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Coeymans police take on reform, use of force policy

Jul 03, 2020 1:00 pm
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media Coeymans Police Chief Daniel Contento says his department is ahead of the curve and has already revamped its policies, specifically those related to the use of force by police officers. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last month signed an executive order making state funding to police contingent on each department developing a plan to "reinvent and modernize police strategies," including use of force guidelines. The plans must be adopted by April 1, 2021. “When I took over as chief, I started working on bringing the department’s policies up to date and into the current century,” Contento said. “It’s still a work in progress, but our section, ‘Use of Force,’ was the most drastically changed section prior to current events.” In light of the protests and the governor’s order, Contento said he spent several days reworking the policies again. “I can tell you the use of choke holds was not in the previous version, and it will be clearly spelled out in the new version,” he said. Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh said he had confidence in the community’s ability to respond to the challenge of developing a new plan. “We currently find ourselves in strange and challenging times, and at times even a bit scary,” McHugh said. The supervisor said he generally supports greater transparency in all areas of government, including law enforcement. Ravena Mayor Bill Misuraca pointed out that policing is handled by the town. “My only thought would be that we put the focus on ‘to serve and protect,’ rather than ‘ticket and fine,’” Misuraca said. Read the full story in The Ravena News-Herald.