departure from an existing recommendation. The relevant commanding officer and the respondent’s attorney are notified by letter of the change in penalty.

D.            The Police Commissioner Frequently Departs from the Disposition and Penalty Recommendations He Receives

Based on a review of relevant records, the Panel observed that, in recent years, departures from DCT and CCRB recommendations have not been infrequent. As shown in Figure 2, from January 1, 2016 through November 21, 2018, the Commissioner departed from DCT’s recommendation in a total of 61 of 459 cases (approximately 13%). Of those 61 cases, the Commissioner departed downward from DCT’s recommended penalty in 32 cases (approximately 52%); in the remaining cases, the Commissioner either increased the penalty or imposed a different penalty than the one recommended.

Figure 2