Saugerties will be convening a police reform commission in compliance with governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order ‘New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative’. The governor’s executive order requires local police agencies to develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs in their community based on community input. Each police agency’s reform plan must address policies, procedures, practices and deployment, including, but not limited to, the use of force. The executive order requires that any municipality that has its own police department must comply with the order and have a plan developed by April 1, 2021.
According to Saugerties town supervisor Fred Costello Jr., the Saugerties Police Department is an accredited police agency whose standards of policing are guided by the state. “We want to hear from our community members on their thoughts about our current style of policing here in Saugerties,” said Costello. “We will be identifying a task force of community members who will independently solicit community response and recommendations in August.”
Those interested in participating in this task force should apply and provide details on relevant background to the supervisor’s office at 4 High Street in Saugerties by July 17. “This task force will reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our Saugerties community,” he said. “If changes in our police department are warranted and the recommendations will significantly impact our community’s relationship with our officers in a positive manner, then the town board will take the necessary action, which may include the adoption of resolutions, local laws and policies and procedures that will guide our officers through the process. We all have the same goal here to ensure that everyone is treated equally, fairly and justly.”