NYPD Overseer Named for Contentious Post

NEW YORK (AP) -

A former federal prosecutor who has monitored police in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade was named on Friday as the first-ever inspector general of the New York Police Department, a post bitterly opposed by police unions but supported by the city council and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Philip Eure will begin his oversight of the NYPD in late May — his newly formed division of the city Department of Investigation will have a staff of 50, including investigators, lawyers and analysts.

“After more than two decades of law enforcement and police accountability work, I have learned that independent review of a city’s policing practices is an essential part of any modern law enforcement regime,” Eure said at a news conference announcing his appointment.

“At the same time, public safety and public confidence in the police are not at odds with each other,” he added.

In a statement, de Blasio hailed Eure as “one of the nation’s premier police accountability experts.”

The independent watchdog post was created last year by the City Council. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had opposed the position, but the council overrode his veto.

Critics of the law had argued that it would replicate the role of the NYPD’s other complaint boards. Also in the mix is an expected agreement for a federal monitor for the stop-and-frisk program.

Eure, 52, served for 10 years in Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

Police Commissioner William Bratton told reporters on Friday he expected to have a smooth working relationship with Eure. The two met recently and had a conversation that was “very forward-looking,” Eure said.