City of Poughkeepsie Procedural Justice Committee Co-Chairs Release Statements on the Guilty Verdict of Derek Chauvin

Yvonne Flowers and Bishop Debra Gause, co-chairs of the city’s Procedural Justice Committee, have each released statements regarding the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

In October 2019, the city formed the Procedural Justice Committee — which includes police officers, other city officials and members of the public — to address community concerns related to police issues.

Flowers and Gause were subsequently selected as co-chairs as the city began reviewing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203 pertaining to policing and enhanced training and policies. The Procedural Justice Committee was instrumental in that review, and the city’s police modernization and reform plans were sent to the state by the April 1 deadline. You can learn more about the city’s efforts at this webpage, https://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/policecollaborativeplan/

“The guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin was the greatest form of accountability that finally gives us some faith and hope that justice can be served when an officer inflicts deadly harm to the citizens he or she are sworn to protect and serve,” said Flowers, a City Council member. “As a good friend stated to me, ‘Justice was finally color blind today and needs to remain that way.’ This is a big win but only one win in many battles against racism in policing throughout our nation. We now can begin the healing from the murder of George Floyd as we continue to have open dialogue in our community about police and community relations and work together on policies and initiatives that will ensure safety, respect for the lives of ALL residents and continue to build trust between law enforcement and our community. “

Bishop Gause, Senior Pastor of Holy Light Pentecostal Church in the City of Poughkeepsie, said, “‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord; I will repay.’ I am so relieved that we got the guilty verdict and maybe now we can heal — now that justice has been served, and may we have peace for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in these United States of America.”

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.”

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, Police Chief Release Police Collaborative Plan in Response to Governor’s Executive Order

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Police Chief Tom Pape have released their plan in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order on police reforms. The report has been forwarded to the Common Council.

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. The city released its preliminary plan on Feb. 2 and held another public meeting on Feb. 10 for people to provide further comments.

“This has been a solid and thorough process,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “The Procedural Justice Committee did an exceptional job providing us with recommendations that we have incorporated into our report. The public feedback since then also has been helpful as we crafted our response to the governor.”

In October, the city created a webpage to keep the public informed of the progress, to provide pertinent information about the governor’s executive order, and to offer ways for the public to give more input.

The city has included the plan from the Mayor and Police Chief on a webpage devoted to the police collaborative issue, and for ease of public use has created a separate document that highlights the changes from the preliminary plan to the one released today.

The city has expanded on a number of issues, including accreditation, use of force policies, statistical transparency, warrant service and the Civilian Review Board.

“These were some of the specific issues raised at the last public meeting, and we are doing our level best to address them,” Chief Pape said. “It’s important for the public to realize this is an ongoing process. The Police Department has repeatedly demonstrated it will go forward with initiatives that improve policing, and we will hold to that commitment.”

Mayor Rolison and Chief Pape will discuss the plan at the Common Council virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on March 1.

City of Poughkeepsie Holds Public Meeting on Police Reform, Seeks Final Comments Before Sending Plan to Common Council

City of Poughkeepsie officials held a public meeting Wednesday night to gain more feedback regarding the city’s preliminary response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reforms. The city also is closing public comment at 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 16 for people to make further comments on the report before the finishing the plan to send to the Common Council for consideration. The public can provide more feedback by using the form on the city’s webpage devoted to this issue.

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 to be eligible for future state funding.

Mayor Rolison asked the city’s Procedural Justice Committee to first 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 their recommendations in December. The city released its preliminary report on February 2.

Mayor Rob Rolison, Police Chief Tom Pape, Captain Richard Wilson and Common Council member Yvonne Flowers, who co-chairs the Procedural Justice Committee, listened to dozens of speakers at Wednesday’s meeting. You can watch a replay of the meeting at https://youtu.be/Fizy9LndKpI.

“We appreciate all the feedback we have received to date,” said Mayor Rolison said. “We look forward to finalizing this report and to forwarding to the Common Council for its consideration, and to do so in a timely manner.”

