Despite the critical role of the PAB and the need for independent police oversight in Rochester, ROC DSA has made the decision to resign as a member agency of the PABA. This decision was not made lightly. Over the last several years, the PABA has become a challenging and, at times, deeply toxic environment. Our organization’s departure is far from the first and, unfortunately, it will almost certainly not be the last. We urge the leadership and remaining members of the PABA to take a critical look at the state of the alliance and find the lessons that must be learned. This city needs the PAB, and the PAB needs a functional PABA.
In the past few years, the push for civilian oversight of law enforcement has expanded nationwide. Body cam technology and police reform are increasingly being written into law, and social movements like Black Lives Matter have generated incredible energy. Along with it, however, new ways of obstructing the work of holding law enforcement agencies accountable have and continue to emerge.
Ultimately, as activists and organizers, we must not focus our energy on mere police reform. We cannot reform a system premised on the violent protection of private property and maintenance of class hierarchy.