The debate over whether the New York Police Department is capable of policing itself will now move to Albany, where lawmakers have proposed the creation of a permanent inspector general to investigate the Police Department.
State Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, introduced a bill on Monday that called for the city’s Department of Investigation to appoint an inspector general to oversee the Police Department. Mr. Parker said the department needed “an independent watchdog to ensure the integrity of the department like other state and federal law enforcement entities.”
The bill comes amid a rough patch for the city police. Last week, a narcotics officer shot and killed an unarmed Bronx teenager. This week, a veteran officer in Brooklyn pleaded guilty in federal court to gun trafficking charges after he was caught in a sting operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The city’s Department of Investigation, which seeks out corruption among many of the municipal agencies, generally leaves the task of monitoring the Police Department to the police’s own Internal Affairs Bureau.
But a number of recent corruption cases involving police officers have been uncovered by outside investigators, including the F.B.I., which has underscored concerns about the department’s ability to monitor itself. And while there is also an oversight agency under the mayor, the Commission to Combat Police Corruption, it has no subpoena power and a tiny staff.
“An effective inspector general could play an important role in identifying concerns and making recommendations for change,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which has called for the appointment of such an inspector general in the past. Ms. Lieberman said that there had recently been “an alarming parade of scandals involving the N.Y.P.D,” which demonstrates “a clear need for meaningful oversight of N.Y.P.D. practices and policies.”
How much support the bill would receive remains to be seen. Senator Bill Perkins and Senator Eric Adams, a former police officer, are co-sponsors. A similar bill will also be introduced in the Assembly, most likely by Assemblyman Karim Camara, said a spokeswoman for his office, Odellia Lucius.
A spokesman for the Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.