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Complaints against NYPD officers drop

By Philip Messing
The New York Post

NEW YORK — The number of complaints filed against cops last year with the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board dropped 1 percent — the first decrease in six years.

In 2007, 7,578 people filed complaints, 84 fewer than in 2006, according to preliminary numbers posted on the agency's Web site. It was the first yearly drop since 2001.

In 2006, there was a 14 percent surge in CCRB complaints filed over 2005.

The relationship between the NYPD and the CCRB, which investigates various types of police misconduct, has not always been smooth. But both agencies appear to agree that the past surge in complaints wasn't because of wider police misconduct.

They attribute the jumps to such things as an increased use of computers, which allow complainants to lodge gripes easily, more publicity about the CCRB's role, and enhanced use of the city's 311 system.

With each complaint, one or more allegations can be filed in the areas of force, abuse of authority, discourtesy or offensive language.

So the number of complaints in a given year can be down, even if the amount of allegations stemming from the incidents rises.

Copyright 2008 The New York Post

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