The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency have inspectors general who function as independent monitors. So do the police departments of major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as the nation’s capital. Even most New York City agencies, like the Education Department and the Housing Authority, have similar monitors.
But not the New York Police Department.
About two dozen members of the City Council planned to introduce a bill on Wednesday that would create an office of the inspector general to monitor the police and “conduct independent reviews of the department’s policies, practices, programs and operations.”
The council members said that there has never been a more opportune time to increase oversight over so powerful an agency, especially in light of the department’s stop-and-frisk policy, surveillance of Muslim groups, questions over allegedly manipulated arrest data and other recent controversies involving the police.
“This kind of independent oversight can act as an early-warning system for a very large agency,” said Richard M. Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission, which has worked closely with council members on the legislation.
A Saint Paul, Minnesota charter school catering to Muslims complies with federal and state laws, the state Education Department said, but it suggested changes be made in religious areas. The state recommended the Tarik ibn Zayad Academy change its bussing schedule and handling of Friday prayer services, saying that shorter prayer services on most days were acceptable, but a 30-minute block for Friday prayers was not acceptable. The Education Department investigated into the school after a substitute teacher alleged that the school was offering Islamic religious instruction to its students. Minnesota state law requires charter schools to have more autonomy than traditional public schools, but maintains that they must be nonsectarian. The schools executive director, Asad Zaman, said that the findings were significant as no problems were found with the school’s curriculum, but they will comply with the recommended changes.
The Education and Science Ministry of Ceuta has issued a report that forces a local school to accept two girls wearing the hijab in class. The Ministry declared that education according to the Spanish Constitution comes before other matters. The prohibition to wear the veil was part of an agreement to deny student’s access to the institution if they wear certain items of clothing.