Findings indicate a valid basis for 100% of randomly reviewed Handschu investigations
New York, New York — A new report from the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG) entitled “An Investigation of NYPD’s Compliance with Rules Governing Investigations of Political Activity,” describes the protection of New York City from terrorism as a prime responsibility of the NYPD. It also affirms what has always been the NYPD’s position — that the Department’s Handschu investigations are carried out thoughtfully and without any improper motives. Specifically, the report states the NYPD had a valid basis to open each investigation randomly reviewed by the OIG.
The NYPD appreciates the important work of the OIG. Compliance with the court-ordered “Handschu Guidelines,” which govern the investigation of possible unlawful or terrorist-related activity that involves political activity, is imperative. To this end, the OIG’s recommendations on how to improve Handschu investigations are greatly appreciated. In fact, the NYPD has already developed an electronic case tracking system dedicated to all Handschu investigations that automatically tracks renewal dates and authorizations. It became active on July 1, 2016, with the integration of active cases into the system occurring on a rolling basis. The need for this enhanced tracking capability was recognized by the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau in 2013. The timely renewal of investigations has significantly improved since then, and the Bureau remains committed to continued improvement.
“The NYPD has never suggested that protecting New York City from terrorism and adhering to the Handschu Guidelines were mutually exclusive outcomes,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “Rather, it has always been our assertion that we will go where the evidence takes us, and we will do so within the guidelines of the law. I am very pleased the Inspector General’s audit has independently confirmed this to be true, and I thank the IG’s office for its work on this audit and report.”
“The NYPD Intelligence Bureau agrees with the overall conclusion of the Inspector General report, that Handschu investigations are well founded and adhere to the overall standards contained within the Handschu Guidelines,” said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John J. Miller. “The NYPD will continue the work that has already begun to improve what is already regarded as a high standard of compliance, while also protecting New York City from the threat of terrorism.”