police reform | WAMC

police reform

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force met Wednesday night over Zoom
Zoom/Screen grab by WAMC

In compliance with a state mandate to “reimagine” policing, the Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force has approved a list of policy recommendations to be reviewed by the city council.

City of Poughkeepsie virtual public meeting on draft police reforms, February 10, 2021
Courtesy of the City of Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie officials have been gathering public feedback on the city’s draft report on police reforms. The report is in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York state Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, and is due by April 1st. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer et al. discuss Police Reform and Reimagining Task Force Report & Recommendations
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

A task force in Westchester County has issued its draft police reform report and recommendations. A few of the task force members are discussing some of the recommendations in the 179-page report.

Jerry Ford speaks at Monday night's meeting of the Troy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative
City of Troy, Zoom, image captured by WAMC

Troy has begun public meetings of its Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. Tonight, city residents will have the chance to share their thoughts in a public forum. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, a coalition of the city’s Black leaders offered recommendations this week.

Civil Rights Attorney Michael Sussman
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Civil rights attorneys have sent a letter with more than 300 signatures to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking to push back the April 1st deadline for communities to complete their police reforms. They say municipalities have not addressed the underlying issues of systemic racism and police misconduct.

the front door of Springfield Police Headquarters

        Frustrated by what they see as a lack of progress in reforming the police department, activists in Springfield, Massachusetts want the U.S. Department of Justice to step back in. 

Seal of the Newburgh Police Department
City of Newburgh, NY

The City of Newburgh held a public hearing Monday night on its draft report on police reform. It’s part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring local police agencies to modernize their strategies and programs based on community input. One of the related laws the city adopted over the summer faced a lot of backlash, and the city manager announced at the start of the hearing that the law was now tabled.

Seal of the Newburgh Police Department
City of Newburgh, NY

The City of Newburgh has released a draft plan to reimagine policing in accordance with a New York State directive.

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Facing an April deadline under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive, the Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force met Wednesday evening to discuss some proposed revisions to policing policy.

A bearded white man speaks while seated at a table with a brick wall behind him and a mic with a WAMC logo on it in front of him
Josh Landes / WAMC

Not all Berkshire County legislators are pleased with the final form of the police reform bill Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law on Thursday.

A white man in a suit stands in front of a bookshelf.

Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has returned a police reform bill to the state legislature with a list of desired changes.

A woman in a blue suit stands in front of a set of stone stairs
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington is voicing her support for two new police reform bills passed by the Massachusetts legislature. The measures are now on Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s desk. Harrington, a first-term Democrat, spoke to WAMC about why she’s backing the measures — and why she thinks the Police Officer Standards and Training, or POST, system the legislation calls for is good for the commonwealth.

Andrea Harrington stands at a podium with a row of people behind her.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The District Attorney of Berkshire County says she supports the police reform bill the Massachusetts legislature passed this month.

WAMC's Jackie Orchard interviewing Officer Devin Anderson on a Friday night ride-along.
Officer Steve Smith / APD

Following the May death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody – Albany experienced a slew of protests and riots, New York repealed a law that restricted access to police disciplinary records and a statewide mandate to reimagine policing was instituted. To learn how these events have impacted policing in New York’s capital city, I rode along with an Albany Police lieutenant and spoke with a local Black rights activist.

Springfield Police Department Headquarters on Pearl Street
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Pressing for police reforms, the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts has rejected a proposed contract for police supervisors.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch held a virtual panel discussion this week with the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus and Vermont racial justice advocates about systemic racial bias and efforts to move toward equity.

Springfield City Hall at night
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   A years-long standoff between the executive and legislative branches of government in the largest city in western Massachusetts is heading to court.

Scott Karson: Seizing The Opportunity

Sep 23, 2020

I grew up in Great Neck, a suburban community on the North Shore of Long Island. And while it might seem hard to believe for some, at the time it was a hotbed of progressive thinking and concern for social justice.

the front door of Springfield Police Headquarters

     Springfield, Massachusetts officials are touting progress on police reforms following a federal investigation that found unconstitutional use-of-force by narcotics officers.

      Springfield City Councilors want to pick up the pace of police reforms in the wake of a scathing report from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The joint statement from the Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association and the Massachusetts Black and Latino Caucus.
The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus and The Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association

The Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association has released a joint statement with the state legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus calling for reforms aimed at ending systemic racism among law enforcement. From establishing a Use of Force Review Board and banning chokeholds to enhancing training on de-escalation and racial bias, the document calls for a collaborative approach to pursuing racial justice. WAMC spoke with caucus chair Carlos Gonzalez, the Democratic State Representative from the 10th Hampden district, about the statement.

Jeffrey Murphy
Jesse King / WAMC

As activists and lawmakers call for police reforms across the country, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association came out with its own list of priorities Wednesday. 

America is having a national conversation about policing.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from the second district, speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

City of Poughkeepsie seal
Courtesy of the City of Poughkeepsie

In New York, the Poughkeepsie Common Council will hold a special meeting and town hall Monday night on police reform and racial justice.

Mayo Bartlett
Courtesy of the Office of Weschester County Executive George Latimer

The Westchester County executive has named the members of a Police Training Task Force, and reshaped the original intent to adhere to an executive order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Stephen Gottlieb: To Reinvent The Cops, Disarm Them

Jun 16, 2020

The Governor wants us all to reinvent policing in our own communities. Let’s pull that apart. He wants each separate community to have a conversation about policing and reset everything. Sounds good. Community is a lovely warm word. But I think the reality is a lot different than it sounds.

Westchester County Executive at the podium; Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

Westchester County Executive George Latimer was in the northernmost city in his county Friday to hold his daily COVID-19 briefing. While in Peekskill, he also reacted to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to reinvent police departments across the state.

The New York State legislature wrapped up passage of a package of bills on police reform on Wednesday, as the Senate Leader delivered a very personal speech on how systemic racism has affected her life.