Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The New York City Council approved some of the most sweeping plans in years to impose new oversight over the NYPD. There were two bills passed with a veto-proof majority. One would expand the definition of racial profiling and a second would establish an inspector general with subpoena power to recommend changes to the NYPD's policies and practices.
Proponents see the legislation as a check on a police force that's come under scrutiny for its heavy use of a tactic known as stop and frisk.
However, the law's critics, which include Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, say the measures would impinge on techniques that have decreased crime dramatically and would hamper the NYPD.
Not so, says Fordham Professor Ian Wenstein. He says he's seen no proof that an Inspector General would leave citizens less safe. And, he adds, "If there's something significant enough...that it turns out to affect police conduct on the street, there's a good chance that those are things that we the public ought to know."
To hear more of Professor Weinstein's take on inspectors general, click the audio link above to hear his interview with WNYC's Amy Eddings.