City of Poughkeepsie Releases Draft of Police Reform Report, Sets Public Meeting

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Police Chief Tom Pape released the city’s preliminary response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reforms today for further public comment.

The city also has set a public meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, to obtain more feedback before the report is forwarded to the Common Council for consideration. To register for that meeting, visit bit.ly/pokpolicecollaborativemeeting.

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 to be eligible for future state funding.

Mayor Rolison asked the city’s Procedural Justice Committee to first 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 Procedural Justice Committee was formed in 2019, and Common Council member Yvonne Flowers and Bishop Debra Gause have been serving as co-chairs since October 2020. The Committee, which includes police officers, other city officials and members of the public, made their recommendations in December. 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.

The city also created a webpage to keep the public informed about the progress, to provide pertinent information about the governor’s executive order and to offer ways for the public to give feedback.

“The Procedural Justice Committee’s efforts were instrumental in compiling this report,” said Mayor Rolison. “They worked diligently to prepare recommendations for us to consider and implement, and the city owes them a debt of gratitude.”

Mayor Rolison said the city’s plans not only meets but exceeds the tenets contained in the Executive Order. Specifically, he cited the department’s training in progressive policing strategies and techniques. Over the years, the city Police Department has undertaken an array of training, including in procedural justice, which focuses on the way police interact with the public. City Police also have undertaken implicit bias training, which addresses the automatic association people tend to make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.

Chief Pape said he was pleased the city was asked to enter into an intermunicipal agreement with Dutchess County to have the city’s Police Department conduct Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias training to aid other municipalities in answering the governor’s executive order.

“I’m extremely proud our department is leading the way on reforms,” Pape said. “I’m grateful our officers have embraced these new techniques and training concepts and are willing to put them into appropriate use for the benefit of the community.”

Pape said the department will continue to get updated training and intends to bolster other initiatives, such as its recent collaboration with Mental Health America of Dutchess County (MHA) to address mental health crises and provide accessibility to professional services and programs.

The city also is committed to increasing diversity in the police ranks, and to that end will partner with Dutchess Community College and the Poughkeepsie City School District to design a “Pathway to Policing” Program. The pathway will begin in high school when students are invited to participate in the Careers in Law Enforcement Program offered by the city. Students who successfully complete the Careers in Law Enforcement Program will then be given the option of taking college coursework for credit toward a criminal justice degree at Dutchess Community College concurrently with their senior year of high school. When the students are near degree completion at DCC, they will be offered an opportunity to take a free civil service test preparation course by the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department.

The city administration and Police Department also have expressed their willingness to work with the Common Council, appropriate stakeholders and the public to devise a Civilian Review Board to address civilian complaints against city Police Officers.

Mayor Rolison and Chief Pape are in favor of a review board but believe the city must carefully weigh all the options, including ensuring such board has qualified members who receive adequate training to handle the task. They said discussions regarding the makeup of a review board and its authority should continue among the administration, police union, Common Council, stakeholders and the community at large.

“This comprehensive police collaborative report not only highlights the significant leadership roles the Police Department and city are taking, it points to the positive direction we are heading. We are looking forward to gaining more public feedback before forwarding our report to the Common Council.”

City of Poughkeepsie Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative Report

City of Poughkeepsie Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative Report

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Police Chief Tom Pape have released the city’s preliminary response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reforms today for further public comment.

Download Report: City of Poughkeepsie Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative Report (.pdf)

Public Meeting – February 10, 2021

The city also has set a public meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 10, to obtain more feedback before the plan is forwarded to the Common Council for consideration.

To register for that meeting, please visit: bit.ly/pokpolicecollaborativemeeting

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 to be eligible for future state funding.

Procedural Justice Committee Releases Recommendations Regarding Governor’s Executive Order on Police Reforms

The City of Poughkeepsie Procedural Justice Committee appreciates the opportunity to have a role in the city’s response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 regarding police reforms.

The Procedural Justice Committee met with the Mayor, Police Chief and Captain Wilson on Oct. 6, 2020, to discuss what is needed from the committee to assist with the police reform plan. 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 would be drafted by the Police Department.

