The Albany Community Police Review Board is an independent police oversight agency dedicated to overseeing the conduct of the Albany Police Department (APD), whose mission is to review and investigate alleged misconduct by APD officers. By doing so, they aim to foster stronger bonds between the APD and the public while reinforcing police accountability and trust within the communities served by the APD.
In the year 2000, the Albany Community Police Review Board was established by the Common Council of the City of Albany through the addition of Part 33 to Chapter 42 of the City Code. This legislation formed a nine-member independent body, comprised of community members from the City of Albany, appointed jointly by the Common Council and the Mayor. Its primary function is to examine citizen complaints against the Albany Police Department members regarding alleged misconduct.
For nearly two decades, the Citizens Police Review Board (later renamed the Community Police Review Board) operated under a restricted review model, lacking the authority to conduct independent investigations or compel the production of witnesses or documents independently of the Common Council through subpoenas. This early iteration of the CPRB was primarily focused on reviewing and monitoring the Albany Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards (OPS) investigations into alleged misconduct.
The turning point came in 2020, following the tragic murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, which triggered a public outcry for reform in the City of Albany. The CPRB also actively advocated for more robust police oversight by communicating with the Common Council. In 2021, Local Law J (Prop 7) was unanimously passed by the Common Council, enhancing the CPRB’s effectiveness and authority through increased independent civilian oversight of the APD. This ballot referendum received the approval of 70% of voters. Enacted in 2022, Local Law J unequivocally affirms the CPRB’s authority to conduct independent investigations with subpoena power. This significant expansion of powers enables the CPRB to independently investigate allegations of misconduct by APD members, irrespective of whether a civilian complaint is filed.
To date, the CPRB has voted to conduct independent investigations into two incidents and six complaints, encompassing issues such as the use of force, the police department’s handling of investigations, police conduct at protests, and officer-involved shooting incidents.