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April 1 Deadline Nears For Police Reform Collaborative Reports In New York

Most municipalities in the region have finalized and submitted their police reform plans to New York state, as the April 1st deadline nears.

Rotterdam, in Schenectady County, expects its reform plan to be adopted on April 1, the deadline under Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order for localities to submit their plans or risk losing funding.

Another Schenectady County town has yet to approve its plan: Niskayuna Board member Denise Murphy McGraw is a Democrat.

"Our collaborative group has been working and they have put forward a plan that they provided to the town board and the town board now is going through that plan. This morning we had a workshop on that plan where we were able to understand each of the aspects of it and the next steps, and on Tuesday, we will be voting to submit that plan to ratify that plan and get it over to the governor later on Tuesday or certainly by the Wednesday deadline."

Bethlehem Police Collaborative member Jaye Holly says the Albany County town's final plan gives police-community relations a fresh start.

"The plan is something that we're going to use to guide us. Moving forward, one of the things that the town of Bethlehem will be doing is convening an ongoing group of citizens to be involved in helping the police, supporting the police, and executing the plan. They're really looking at their data and the statistics to guide us, as well as providing another avenue for town residents to continue to be a part of the process. So what's really exciting is that this is not an end, but really the beginning of a new chapter."

Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello says some in the minority community feel that its collaborative's report, given preliminary approval Thursday night, falls short because it does not say "Black Lives Matter." The Republican stresses that it is a "working document."

"We the council are going to relook at some other proposals which were brought up over the past several weeks during many of the PRC forums and we are going to regroup before next Thursday's regular meeting and potentially work on the document see if there's some proposals that need to be put in."

Mantello says Troy’s plan will be amended on April 1st.

All Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaboratives across New York state have been tasked with coming up with a written plan aimed at eliminating structural racism and bias in policing, via public input.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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