NEW YORK -

New York City is considering new rules for a "stop-and-frisk" practice used by police that Mayor Michael Bloomberg says helps reduce crime but critics say targets minorities.

City Council members plan to discuss the proposals at high-profile hearings this month, beginning Wednesday. They include the appointment of an independent inspector general to monitor the New York Police Department. Other measures would require officers to tell people when they have a right to refuse a search.

Under the practice, police can stop someone if the officer has reasonable suspicion the person might break the law.

City police made a record 684,330 of these stops last year. Blacks and Hispanics accounted for nearly nine in 10 of the stops. Only about 12 percent of the stops resulted in arrests or tickets.