Disappointment swirling around Police Accountability Board legislation
Rochester, N.Y. (13WHAM) - Days after Rochester City Council proposed the first draft of legislation to create a Police Accountability Board, advocates for the PAB, say they wouldn't get enough power or resources to operate efficiently.
Member of the PAB Alliance, the group pushing for the creation of the group, held a press conference Monday outlining their concerns with the current legislation. The group is modeling its plans around what it calls "five pillars."
"In order for it to be a PAB that is effective, impactful and has teeth, we need all the five pillars," said Pastor Wanda Williams of the PAB Alliance.
Members like Williams say getting everything they'd like to have in the legislation probably won't happen.
"If we were going to get it, we would’ve gotten it in this draft," said Williams. "So I think that speaks to where we are. We’re going to have to push."
Mike Mazzeo, the president of the Rochester Police union, the Locust Club, told 13WHAM via phone there's, "A lot of work to be done."
Mazzeo called some parts of the current legislation "unrealistic."
Late Monday afternoon, City Council President Loretta Scott responded to the concerns.
"What they have in front of them is a draft. It is the beginning of the process, not the end. It is not the final legislation," said Scott. "We are actually looking forward to sitting down and working out the differences."
Scott says a pre-planned meeting with the PAB Alliance is scheduled for Thursday.
Scott says an overhaul of police discipline to this magnitude takes time, and requires more input.
"We need to hear from the entire community, not just a small group," said Scott. "This is a major issue for us all. And we’re not trying to give it short-tripped. We need to hear from everybody."
Scott says Rochester City Council is modeling its legislation around a similar program in Syracuse.