Creating Safe Communities and Transforming Policing

Maya Wiley has made it clear: there is no leading New York City out of the crisis we’re in without cleaning up policing and ensuring it protects our communities.

Maya Wiley is presenting the most comprehensive and substantial police reform proposal ever issued by a major candidate for Mayor—a transformational plan to put the public at the center of public safety by creating true, Mayoral control and across-the-board civilian oversight of the NYPD and developing alternatives to policing that can more effectively address New York City’s most pressing challenges: poverty, mental health crises, and homelessness.

It is a sweeping move forward in policing, crime prevention, and police-community relationships. Every New Yorker has a right to be free from police abuse and free from criminal violence. Both are fundamental civil rights that can only truly exist together.

To accomplish this, a Wiley administration will:

  • Create real oversight and address police violence at its root and before it happens.
  • Rewrite the rules of policing and reimagine the job so police officers focus on problems they can help solve.
  • Create real and meaningful accountability and consequences for all forms of police misconduct.
  • Bring the NYPD budget in line with our values and priorities.
  • Fundamentally shift policing and public safety to a focus on the root causes of crime.
  • Renegotiate the contract between the City and Police Benevolent Association (PBA) to end the union’s oversized influence and the Department’s evasion of accountability.

To create real oversight and to address police violence at its root, we will:

  • Appoint a civilian Police Commissioner who has demonstrated a sincere commitment to transforming the institution of policing.
  • Create a Commission on Public Safety Oversight and Accountability (“the Commission”) that will ensure that policing is safe for all New Yorkers, making binding decisions on policies and priorities for policing.
  • Create a Compstat for Public Safety Office that uses data to identify practices where biased policing is likely to occur and limit those practices.
  • Freeze the incoming NYPD and DOC cadet classes for two years (diverting funding to a Universal Community Care income during that period) while fundamental policy and rules changes are taken within the police department that will reshape training for future classes.
  • Put the Public Back in Public Safety, building upon existing strategies and tools which deepen police-community relationships and create a sense of shared responsibility.

To rewrite the rules of policing and reimagine the job, we will:

  • Overhaul the Patrol Guide, which details the rules that govern policing, particularly around the use of force.
  • Permanently remove NYPD from mental health crisis management, traffic enforcement, and school safety.
  • Create student support teams of social workers, school counselors, newly trained school safety officers, and administrators at all schools.
  • Permanently remove NYPD from immigration enforcement.
  • End the homelessness-jail cycle by investing in Housing First strategies, rather than policing.

To create meaningful accountability and consequences for all police misconduct, we will:

  • Empower the Civilian Complaint Review Board with an expanded budget.
  • End NYPD final authority over disciplinary actions and empower the newly created  independent civilian oversight commission to make final determinations on discipline.
  • Eliminate city funding of defense for indefensible police misconduct.
  • Bolster criminal prosecutions of official misconduct.

To bring the NYPD budget in line with our values and priorities, we will:

  • Invest in our communities by cutting at least $1 billion from the NYPD budget to fund investments in alternatives to policing.
  • Conduct a full audit of the NYPD’s budget to assess how funding is currently distributed and make additional necessary cuts.

To fundamentally shift policing to a focus on the root causes of crime, we will:

  • Expand on community-based violence interruption models.
  • Strengthen the infrastructure and communication networks between local nonprofits and outreach workers to ensure teams send New Yorkers to the most relevant, accessible, and effective health and safety organizations.
  • End the criminalization of poverty.
  • Protect domestic violence survivors while ensuring that those who come in contact with the criminal justice system have access to the support services they need to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.
  • Invest in a comprehensive and expansive citywide reentry initiative.
  • Address the crisis of mental health and homelessness with investment, not incarceration.

To end the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) union’s oversized influence and the Department’s evasion of accountability, we will:

  • Renegotiate the currently expired union contract between the City and Police Benevolent Association (PBA) that prevents officers accused of abuse and misconduct from evading accountability.
  • End the use of taxpayer money to pay for the legal defense of police officers who engage in indefensible conduct and identify other areas where taxpayers are financing the defense and protection of egregious police misconduct to determine whether such funding is appropriate.