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Trouble accompanies some towns, cities as they begin to enact mandatory police reforms

Aug 21, 2020 6:33 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in June directing all local governments with a police department to adopt a policing reform plan by April 1, 2021. The plans are supposed to addresses concerns over racist and violent policing in minority communities. The Times Union reports that the town of Guilderland has announced the formation of its police reform committee. There are several law enforcement officials on the committee, but no activists working for reform. Guilderland Police Chief Daniel McNally said in a news release that he is happy with the committee. “We will perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies and policies, and develop a plan to move forward in a positive manner,” he said. Mid-Hudson News reports that the city of Poughkeepsie has already initiated some police reforms, and now the union for law enforcement there want to take action against some lawmakers that voted for those changes. The Poughkeepsie Police Benevolent Association wants Common Council Chairperson Sarah Salem to be removed from office. Detective Chris Libolt, the PBA Vice-president, said, “Salem and Councilmember Evan Menist have priorities that focus on defunding the police, passing the Right to Know Act and the formation of a Civilian Review Board,” so they want the elected officials out. Salem did not comment. Menist previously said, “Civilian Review Boards have a long history dating back to the 1950s of enhancing public trust in police forces and fostering more open communications between police and the communities they serve, which in turn helps police increase public safety by having better and more direct communication with community members who trust the work being done by the police. The City of Poughkeepsie Police Department has done a commendable amount of work in fostering trust with our community, and a Civilian Review Board is the next step in further strengthening that trust in the name of public safety.”
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