The creator and leader of Washington D.C.'s police oversight office is taking over as inspector general for the New York City Police Department, taking the reins of a position created over the veto of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his former police commissioner.
Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters announced Philip Eure's appointment on Friday, reports The New York Times,
and the acrimony that followed the creation of his new job is not expected to affect him now that Mayor Bill de Blasio is in charge.
The mayor centered part of his mayoral campaign on eliminating the police department's stop-and-frisk policy, and the Inspector General's office was created last year by City Council in response to complaints about the overuse of the policy in Muslim communities.
Eure, 52, said Thursday that he hopes to work closely with the police department to make any needed changes, and that his office and the police "shouldn't be at odds with each other... we're going to go wherever the facts lead."
Eure will report to Peters, who appointed him, and will be in charge of investigating the practices and policies of police officers on the street. His position will also carry subpoena powers.
“Leading the first inspector general office of the NYPD is an incredible opportunity to work with the premier police department [that] is globally recognized in one of the greatest cities in the world,” said Eure, reports The New York Daily News.
He insisted his office won't duplicate work being done by the NYPD's internal affairs office, a frequent complaint by former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, but that it will "fill a void."
Peters told The New York Times about a dozen candidates were interviewed before he decided to select Eure, who headed Washington D.C.'s Office of Police Complaints since its founding 10 years ago.
He said he picked Eure because of his experience building the Washington office, as well as his work as a Department of Justice civil rights division prosecutor and his knowledge of police oversight.
De Blasio did not influence Eure's appointment, said Peters, but he did have many discussions with Peters, a longtime friend, over hiring Eure.
Peters said Eure's job would have been more difficult under Bloomberg, who fully supported Kelly and his actions in the police department.
But he insisted that Eure will work as an independent oversight entity, not under Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Eure is used to working with a police department that did not make his job easy in Washington D.C, reports The Times. He and the D.C. department clashed often over police officials' refusal to discipline officers who did not cooperate with his officers.
The new inspector general will have a budget of about $5 million to hire 50 people, including data analysts, attorneys, investigators and other staff. He will take office on May 27.
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