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ACCORDING to a report released yesterday by John C. Liu, the New York City comptroller, over the last five years the city has paid more than $500 million in settlements and judgments against the New York Police Department, often involving misconduct claims against individual officers — and that doesn’t include attorneys’ salaries and administrative costs.
The number of claims for offenses like false arrest and brutality has surged by 43 percent over the last five years; in 2010, 8,104 claims were filed and $136 million was paid out.
Given New York’s yawning budget gap, the city should do all it can to bring such costs under control. Fortunately, there are a few simple reforms that could save the city millions.