As pressure continues to build over stop-and-frisk, the police department displayed parts of a new training for the procedure Wednesday, which teaches officers to be more professional and courteous. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
The job of stop, question and frisk is not an easy one. But there's a right way to do it.
After lots of the pressure from various groups, the New York City Police Department is training new officers and retraining others on how to use the crime fighting tool correctly.
"We have designed (the training) to talk about courtesy, professionalism and respect and how to interact with people in a free society," said James O'Keefe, the deputy commissioner of training.
The NYPD is using its Rodman's Neck training facility to put officers through real-life scenarios. Role playing is designed to help avoid racial profiling and determine when a stop-and-frisk should be done.
The NYPD said people should know that stop, question and frisk is legal.
"If we reasonably suspect that someone is, is about to or did engage in a crime, we can forcibly stop that individual," said Inspector Kelly Sweet. "The law allows us to seize them."
Last year, nearly 700,000 people were stopped and frisked. Most of them were young black and Latino men who were not guilty of a crime.
A lot of critics of stop-and-frisk say the biggest problem is that officers are often disrespectful, pushing people around and even cursing at them. The police department says it is addressing that issue.
"(We are teaching) how you speak to people, how you handle the stop and how you leave the stop and leave the person when you stop," said James Shea, the deputy chief of the police academy.
"People won't remember what you said," said Detective James Shanahan. "People might not remember what you meant. But people will always remember how you made them feel."
The NYPD has also organized an advisory panel of community leaders, activists and clergy to work with the department on the stop-and-frisk issue.
"It brings them inside the police world at a high level and it also exposes our senior executives to their thinking," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.
All are tactics that many hope will reduce the anger over stop-and-frisk.