The committee hosted a Community Forum on Police Reform on Oct. 27, 2020 and a youth focus group on Dec. 1 (Originally scheduled for November 17 but cancelled due to COVID issues). The youth focus group consist of seven young people between the ages of 14-18 who had some type of interactions with the police.

Based on discussions within the Procedural Justice Committee meetings, community forums, comments sent to the committee, the recommendations to be considered when drafting the police reform plan are as follows:

Create Civilian Oversight: There needs to be an independent board to investigate or review complaints. Complainants should be given a place to voice concerns outside of the law enforcement agency, and the community should be reassured that discipline is being imposed when appropriate. The transparency of the disciplinary process also must be improved.

City officials should continue to work with City Administration and PBA collaboratively on creating such a board that will work for everyone, but operates independently from the police department. A series of questions will need to be addressed, which consist of the following: Should the board review the findings of the Police Department or conduct its own investigation? Other issues that need addressing include what power should the board have to interview officers or other witnesses, to compel officers or other witnesses to be interviewed, and to review documents, recordings, interviews conducted by the police department or other evidence? What authority would it have over discipline and can it formally refer cases to the Attorney General or District Attorney or Trial Commission (which is referred to in the City Charter)?

The Dutchess County’s Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative cites several approaches to consider:

  • The New York City board is composed of 13 members: Five appointed by the Mayor, five appointed by the City Council, and three appointed by the Police Commissioner. The board has power to investigate complaints, including subpoena power, and can recommend discipline. However, the Police Commissioner has final authority over the imposition of discipline.
  • The Chicago board is composed of nine members appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council. The board has investigative and subpoena power, and power to impose disciplinary measures.
  • The Baltimore board is composed of nine voting members nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, along with five non-voting members from community stakeholders. The board does not have power to investigate or impose discipline. It may simply review complaints.

Other websites were suggested by the committee to review in regards to creating an oversight board:

Bolster Additional Mental Health Partnerships: The City of Poughkeepsie and Mental Health America of Dutchess County have undertaken a pilot program under which a behavioral health professional is embedded in the department to provide case management services to those in need. We understand the initial work has proven promising, and we believe this partnership should be expanded. A behavioral health professional who is trained to handle youth mental health situations should be considered to be part of the team.

Improve the Complaint Form: These forms are used when the public has questions about police procedures and policies. The city has now made the form available online at http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/police-department, but the city should make the form more understandable and easier to use, including an introduction at the beginning of the form that explains how the form and process work. Submitted forms are to be reviewed by a member of the command staff and assigned to the appropriate supervisor for action. The public needs more information about the outcome of these cases and the rationale for the decision. Until a Civilian Oversight board is created, a mediation between the officer and complainant should be considered as part of the complaint process.

Create More Diversity in Ranks: Police academy applicants are required to have a minimum of 60 college credits. We believe Dutchess County is making the proper move by changing the college credit requirement, giving new officers more time to achieve those 60 credits within five years and complete crisis intervention training within two years. The city Police Department needs more people of color in the ranks and also more bilingual officers. This should be a priority as much as possible during recruitment efforts. We recommend during the recruitment efforts the police department to work closely with organizations that have a close connection to diverse populations. Also, as part of the career law enforcement course held for youths every year, a mentorship component should be considered to help encourage more youths in the area to consider becoming police officers in the city. 

Also, to encourage the police officers to be more invested in the community they serve, it is recommended the officers live in the City of Poughkeepsie or no further than 5-10 miles.  Currently, police officers can live as far as 20 miles outside of the city. What is also recommended is creating a “City Preferred List,” in which officers who live in the City of Poughkeepsie would be considered first to be hired off the Civil Service list. The preferred list should be exhausted first and then move on to the rest of the County list. Also, the police department should carefully evaluate their hiring process to ensure the process does not limit hiring a diverse police workforce.

