Rochester, N.Y. (WROC)- Legislation to establish a Police Accountability Board has been approved by voters.
The President of the Rochester Police Locust Club, Mike Mazzeo, says he wasn’t surprised how the votes turned out, and he still plans to challenge the establishment of the board in court.
He said the union was never against the board, but just parts of the legislation that he says are illegal and wrong.
According to the Locust club website, the union is claiming that the proposed Police Accountability Board is illegal for three reasons:
- The proposed legislation is in violation of New York State Civil Service Law and the police union labor contract.
- Members of the PAB would not have training, experience, or expertise in the field of law enforcement. City Council Legislation
- The proposed legislation would needlessly spend more than $1,000,000 of taxpayer money annually.
Mazzeo also claims there is no need for a police accountability board.
He cites data from 2011 to 2018 showing a decrease in the number of complaints about police misconduct.
“There’s certainly concerns about the change who the appointing authority is. And a board that quite frankly don’t have any oversight and is subject to political pressures or agendas,” said Michael Mazzeo, president Rochester Police Locust Club.
He says the city should focus on the issue of transparency.
“It’s not needed and quite frankly… the biggest challenge and the biggest thing that we need in this city is transparency. And this legislation does not address that at all and will not address that and that’s part of the issue,” said Mazzeo.
Mazzeo plans to challenge the legislation for the board in court and says that it has already been filed by the Locust Club. He said, “The merits of the case haven’t been determined by the courts. and that still has to be issued.”
The next step for the PAB is to appoint members to the board.
Three of the nine-member panel would be chosen directly by the mayor’s office, three would be recommended to the mayor by a community organization (the Police Accountability Board Alliance) and the remaining three members would be recommended by City Council.