The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is an independent Agency that is empowered to receive, investigate, prosecute, mediate, hear, make findings, and recommend action upon complaints filed against members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) that allege the use of excessive or unnecessary force, abuse of authority, discourtesy, or the use of offensive language.
People file complaints for many different reasons and with different goals in mind. Here are some a few examples of possible reasons.
Filing a complaint means that the alleged misconduct will be impartially investigated. Police officers are more often than not disciplined when the board finds that they engaged in misconduct.
You may be offered the option of having your complaint mediated. Mediation lets you resolve a complaint by talking with the officer face-to-face. You and the officer sit down as equals in a quiet, private space and have a discussion under the guidance of a trained and independent mediator.
By filing a complaint, you are making a permanent record that will remain in the officer’s personnel history.
Officers are often retrained and disciplined when the CCRB finds that they committed misconduct. This can prevent future abusive behavior. Because your complaint becomes part of an officer’s personnel record, even if the CCRB does not substantiate your allegations, police supervisors are made aware of potentially abusive officers.
Complaints can alert police supervisors about abusive practices within their precincts or commands. Plus, the CCRB monitors complaint activity for patterns of misconduct or evidence of problems with departmental training and policies, and recommends solutions to the police commissioner.
Investigations become more difficult with the passage of time. Also, in most cases administrative charges for misconduct can only be brought against a police officer within 18 months of the date of the incident and the investigation can take many months or even a year or more to complete.
Anyone who witnesses or experiences alleged police misconduct can file a complaint with the CCRB.
Although helpful, you do not need to know the name or badge number of the officer who is the subject of your complaint.
What happens after you file a complaint?