The referendum to amend the Rochester City Charter to authorize the creation of the police accountability has passed.
The referendum received over 75% of the vote, or over 18,000 votes from voters.
The PAB would function as an independent body with the authority to review and recommend discipline for police officers in cases of misconduct.
The board will consist of nine board members and other staff members.
Tuesday night’s election came at the heels of a decision by the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, which ruled in October to vacate a lower court’s injunction that would have kept the issue off the ballot.
The Rochester Police Union’s Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo has been a critic of the PAB. The locust club sued in September over the referendum.
"A main role of a police chief is to maintain order and adherence to rules, regulations and procedures through the use of discipline, through the administration of discipline,” said Patrick Phelan, president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. “It's one of our only tools to do that. And if you take that away from a police chief, in all sincerity, you probably shouldn't have a police department."
City Council President Loretta Scott spoke to Spectrum News about the groundswell of support for the proposal.
"If the citizens believe that there is a transparent, accountable and fair process, then their interactions with police will be much more accommodating," she said.
Locust Club officials said they will continue to challenge the proposal through the courts.