The New York Police Department is known for pioneering the use of computer statistics to identify crime trends, but it can’t seem to identify its own officers causing problems on its streets, NPR reports. It cites officer Donald Sadowy, who has been subject of at least 11 lawsuits. It’s easy to find dozens of other officers with similar records. All of which calls into question just how seriously the NYPD polices its own. “I think there’s been a really systematic failure of accountability on the part of the NYPD,” says Samuel Walker, a police accountability expert.
“If you could devise a system to identify them and to identify them early, you could prevent a lot of these inappropriate actions out there on the street,” Walker says. The city spends more than $100 million each year to settle lawsuits against the police. Referring to the multiple lawsuits against Sadowy, Candace McCoy, a criminal justice professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center says, “The question is: What is the cutoff? What is the exact number beyond which you take this person off the street?”