INDEPENDENT ACCOUNTABILITY PANEL ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PERF REPORT
(10/22/2007) NEW HAVEN- The Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) responsible for guiding the work of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), as they study the New Haven Police Department, issued their final recommendations on Friday on the draft report PERF released in August. Along with comments, the IAP also suggested that PERF spend more time elaborating on some areas of their report specifically what the new vision of the department should look like and how the department would design a system of job rotations.
The IAP provided comments on 14 of the 57 recommendations originally issued by PERF. The IAP has spent the past two months engaging the public during well-attended community hearings on the report to identify resident concerns and ideas. Public input is represented in the panel’s comments.
“The public's response and participation in this process was crucial and very much appreciated,” said Shirley Wayne Washington, IAP Co-Chair. “As panel members, our voice is the mouth piece of the community’s concerns. We have taken that responsibility very seriously in overseeing this study and will do the same at the implementation stage.”
Issues of primary concern related to the re-establishment of an anti-drug unit in the Department as well as the creation of two new assistant chief positions to manage investigations and professional standards. The IAP’s comments include:
1. PERF Recommendations: Create senior management control of investigations and Create senior management control of professional standards
IAP Comment: preference for this position should be given to a person outside the Police Department but that any qualified applicants from within the department should also be considered.
2. PERF Recommendation: Re-establish a departmental anti-drug unit
IAP Comment: The IAP endorses this recommendation but emphasizes that any new drug unit should not be created unless all of the additional related protections contemplated by PERF’s reports are also instituted.
3. PERF Recommendation: Create standard format and protocol for all internal investigations
IAP Comment: The IAP believes consideration should also be given to the purchase of case management software for Internal Affairs.
“These are important comments that reflect not only the opinions of the panel members but, most importantly, they represent community feedback,” said Robert Smuts, Chief Administrative Officer. “We are pleased to work closely with the IAP and PERF to ensure that all parties have the information necessary to prepare for next steps and begin implementation of their recommendations. While we won’t be able to address all recommendations immediately, we will prioritize needs and work out way down in a timely fashion. Some of our top priorities include creating the two new assistant chief positions and developing a redesigned anti-drug unit.”
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