Data for at-risk cops flagged for retraining missing from NYPD report

An NYPD year-end report detailing how it works with at-risk officers is missing a key detail:

How many of those struggling cops had to repeat the program?

But the omitted data on the Early Intervention Program can be found in separate quarterly reports and suggests the NYPD has its own recidivist problem, with 28% of the at-risk cops investigated last year by its early-warning system later subjected to another review. EIP is designed to correct performance issues and not viewed as disciplinary in nature.

“That’s a clear sign the early warning system is seriously flawed,” said Christopher Dunn, who as legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union monitors NYPD reports for signs of misconduct. “Numbers like this suggest the NYPD is not really committed to this system.”

In 2023, according to a compilation of the data in the quarterly reports, the NYPD reviewed the work of 768 officers who met the threshold for an internal review — such as making three arrests in the prior 12 months that the district attorney would not prosecute or being accused more than once of using excessive force.

Of that 768, 211 officers — 28% — were flagged again later in the year. It was not clear how many of those were then subjected to another EIP review.

The 2022 reports don’t document officers called onto the carpet more than once.

The NYPD noted in a statement that the program’s purpose is not to punish officers but to address concerning issues with mentorship or training.

And it said “the thresholds that trigger an EIP review are not necessarily indicative of officer misconduct, therefore a repeat candidate does not mean the interventions are not working.”

Indeed, only 168 of the 768 officers were subject to one or more forms of interventions, such as retraining.

Randy Desamours, spokesman for the City Council, said the numbers reflect a lack of commitment by the NYPD “to intervene and correct behavior to prevent harmful conduct before it occurs.”

When the NYPD did intervene, the measure taken most often, 114 times, was to have a supervisor more closely monitor the officer’s body-worn camera footage. In 31 instances, officers had to be trained again to use the cameras properly.

The NYPD defended the omission in its year-end report, noting it is not required to by law.

“The decision not to include in the annual report information that raises serious questions about the program,” Dunn said, “is a clear sign the NYPD is trying to hide damaging information.”