Is The New York Police Department Effectively Policing Itself?


A spate of unrelated corruption prosecutions involving the New York Police Department that were not uncovered by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau is raising questions about the department's ability to police itself, nearly a dozen current and former prosecutors and some insiders tell the New York Times. Some critics blamed a lack of effective outside oversight of the department's anticorruption program, characterizing the monitoring as weak at best in recent years, with monitors having neither the political will to press the department nor support from City Hall.

Critics also pointed to low starting salaries for new officers, poor morale, recruits drawn from a smaller pool of qualified candidates, and a hidebound Internal Affairs Bureau bureaucracy. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly disputed any weaknesses in Internal Affairs, saying it was as aggressive as ever, if not more so, and noting that its ranks and budget had swelled even as the department's manpower and budget had been cut back. He said Internal Affairs officers were front and center in making several recent cases.

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