NYPD recruits receive heavy training on conducting stop-and-frisks on the street and in apartment buildings — and are possibly even overtrained — testified the former head of the Police Academy Friday.
Chief James Shea was a witness at a hearing on a lawsuit challenging trespass stops that take place in front of privately owned buildings enrolled in the NYPD’s “Clean Halls” program.
The city called Shea to refute claims by the New York Civil Liberties Union that the stops were unconstitutional and should be banned.
Shea said the Police Academy drills recruits on when they can stop, question and frisk individuals.
“We tell them you shouldn’t be stopping them if you don’t have reasonable suspicion,” said Shea.
He said focus groups with some recruits in February led to complaints that they were being overtrained on the levels required to establish probable cause for conducting a stop.
“What we heard was, ‘As I approached someone, by the time I figured out at what level I was at, they were gone,’ ” Shea said.
He said he told the recruits it would get easier with experience.