After a quorum was established, Commission President Steve Soboroff opened the meeting with a few comments about a recent ride-along experience he enjoyed. For the Report of the Chief of Police, Chief Charlie Beck proceeded immediately to his overview of current crime statistics and had nothing further to report. However, relating to current crime trends showing a decline in drunk driving incidents, Commissioner Paula Madison asked Chief Beck if the citywide DUI checkpoints had played a significant role in the reduction. Secondly, Commissioner Madison asked if Chief Beck had any explanation for the recent rise in domestic-violence-related incidents. To the first question, Chief Beck responded that DUI checkpoints have contributed to a reduction in DUI-related crimes, but other factors have also. To the question about increased domestic violence, Chief Beck responded that such incidents are often unreported, and the reasons they increase or decrease are multifaceted and very complex. Therefore, it would not be possible to know for sure why they fluctuate.
For the Report of the Executive Director, Executive Director Richard Tefank reminded everyone about the next community meeting for the Police Commission, which was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21, at the Green Meadows Recreation Center, 431 East 89th Street. For the Report of the Inspector General, Inspector General Alexander Bustamante mentioned some of the recent community outreach activities in which the commission office has been participating in the last two weeks.
Consent Agenda Items proceeded with approval of all items and no discussion.
Regular Agenda Items then ensued with five items, one of which, Item A, was a verbal presentation. Item D was pulled for discussion.
Item B, the Executive Director’s Report, dated September 24, 2014, relative to the fee for special services established by the Board of Police Commissioners for criminal record arrest summaries, as set forth, was approved.
Item C, dated September 22, 2014, relative to the Ad Hoc Committee on Film and Television Production Jobs (Council File # 14-0471), as set forth, was approved.
Item E, the Department’s Report, dated September 23, 2014, relative to the destruction of obsolete original records for Records and Identification, as set forth, was approved.
Regular Agenda Item presentations commenced with Item A, a verbal and PowerPoint presentation about Olympic Area resident demographics, community initiated problem solving, crime strategies and other highly effective educational and community outreach programs, goals and related results within the Olympic Area. It was facilitated by Olympic Area command staff and a representative from the Community Police Advisory Board.
Item D, which had been pulled for discussion, was the final discussion item. It concerned the Department’s Report, dated September 19, 2014, relative to the Blake-Justice Consent Decree − Fiscal Year 2013/2014 Annual Report. Most of the subject matter concerned guidelines for recruiting, hiring and defining acceptable candidate background data. Representing the Department before the commission was Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur of the Office of Administrative Services and a special assistant from the Office of Constitutional Policing. Assistant Chief MacArthur provided background information on the topic, followed by comments from Commissioners Madison and Soboroff. Chief Beck also weighed in with comments relating to the importance of increasing new classes of recruits, retention of recruits and completing negotiations with City officials to reach a final agreement on the police union contract. Later in the discussion, after Chief Beck spoke, Deputy Chief Rick Jacobs from the Office of the Chief of Staff addressed the commission briefly about his intention to assist and/or streamline the recruit background check process.