A new law that requires officers all across New York City to identify themselves went into effect Friday, obligating all cops to ID themselves, explain the purpose of the interaction, explain the consent to search rights and offer a business card.
The purpose of the new Right to Know Act is to help put an end to unconstitutional searches. The business cards give civilians information on where they can comment about an interaction with an officer and get body camera footage.
While backers of the new law say they grew out of concern that controversy over stop-and-frisk practices had eroded trust in the police department, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is critical of the new obligation.
“The 'Right to Know’ laws will discourage police officers from proactively addressing crime and disorder and will lead to more frivolous complaints,” a statement said in part.
Although the police union feels one way, advocates for police reform say the change has been long needed.
The measures also require that officers be trained to obtain voluntary, knowing and intelligent consent before conducting searches without a warrant.