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Independent city agency starts NYPD focus groups in Jamaica

By Sadef Ali Kully

The Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD announced that it will begin conducting discussions groups in southeast Queens over the next few weeks on the tense community-police relations across the city.

during the 103rd Precinct community council meeting on March 10th.

Formed in 2014, the Office of the Inspector General is an independent watchdog agency charged with investigating, reviewing, studying, auditing and making recommendations involving operations, policies, programs and practices of the NYPD.

“We would like to get your perspective on police activities. We would like families, friends, neighbors, and especially young men and women to discuss police activities things that are working well or concerns in your neighborhood,” said Nicole Hanson, senior policy manager at the OIG-NYPD, addressing the Jamaica residents at the 103rd Precinct Community Council meeting March 10 at St. Benedict’s Church at 171-10 110th Ave, in Jamaica.

The goals of the independent city agency are to enhance the effectiveness of the Police Department, increase public safety, protect civil liberties and civil rights and increase the public’s confidence in the police force, thus building stronger police-community relations, according to the OIG.

“We put in a series of recommendation that go out to the City Council, the mayors’ office, and the NYPD. The NYPD is required to respond to the reports within a certain time limit,” said Hanson.

She stressed that the OIG-NYPD is not directly affiliated with the Police Department but a part of the Department of Investigation, the city agency that is an independent and nonpartisan watchdog for city government.

The OIG-NYPD was established after the City Council passed a law in 2013 giving the Department of Investigation the authority to create an agency that focused on the policies and procedures of the NYPD.

The focus groups will all take place in the 103rd Precinct and be open only to members of the community. Tentatively, the focus groups will be held on March 30 at 6:30 p.m. and April 9 at 3:30 p.m. at the JHS 8, Richard S. Grossley School on 108-35 167th St..

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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