YONKERS, N.Y. - The Yonkers Police Department has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, clearing them of any wrongdoing following an investigation into alleged police practices.
On Monday, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced that he and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has signed an agreement affirming that the Department of Justice (DOJ) found no sufficient evidence of alleged race-biased policing in the city.
In August 2007, the DOJ launched an investigation into reported pattern of improper police practices following multiple complaints. In April 2012, city officials were informed that the investigation had concluded. Since then, the Police Department and DOJ have engaged in a negotiation to solve the matter, resulting in the Monday’s finalized agreement.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said that he hopes that with an agreement reached, they can begin to build stronger ties between the police and community they are tasked with serving.
“We thank the federal government and our local U.S. Attorney Pretty Bharara for working with us in resolving this matter. I especially thank Yonkers Police Commissioner (Charles) Gardner for implementing best police practices that have proven to make great strides in improving relationships with our community,” he said.
As part of the agreement, the department will adopt use of force policies and procedures to ensure that significants use of force complaints are reported and reviewed by the chain of command. It also calls for additional procedures for proper implementation of stop-and-search activities will be put in place with certain reporting requirements for personnel.
Gardner and his staff will run the department without outside interference, and officers are now required to collect more data to identify areas for potential improvement in the department's policies. Additionally, all Yonkers Police Department personnel must engage in enhanced training for at least 32 hours annually.
“The Yonkers Police Department is completely supportive of constitutional police practices,” Gardner said in a statement. “The provisions of this mutual agreement represent the values we already hold and have sought to implement over the years. We will continue to work collaboratively with the DOJ on the implementation of the agreement.”