NYC Councilman Brad Lander Wants Independent Police Oversight

NEW YORK -- A New York City councilman is calling for the creation of an inspector general's office to oversee the police department.

Brad Lander released a statement Monday calling for oversight for the NYPD, saying that recent events have created a confidence gap in how the NYPD handles their cases.

The idea was floated in a New York Times op-ed piece called 'It's Time To Police The N.Y.P.D.'

The opinion piece cited a movie shown to police trainees that critics say paints Muslims negatively. It also noted an Associated Press investigation that uncovered police surveillance of Muslims.

Police officials say the movie was shown by mistake and officers only follow leads.

History shows that any attempt to oversee the police will be met with great resistance by the department and its political allies. But no agency is immune from mistakes. When the stakes are as high as they are in fighting terrorism, there must be a mechanism to identify excesses and wrongdoing.

We need an independent inspector general for the Police Department. Such an official would have seen the film scandal for what it is: not the error of one sergeant, but an indication that procedures for authorizing training materials are lacking. Oversight makes government stronger, not weaker.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the city won't turn over control of the police department to an outside entity.