Posted by on April 01, 2014 in Blog

New York City on Friday, March 28 appointed its first-ever inspector general of the NYPD.  Philip Eure will have oversight of the New York Police Department, which is the largest police force in the country, and where the department has come under attack because of its stop and frisk policy and the surveillance of Muslim communities and Arab American businesses in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

Most recently, Eure served as the executive director of the District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints and previously served for ten years in the Civil Rights division of the Department of Justice. “Providing oversight that enriches police work and fosters greater understanding between law enforcement and the public has been the focus of my career. I will ensure that we conduct thorough investigations to effect reforms that strengthens this city’s law enforcement efforts and the public’s confidence in its police force,” said Eure.  

Eure will report to the New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters and will have independent oversight over all practices and policies of the NYPD.  Former Mayor Bloomberg and former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly opposed the creation of the post, but during the campaign trail, Mayor Bill de Blasio was a huge proponent of the creation of the position.

Mayor de Blasio offered the following statement on the appointment of Philip Eure as NYPD Inspector General: “In New York City, we are fortunate to be protected by the nation’s largest, best-trained and most effective police force, and with the appointment of Philip Eure as Inspector General, we are today further enhancing the NYPD’s efforts. Independent police review is a critical component in the constant improvement of our public safety efforts, and will help us enhance the operations, programs and practices of the NYPD, while also strengthening the NYPD’s relationship with the community – all vital elements in keeping us safe. Phil has decades of law enforcement experience and is one of the nation’s premier police accountability experts, making him an excellent choice to serve as the city’s first NYPD Inspector General.”  

The Arab American community was instrumental in advocating for the creation of an NYPD oversight entity. In a released statement on the appointment of Eure, the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY), an organization that was a target of NYPD surveillance wrote: “For over a decade, the NYPD infiltrated houses of worship and community organizations and monitored constitutionally protected activities, all without suspicion of criminal activity.”

This appointment is indeed a positive step. Now let’s see if we can get the Department of Justice to act too.

comments powered by Disqus