to delay this process any longer. Thank you to my colleagues for their widespread support to officially designate this beloved local treasure with the landmark status so many New Yorkers have already unofficially bestowed upon it.”

The Council will also vote on several landmark designations:

  • William H. Schofield House Landmark Designation
  • Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel Landmark Designation
  • Van Sicklen House Landmark Designation
  • 57 Sullivan Street House Landmark Designation
  • St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Parish House & Rectory Landmark Designation
  • Pepsi-Cola Sign Landmark Designation
  • Vanderbilt Mausoleum Landmark Designation
  • Park Slope Historic District Extension II

Street Co-namings

Introduction 1227 would co-name 65 thoroughfares and public places based on requests of Council Members whose district includes the location. This legislation would take effect immediately. A map of all today’s street co-namings can be found at http://labs.council.nyc/legislation/street-co-naming/. Included in these co-namings are:

William “Pop” Marsh Avenue
Willian Marsh was a FDNY lieutenant, veteran, registered nurse and volunteer coach. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War as a staff sergeant stationed at the USMC base in Barstow, California. He served in the FDNY for 25 years, primarily assigned to Engine Co. 15 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Lieutenant Theodore Leoutsakos Way
Theodore Leoutsakos was a United States Air Force Veteran who served during the Vietnam War. For 24 years, he served as a New York State Court Officer and worked perimeter patrol outside of the New York County Supreme Court at 111 Centre Street in Manhattan. He was a first responder during the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, Shortly after his retirement, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer as a result of his response to the World Trade Center and his time spent at Ground Zero and passed on February 3, 2015.

Det. Joseph A. Picciano Way
Detective Picciano served with the New York City Police Department for 10 years and was assigned to the 41st Detective Squad. He was killed in the line of duty on February 15, 1971.

Judge Constance Baker Motley Lane
Judge Constance Baker Motley was the first black woman to win election to the New York State Senate in 1964. The following year, she became the first female president of the borough of Manhattan where she focused on the revitalization of Harlem and East Harlem, as well as of other underprivileged areas of the city. In 1966, she became the first black woman to serve as a federal judge. Following the encouragement of New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Jacob K. Javits, President Johnson appointed her to the federal bench of the Southern District of New York. During her time as a judge, she oversaw many civil rights cases. One case of particular note was her ruling in 1978 to allow a female reporter into the New York Yankees’ locker room. She went on to become chief judge of the district in 1982 and senior judge in 1986.

THE RAMONES WAY
This co-naming would honor the legendary punk rock group The Ramones. Formed in 1974, the original lineup consisted of John Cummings (Johnny Ramone), Jeffrey Hyman (Joey Ramone), Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone) and Thomas Erdelyi (Tommy Ramone). The Ramones are often cited as one of the pioneers of the punk rock sound and the band was a major influence on the 1970’s punk movement in the United States and United Kingdom. The band was recognized by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and was ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine. In 2002, the original members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

John Steptoe Way
John Steptoe was an award-winning author of children’s books. He began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. In 1969, at the age of 18, his first book ‘Stevie,’ a story based on his experiences growing up at 840 Monroe Street in BedStuy,received national attention when it was published in its entirety in Life magazine. Since his death there has been an exhibit of his artwork at the Transit Museum, his name has been placed in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Celebrity Path, Public School 181 has been named the John Lewis Steptoe School, and the Macon Library has named a section after him. ‘Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters’ has been adapted as a play and was chosen by the children’s librarians at the New York Public Library as one of the ‘100 Great Children’s Books/100 Years.’

Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor Way
Malik Taylor was a rapper known as Phife Dawg who was a member of A Tribe Called Quest, a hip-hop group from New York. A Tribe Called Quest formed in 1985 and released five albums that sold millions of copies. The groups’ album Midnight Marauders is often cited as one of the best hip-hop albums of all-time. He released a solo album in 2000 called Ventilatio: Da LP. He died from complications from diabetes.

Olympic Silver Medalist Abel Kiviat Way
Abel Kiviat was a former world-record holder in the 1,500-meter run who won a silver medal in the 1912 Olympics. In 1985, he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Lt. Christopher Pupo Way
Christopher Pupo served with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for 14 years and was assigned as the Special Operations Lieutenant in the 41st Precinct in the Bronx. He died from illnesses he contracted from inhaling toxic materials as he participated in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Nathan and Ida Handwerker Way
Nathan Handwerker emigrated from Poland in 1912 to New York. He worked in the restaurant business at Feltman’s German Gardens for four years and later opened his own restaurant, Nathan’s Famous in 1916. Ida Handwerker (September 27, 1897 – December 24, 1976) came to the United States as a teenager and began working at a food stand in Coney Island. She was hired by Nathan Handwerker to work at Nathan’s Famous and it was her unique spice blend that set the hot dogs at Nathan’s Famous apart from the competition and made Nathan’s Famous well-known. The two eventually married and worked in their Coney Island restaurant for over 50 years until they retired in 1971. The original location of Nathan’s Famous restaurant remains iconic, even as the restaurant expanded into a chain in the 1960’s. The hot dog that Nathan and Ida created and the green and yellow sign are recognizable symbols of Americana throughout the world.

Captain Michael E. Berdy Way
In June 1965, Michael Berdy was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant and assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division where he was deployed to the Dominican Republic. He was then assigned to the 2-8 Airborne of the 1st Cavalry Division and deployed to the central highlands of Vietnam. He served as rifle platoon leader, S-3 Air and finally rifle company commander. He was wounded in combat and was evacuated to the Camp Zama Naval Hospital in Japan for recuperation. Given the option to return home, he instead chose to return to the frontlines. On Christmas Day 1967, he was killed in a helicopter crash while serving his country.

Anthony Mason Way
Anthony Mason was an American professional basketball player who in his 13-year career played with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat. He earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1995 and the All-NBA 3rd team and NBA All-Defensive Team 2nd team awards in 1997.

65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” Way
The 65th Infantry Regiment, based in Puerto Rico, was among the many units of the armed forces mobilized to fight in the Korean War. The unit, made up largely of Puerto Rican soldiers took the battle nickname of “Borinqueneers” in honor of the original name of Puerto Rico, Borinquen, as the island was named by the native Taino Indians. The Borinqueneers served bravely in the Korean War and in 2014 were recognized for their valiant service with a Congressional Gold Medal.

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