Paterson mayor proposes citizen board in wake of police corruption scandal

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The mayor of Paterson says that the public should have a bigger voice in investigating the police department after a corruption scandal involving seven police officers.

The police officers have been sentenced or are set to be sentenced on charges including drug dealing and shakedowns. There is even a video of an officer beating a suicidal man who is tethered to a hospital bed.

“They disgraced the uniform,” Mayor Andre Sayegh says.

Sayegh says that the corruption hurt the city.

RELATED: Another Paterson police officer pleads guilty to corruption 

“That created an erosion of trust between the police department and the public,” he says.

The mayor is now calling for a citizen advisory board to be created to look into civilian complaints made against police officers. The board would have at least seven members with the authority to look into any civilian complaints about an officer. It could then make recommendations to the public safety director.

Members of the board would be selected by community groups, with a small number of appointees by the mayor and police department.

Sayegh says that he believes that if the residents of Paterson have a voice, some of the trust can be won back.

If the Paterson City Council approves the plan, the board could be formed this year.

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