ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The newly-formed Rochester Police Accountability Board met for the first time Tuesday, just hours after a temporary injunction removed its ability to discipline officers.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re still moving forward,” said the newly appointed PAB Interim Chair Shani Wilson.
The temporary injunction temporarily takes away the PAB’s power to discipline police officers. A setback for those who wanted the the board to start their work with more authority. Wilson says even in the face of the injunction, taking away the ability to punish police, it does not render the PAB powerless — she says there’s still a lot to get to.
“(We’ll be) reviewing policy and procedure with (police). Making sure that the things they’re doing on a day-to-day basis actually is going to be serving the public correctly,” says Wilson.
“What we’re doing right now is just taking our time, just taking this time to develop our bylaws, get a job description in to find our executive director,” says Interim Vice Chair Dr. Celia McIntosh.
Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott and other city council members were there to help the Police Accountability Board get up and running. Scott says even with the injunction, the mission of the PAB will still be robust.
“What we are doing hasn’t been done before. There’s a lot of territory that must be covered. We’re not dismayed by this ruling,” says Scott.
Wilson says an overwhelming majority of city voters approved this board, and they’re counting on the mission they have before them.
“It’s humbling to do this. We’re taking this seriously and not something to take lightly,” she said.
The PAB is still trying to determine regular weekly meeting times. They plan to meet again next Tuesday evening.