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Hoosick Falls Police Department
Police Policy/Procedure Review Committee
Police Policy/Procedure Review Committee (updated February 2, 2021)
The newly created and New York State-mandated Hoosick Falls Police Reform Committee is seeking community input Text: mm On June 12, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 203 requiring each local government in the State of New York which has a police agency to adopt a policing reform plan by April 1, 2021. In compliance with Executive Order 203, on October 13, 2020, the Village of Hoosick Falls Board passed a motion to create a committee for review of police department procedures pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order." The individuals appointed to that Committee, all of whom are serving on a purely voluntary basis, include Chief of Police Robert Ashe, Tricia Bloomer, David Borge, Village Clerk Marie O'Neil, Deputy Mayor Robert Ryan, Douglas Sauer, and Jasen VonGuinness. The Hoosick Falls Village Attorney has been consulted by the Committee as well. The goal of the Committee has been to review the current Hoosick Falls Police Department deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices and to create a structure for the development and implementation of future improvements, reforms and recommendations tailored to the specific needs of the Village of Hoosick Falls and geared toward the general promotion of improved police agency and community relationships based on trust, fairness, accountability, and transparency, and the elimination of any racial/minority bias in policing, Since August of 2020, the Committee members have met 13 times, reviewed every provision of the current Hoosick Falls Police Department Policies and Procedures Manual, consulted with representatives of the police officers' union, the Village attorney, an attorney specializing in labor law, and the Town of Hoosick Supervisor, reached out to over 20 specific stakeholders in the Village of Hoosick Falls, inviting them to submit thoughts and opinions concerning the Department, and consulted with the office of the district attorney, the public defender, and local elected officials. On the basis of this work, the Committee has developed an overarching plan for reform and improvement, and is in the process of preparing a report to the Village Board relaying this plan. The plan includes recommendations for (i) new recruiting programs intended to encourage more hiring of local residents and also to diversify the police candidate pool, (ii) exploring new training resources, guidance and techniques in subjects such as bias and diversity training, crisis intervention, de-escalation techniques, mental health training, safe defensive tactics, use of force training, and training in the identification, investigation, prosecution, and prevention of hate crimes, and (iii) the creation of a civilian review and reform board that will (a) review and propose revisions to improve the existing Department Policies and Procedures Manual, (b) formalize a process for receiving, vetting, investigating, and resolving civilian complaints concerning the Department and/or its officers, and (c) advise the Department on matters relating to recruiting, training, budgeting and staff allocation matters. The Committee is far along in the process of preparing its Report to the Village Board, which is due pursuant to Governor Cuomo's Executive Order 203 by April 1, 2021. In order to meet that deadline, the Committee plans to present its proposed report to the Village of Hoosick Falls at the March 9, 2021 regular meeting. Then at a specially scheduled Board Meeting to be held on March 23, 2021, the Village Board will accept public comments on the report. Two weeks prior to that meeting, the Village will post a Notice of Public Hearing. In the meantime, or at any time during that two-week notice period, to continue the Committee's efforts to hear viewpoints, concerns, and suggestions from as many members of the Hoosick Falls community as possible, the Committee hereby invites any individual wishing to provide their input to do so by email correspondence addressed to email@example.com. As noted above, the Village Board will also accept public comment at the March 23rd meeting.
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Please provide a means of contacting you if the HFPPPC needs additional information. Thank you.