If you get into a fight, handle it like adults – amongst yourselves. That's the message coming down from the NYPD to cops civilians accused of misconduct.
The number of civilian complaints against cops is getting so high that officers are being told to privately handle the issues with their accusers, according to a published report.
New York City's nearly 40,000 cops got memos yesterday asking them to use the Civilian Complaint Review Board's arbitration process, which was created to address complaints without long investigations or black marks on individual cops' records.
The board received 4,028 civilian complaints of police mistreatment from January to June 2009 – a 7 percent jump from the same time period last year and on tap to hit an all-time record for annual complaints, according to The New York Post.
Proceedings by the board are classified and run by a trained arbitrator, bar union officials and lawyers, reports the Post. Once the issue is resolved, it can't be brought up again by any of the parties involved.
The process resolved 112 complaints last year.
"More often than not, the dispute is resolved with a handshake," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told the Post.