UTICA, N.Y. – A Supreme Court decision in Rochester leaving disciplinary power to police chiefs will hold true for other agencies as well, including Utica Police Department.
The City of Rochester had transferred the power to discipline officers from the chief to the Police Accountability Board. The court says that is invalid and cannot be enforced.
“Because most police departments in New York, when it comes to discipline, it’s done by collective bargaining. It’s part of the state’s arbitration system. So, the decisions made by a state arbitrator are binding in all parties whether it’s the administration or by the employee,” said Utica Police Chief Mark Williams.
The court determined the Rochester law violated the existing general law mandating collective bargaining over police discipline.
The chief says police discipline should be reviewed by people who are qualified and know the profession.