Police Commissioner William Bratton is making another major change at the NYPD, overhauling how the department investigates shootings by police. NY1 Criminal Justice Reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Police Commissioner William Bratton says if a police officer has hurt or killed someone, he wants the most visual and in-depth details possible.
"You put some of you top investigators, equip them with the latest technology,” he said.
He's creating what he calls the Force Investigation Division, a unit that will cover the entire city.
And he wants more than just a paper or Power Point presentation outlining tragic encounters between cops and citizens.
"What I am also looking for is to take significant advantage of the computer capabilities to recreate crime scenes that you do it on the news all the time. You watch the newscast and you have this virtual representation of people and cars moving. We currently do not do that when I get my use of force briefings,” said Bratton.
The commissioner says he's looking to duplicate a unit he started in Los Angeles when he was police chief there. He says he wants to free up the commanders in each borough who are currently responsible for investigating use of force complaints or deadly encounters like those involving Eric Garner on Staten Island and Akai Gurley in Brooklyn.
He says it's more productive to have one specialized unit.
“Right now I get ten different presentations because each borough commander does it somewhat differently. And again I will get a better investigation, a speedy investigation, a more comprehensive investigation,” said Bratton.
In a statement, Roy Richter, the head of the Captains union called this a positive move.
He said, "The Creation of a specialized unit to handle police involved shootings will enhance the NYPD's ability to investigate and document these highly charged incidents."
Bratton says he's hopes to have the Force Investigation Division operational as quickly as possible and that could mean within a month.