Public Safety

The 39th District is lucky to have the officers of the 66th, 72nd, 76th, and 78th Precincts keeping us safe. Working with law enforcement and citizen groups, we can make sure that all of us feel safe on the streets and in our homes.

NYC Council Passes Plans for New Police Oversight

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The most expansive plans in years to impose new oversight on the New York Police Department passed the City Council early Thursday, as lawmakers voted to create an outside watchdog and make it easier to bring racial profiling claims against the nation's largest police force.

Both passed with enough votes to override expected vetoes, marking an inflection point in the public debate and power dynamics that have set the balance between prioritizing safety and protecting civil liberties here.

Proponents see the legislation as a check on a police department that has come under scrutiny for its heavy use of a tactic known as stop and frisk and its extensive surveillance of Muslims, as disclosed in a series of stories by The Associated Press.

"New Yorkers know that we can keep our city safe from crime and terrorism without profiling our neighbors," Councilman Brad Lander, who spearheaded the measures with fellow Democratic Councilman Jumaane Williams, said at a packed and emotional meeting that began shortly before midnight and stretched into the early morning. Read more »

2 Bills on Police Oversight Advance Amid Objections From Bloomberg

New York Times

Shortly before a key vote on two policing bills in the City Council, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood at Police Headquarters, flanked by Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, a dozen other law enforcement officials and Robert M. Morgenthau, the 93-year-old former Manhattan district attorney.

With the mayor playing a solemn M.C. for nearly an hour, each man spoke forcefully against the bills on Monday, warning of the dangers they would pose to the city — some invoking Al Qaeda, others the bad old days of rampant crime — and urging council members to vote no.

Their pleas went unheeded for now.

With the support of Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the Council overwhelmingly approved twin motions — each by a vote of 41 to 8 — to bypass a committee where the bills had stalled and bring them up for a full hearing and vote as early as Wednesday. Read more »

Fatal Crash at Church and Ocean

I was truly heartbroken to hear about the fatal crash at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue, near the entrance to the Prospect Expressway, that took the life of Ngozi Agbim this morning. I have been working with many community advocates to fix that intersection—which we all know to be dangerous—for years. But we are too late to prevent today’s tragedy. Read more »

Statement on City Council Vote to Bring CSA to the Floor

Council Members Williams and Lander’s Statement Following City Council Vote to Bring Community Safety Act to the Floor

NEW YORK, NY, June 24, 2013: Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), co-chair of the Council’s Progressive Caucus, jointly released the following statement following the City Council’s passage of a “Motion to Discharge” for the Community Safety Act (Intros 1079 and 1080), a package of bills to increase accountability for the NYPD and strengthen the City’s ban on police profiling to cover all New Yorkers. With the passing of the Motion to Discharge, the City Council will vote on the legislation later this week. Read more »

Great news: SUNY withdraws plan to close LICH!

Statement of NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Members Brad Lander & Stephen Levin

“We are relieved and happy to learn that SUNY Downstate Medical Center withdrew its proposal to close Long Island College Hospital. This is an incredible victory for Downtown Brooklyn and its residents. Read more »

Statement on Bill to Protect New Yorkers from Profiling & Discrimination by the NYPD

New Yorkers rally for police reform

BROOKLYN, NY, April 23, 2013: Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) released the following statement on the status of ongoing negotiations over the Community Safety Act (of which they are co-sponsors), specifically regarding comments made today by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn (D-Manhattan) that she has decided to not support Intro 800-A, which would create an enforceable ban on bias-based profiling. Read more »

Citizens Crime Commission Statement on the Proposed IG for the NYPD

For Immediate Release: April 8th, 2013

Citizens Crime Commission President, Richard Aborn, released the following statement: 

The New York Police Department is an extraordinary law enforcement agency. Under the outstanding leadership of Commissioner Ray Kelly our brave men and women in blue have driven down crime to historic lows. As a result, New York City is the safest large city in America. 

Recently there has been much discussion about the role of an Inspector General (I.G.) as it relates to the NYPD.

As we move into a new administration, we ask ourselves "if we were designing a major urban police force today would independent oversight be an element?" To us, the clear answer is yes.

Read more »

And the winning projects are...

What a weekend!

Yesterday, we wrapped up our second Participatory Budgeting vote - the culmination of a process that empowers New Yorkers to decide how tax dollars are spent on projects in their neighborhoods. Read more »

Lander and Williams Praise New Report from Dept of Investigation

Sponsors of NYPD Inspector General Bill: “DOI’s oversight and recommendations are helping improve an agency in need of change.”

BROOKLYN, NY - Today, Council Members Brad Lander and Jumaane D. Williams – co-sponsors of the bill to establish NYPD oversight at the NYC Department of Investigation – praised a new report from the Department of Investigation detailing misguided policies and recommending corrective action for the NYC Board of Elections. The DOI found that the BOE overstaffed a low-turnout election day in 2011, costing the City at least $2.4M in unnecessary personnel expenses.

The BOE fully staffed all election districts under the auspices of allowing poll workers to practice on the new electronic machines. DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn told the Daily News, “Fully staffing all polling sites in the face of such low voter turnout is a costly way to do training,” a position backed by her office’s report.

Council Member Brad Lander praised DOI’s report, remarking that, “It’s great to see the City’s DOI do a thorough study of a public agency, identify problems, and make concrete recommendations for changes in policy. I look forward to the NYPD benefiting from similar oversight, making for better policing and a safer New York.”

"As chair of the Council's Committee on Oversight and Investigations, I have first-hand knowledge of the great work that DOI does,” Council Member Jumaane D. Williams said. “They are uniquely capable of engaging in comprehensive oversight and advising on potential reforms that can improve City functions such as, thanks to this new report, the work of our Board of Elections. Almost every major agency enjoys this type of effective independent review; hopefully soon the NYPD will benefit from comparable oversight, strengthening its internal function and external image." Read more »