It is ironic that many New Yorkers are not aware of the Right to Know Act, the legislative package that aims to protect them while promoting communication, transparency and accountability between them and the New York Police Department.

Thanks to the Communities United for Police Reform, the Right to Know Act is becoming better known. Even so, there is much more our citizens need to know if they want to be treated with dignity and respect when interacting with the police.

From the initial encounter with an officer of the law, a citizen should know that he or she has the right to know the identity of the officer. Moreover, they have the right to know exactly why they are being stopped and questioned.

Most officers in uniform have an identity badge and sometimes their rank can be determined. But what if you are being apprehended by an undercover officer? Whether an officer is in or out of uniform, a citizen has the right to know the specific reasons for the encounter. And they certainly have a right to ask why they are being searched, if the action proceeds that far.

According to the CPR, “NYPD policy already requires that officers provide their name, rank, shield number and command when asked. However, in many instances, officers do not identify themselves to members of the public, and many individuals report fear of asking for the identity of an officer for fear of retaliation. Research suggests that in the absence of anonymity, officers are less likely to engage in abusive or discourteous behavior. New Yorkers should have the right to know the identity of police officers that interact with them.”

This issue would appear to be cut and dry, a requirement that the police and citizen can accept without any violation from the police or resistance from a citizen. But apparently there are enough incidents that devolve into serious misunderstandings, and too often the police overstep their boundaries.

Among the demands put forth by the CPR is an end to the practice of deception by the NYPD to justify unlawful searches. And the police should be required to explain to a person their right to refuse a search when there is no legal justification for it.

All of the above applies to vehicle searches. Many New Yorkers have experienced the “driving while Black” encounters with the NYPD, and they have the same right to know as any pedestrian.

We insist that the speaker bring the Right to Know Act, which has majority support in the City Council, to a vote. Other cities have adopted such measures. What’s taking our city so long?

We are not sure why there has been hesitancy on this bill, but each delay is a detriment to the citizens of our community. Any political reasons for the stall on this Act is another moment jeopardizing a citizen in the hands of the law.

They have a right to know, and the City Council and the mayor ought to know that.