City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, Police Chief Make Police Reform Presentation to Common Council
City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Police Chief Tom Pape made a presentation about the city’s Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative plan to the Common Council on Monday night. They also announced that the plan is now available in English and Spanish and that copies in both languages can be found online at https://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/policecollaborativeplan/ and at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, 93 Market Street (Reference Desk on the Main Floor) and Boardman Road Branch Library, 141 Boardman Road (Checkout Desk).
In June 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 203 — the “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative” — requiring local police agencies to develop a plan to 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 to be eligible for future state funding.
Mayor Rolison first asked the city’s Procedural Justice Committee to review the governor’s order, to gain public input and to make recommendations for the Mayor and Common Council to consider and act upon. The Committee — which includes police officers, other city officials and members of the public — made its recommendations in December after a series of meetings.
The Committee’s suggestions touched 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. All of these issues are being addressed in the city’s plan.
The department intends to build on the tenets of Procedural Justice, which are: Voice (Listen); Neutrality (Be fair); Respectful treatment (Be respectful) and Trustworthiness (Trying to do what’s best for the people).
The city released its preliminary proposals on Feb. 2 and held another public meeting on Feb. 10 for people to provide additional comments.
“Monday was yet another chance to present information to the public on this issue, and we appreciated the opportunity,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “We believe we have produced a solid report that greatly exceeds the governor’s order. But, more to the point, the report is an excellent blueprint for additional police reforms and accountability by city government.”