ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — The Rochester Police Accountability Board has its eyes on how it envisions its department shaping up in 2022 when it can officially launch and begin investigations into police brutality claims. The agency is in its second wave of applications.
More than 800 applications have been sent into the Rochester PAB since they settled hiring disputes earlier this year with the City Council. 30 new positions are ready to be filled as the first wave of applicants are finalized to join by January.
Both PAB and the City Council wish to develop this agency was further along. But per-policy The PAB must wait for the City Human Resources Department to screen and approve applicants before they can be interviewed.
“The City of Rochester decided that for any position of PAB they must screen the application pool for minimum qualifications,” PAB Executive Director Conor Reynolds said. “Then PAB will receive the resumes and applications of people who meet the qualifications and that can take weeks.”
In their first wave of hires in January, the PAB expects to add full-time staff attorneys, evidence analysts, Deputy Chief of Investigations, and Director of Information Systems.
“These are for the inspectors who will not only be doing the investigating of possible police misconduct,” Director Reynolds continued. “But looking at the big picture. The policies, practices, and procedures of the Rochester Police Department. Helping us understand how we can make those rules better.”
As their second wave of applicants comes in, PAB plans to add 10 more positions. Including Accountability Inspectors by Spring. Even after going through hiring disputes, Members of the City Council still believe having an external party like the Police Accountability Board is the best approach to crack down on Police Brutality.
“Nothing has changed when we first expressed the need for this type of entity,” City Council President Loretta Scott told us. “The conditions are the same. There will be a need for an entity like the Police Accountability Board.”
Both the Rochester PAB and City Council tell us they meet regularly to discuss progress in getting the department off the ground. The legal battle between Rochester Police Locust Club Union and PAB is still ongoing as the State Court of Appeals is set to hear the case in 2022.
That case is over the debate of whether the police accountability board should have the authority to hand down disciplinary actions to police officers in Rochester who are committing misconduct against people. In a statement to WROC News 8, Rochester Police Locust Club President Michael Mazzeo said “The court will be hearing the same legal issues that resulted in the previous two court rulings. It is obvious in those decisions that considerable legal review was undertaken as evidenced by the detail in the written decisions. The continued emphasis on challenging strong court decisions that the city’s own attorneys and our concerns echoed and were provided initially to the city council shows that political agendas verse responsibility of their positions have dictated their course of actions. The current state of unprecedented levels of violence and the correspondingly concerning numbers of retirements and resignation of police officers it is incredulous that the focal effort of the city council is still on PAB legislation and not on efforts to retain or recruit police officers. It should be clear to everyone now that sufficient levels of police officers are essential to protect human lives in our city.”
If you would like to apply for job openings with the Police Accountability Board, you can find application links by clicking here.