Cuomo Requires Police Departments to Provide Safety Reform Plans
By Yehudit Garmaise
In response to the many protests last summer that took place against the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced today that he has asked all 497 jurisdictions in the state to “come up with a safety reform plan to reform and reinvent their public safety departments,” the governor said today at a press conference.
While “the nation was paralyzed on this issue, we asked that every local government that has a police department has to go through a collaborative process, come up with a safety reform plan, have the police at the table and the community at the table, and pass it by your city council,” the governor said. “People [who protested] said ‘Enough is enough.’
“And they were right.
“They were saying, ‘We have lost trust in the police, and the relationship has deteriorated.”
The police, Gov. Cuomo added, also were saying at the time that their relationships with communities had deteriorated.
“It doesn’t work if the police’s relationships with the community doesn’t work,” the governor said. “And that is what the George Floyd protests were all about.”
A motto Gov. Cuomo said that he tells his children every day is, “Ignoring a problem solves nothing.
“And I said, ‘This is a moment for reform.’
“Put the police at the table. Put the community at the table. Talk it through. That is the only way to resolve a tension in a relationship. Tell me your grievance, tell me your problem, and let’s find out how to compromise and how to get to a relationship that is functional rather than dysfunctional.”
If police departments do not comply with the governor’s request to provide safety reform plans, Gov. Cuomo said, “the attorney general will install monitors for noncompliant jurisdictions and [police departments] will lose up to 50% of their funds.”
Out of the state’s 497 jurisdictions, 450 of them have submitted police reform plans, and “that is a phenomenal accomplishment,” Gov. Cuomo said.
“I am not saying these plans are the ‘end-all, be-all,’ but they are at least the starting off points,” he said. “The first question people ask before moving into an area is, “Is it safe?”
“People have to feel safe. People won’t move back to New York City unless they feel safe, and this is a major step forward.”
(Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
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