Increase Community Policing: The Police Department has designated two officers to community policing addressing quality-of-life issues around the Main Street corridor. Community policing keeps officers patrolling the same area in order to form a stronger bond with the citizens living and working there. We believe the department should add such patrols to other neighborhoods throughout the city, especially in neighborhoods experiencing high levels of crime where collaboration and trust is needed between police officers and residents to ensure safety.

Keep School Resource Officer: While some may question why there should be a police presence in school, we believe it builds relationships and can help stem violence in and around the schools. The SRO Program has been known to create a safer school environment and bridge the communication and trust gap between youth and law enforcement, establishing a channel of communication that can make all the difference in school and later in life for youth.  Recommend more collaborative programs between the schools and police that involve middle school students and continue programs already established on the elementary school levels such as Cocoa with the Cops program. Young children experiencing more positive interactions with police officers can create better trusting relationships as the children progress toward adulthood.

Safe Passage: The Police Department must continue to work with the School District and community members to come out with better plans to deal with safe passage of students to and from schools. Volunteers should be posted in “hot spots” throughout the neighborhood as kids are leaving school to deter and report potential violence. We recommend reinstating the Civilian Patrol program and provide the necessary training so these civilian officers can assist with traffic control, safe passage, work with neighborhood watch groups, etc.

Continue Training Efforts: The Police Department has completed Procedural Justice Training, which focuses on the way police interact with the public. It also has undertaken Implicit Bias Training, which addresses the automatic association people now make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups. The department should continue such training efforts, including working with specific religious communities, the LGBTQI community, or those with limited English language skills. It’s imperative for the department to be able to measure the results of the training as well. We recommend officers take a Procedural Justice refresher course/workshops each year to reinforce the objective that the principles of Procedural Justice should be the core of policing.

Body Cameras: Patrol Officers are required to wear body cameras. We recommend that ALL police officers wear body cameras while working in the field and be phased in as funds become available. To help improve trust and transparency, it is recommended that the footage from the body cameras is not withheld from the community during times the community is requesting transparency and accountability in a particular incident. Policies and procedures should be formulated to help show the community that the City of Poughkeepsie police does not stand for “covering up the truth or improper conduct” but stand for justice, transparency and accountability.

Use of Force: Current policy states periodic training will be received. Recommend yearly use of force training. In policy #301, it states a Use of Force Review Board is convened when the use of force by a member results in very serious injury or death to another person. This board will investigate and review the facts of the circumstances surrounding the incident. We noticed that the members who make up this board is left blank. We recommend that the members who are responsible to serve on this board are listed, and the policies of this board to investigate the use of force are clear and transparent.

Finalizing the police reform plan is still a work in process. The Procedural Justice Committee will receive the City of Poughkeepsie Police’s draft reform plan to review and then forward to the City Common Council to review and set a public hearing to get feedback on the draft reform plan. The Common Council will either accept the draft report or send additional recommendations or changes to the report before approving as a final document to be sent to New York State Governor’s office. Deadline for submission is April 1, 2021.

Common Council Member Yvonne Flowers and Bishop Debra Gause, co-chairs of the City of Poughkeepsie Procedural Justice Committee.

Special thanks to the following committee members for their participation in gathering information from the community to be considered in the reform plan:

  • Jason Baker
  • Michael Barbagallo
  • Stacey Bottoms
  • Satara Brown
  • Linwood Burke 
  • Gregory Charter
  • Natasha Cherry
  • Paul Featherson
  • Yvonne Flowers
  • Debra Gause
  • Chris Libolt
  • Debra Long
  • Carmen McGill
  • Tom O’Neill
  • John Penney
  • Marina Tarkos
  • L’quette Taylor
  • Erick Vasquez
  • Matthew Weishaupt
  • Devon Zanin
  • Karen Zirbel

City Holds Public Forum on Police Reform Initiative

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and the co-chairs of Poughkeepsie Procedural Justice Committee hosted a public meeting to get feedback to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order pertaining to policing and enhanced training and policies. The virtual meeting took place Tuesday night. The public was given up to three minutes each to share their experiences and make suggestions. 

Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative Public Meeting – October 27, 2020

Earlier this month, Mayor Rolison named Common Council member Yvonne Flowers and Bishop Debra Gause co-chairs of the Procedural Justice Committee and asked the committee to review the executive order, to obtain public input and to make recommendations to the mayor and Common Council. City of Police Chief Tom Pape was among those listening to the participants in the forum, in addition to members of the Procedural Justice Committee.

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.

Mayor, Procedural Justice Committee Co-Chairs to Facilitate Public Meeting on Police Reforms

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and the co-chairs of Poughkeepsie Procedural Justice Committee will host a public meeting to get feedback to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order pertaining to policing and enhanced training and policies.

The virtual meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. People can register to speak and/or listen at http://bit.ly/pokpolicereform. The public will have up to three minutes each to share their experiences and make suggestions. Those who would like to participate in the virtual forums must register prior to the event’s start time.

Earlier this month, Mayor Rolison named Common Council member Yvonne Flowers and Bishop Debra Gause co-chairs of the Procedural Justice Committee and asked the committee to review the executive order, to obtain public input and to make recommendations to the mayor and Common Council. City of Police Chief Tom Pape will be among those listening to the participants in the forum, in addition to members of the Procedural Justice Committee.

“We are greatly looking forward to this forum,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “The Procedural Justice Committee is in a great position to listen to the public’s concerns and views about policing and help the city as we formulate our response to the governor.”

Last year, the city formed the Procedural Committee — which includes police officers, other city officials and members of the public — to address community concerns related to police issues.

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.

To keep the public better informed about these matters, the city has created a webpage that provides pertinent information about the governor’s executive order and offers other ways for the public to give feedback, https://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/policecollaborativeplan/

Mayor Rolison Names Council Member Flowers, Bishop Gause as Co-Chairs of Procedural Justice Committee

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that Common Council member Yvonne Flowers and Bishop Debra Gause will co-chair the City’s Procedural Justice Committee, which is reviewing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203 pertaining to policing and enhanced training and policies.

The city also has created a webpage to keep the public informed of the committee’s progress, to provide pertinent information about the governor’s executive order, and to offer ways for the public to give feedback, https://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/policecollaborativeplan/

Last year, the city formed the Committee — which includes police officers, other city officials and members of the public — to address community concerns related to police issues. In August, the Mayor tasked the committee with developing plans to address the governor’s executive order and to make recommendations for the Mayor and Common Council to consider and act upon.

“We have a truly vibrant committee,” said Mayor Rolison. “It’s an excellent and diverse mix of community leaders, police officials and others who are willing to talk through any concerns and improve communication between the police and the public.”

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.

Over the years, the city Police Department has undertaken an array of training, including in procedural justice, which focuses on the way police interact with the public. The training, in part, emphasizes that treating people with dignity and respect and giving citizens a voice during encounters promotes community trust. City Police also have undertaken implicit bias training, which addresses the automatic association people tend to make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.

The Mayor said he has the utmost confidence in Councilwoman Flowers and Bishop Gause to guide the Procedure Justice Committee through this process, pointing to their strong history of community ties and service in Poughkeepsie. Flowers is serving her second consecutive term of the Common Council, and Bishop Gause is the Senior Pastor of Holy Light Pentecostal Church.

 “I have had the pleasure of serving on the Procedural Justice committee for almost a year and enjoy working with the police officers and community stakeholders on the committee as we strive to continue to improve community and police relations in the City of Poughkeepsie,” Council member Flowers said. “I am looking forward to working with the committee in reviewing the Governor’s Executive Order on police reform and discussing how we can implement additional policies and procedures within our police department that will continue to promote community trust, transparency and accountability.”

“I think it is important for us to come together, sitting at an honest table and speaking truth to each other. We have to look at what is, we have to look at what was, we have to look at both of those to decide where we want to go,” said Bishop Gause. “People are going to have to talk freely, but also listen to each other to get to the bottom of things before we decide what changes may need to be made.”