Committee Releases Reform Recommendations

POUGHKEEPSIE -The City of Poughkeepsie Procedural Justice Committee has released its initial recommendations to the City and the public regarding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reforms.

The Procedural Justice Committee has held meetings on this issue, created a webpage to provide more information and obtain public feedback and held a community forum in October as well as a focus group with city youth.

The committee, which consists of community stakeholders and police officers, was asked to gather recommendations, suggestions and ideas from the community and discuss among the committee members what should be included in the police reform plan that will be drafted by the Police Department and City Administration. That plan will go back to the Procedural Justice Committee for comment and for additional comments from the public before being forwarded to the Common Council for consideration.

The Committee’s recommendations touch on a host of topics, including creating a civilian oversight board, bolstering additional mental health partnerships, improving the police department’s complaint form, creating more diversity in the ranks, increasing community policing and other matters.

Procedural Justice Committee Co-Chair Yvonne Flowers said, “I thank the members of the Procedural Justice Committee for their efforts in gathering feedback from the community on their ideas regarding police reform in the City of Poughkeepsie. The work put into ensuring the police reform plan reflects the wants and needs of the City of Poughkeepsie residents is truly appreciated.”

Procedural Justice Committee Co-Chair Bishop Debra Gause said, “Working together to create a safe and viable community, tailored for the Queen City of Poughkeepsie, through police reform, is becoming the change we want to see.”

In mid-June, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 203 — the “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative” — requiring local police agencies to develop a plan and address policies, procedures, practices and deployment, including but not limited to the use of force. Governments with police agencies must adopt a plan by April 1, 2021, to be eligible for future state funding.

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