Schenectady Police Reform Collaborative releases survey



SCHENECTADY — The city’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative announced Wednesday that a survey to gather public feedback on police reform is now available, as the city pushes forward with a plan due to be submitted to the state by April 1.

The survey, which people can take anonymously, can be found on the Schenectady Police Department’s website and on social media platforms. City officials said the survey will be available until Feb. 15.

“We encourage everyone in the community to take this survey,” Mayor Gary R. McCarthy said. “Your responses will help create a written plan to better serve our city’s diverse community, strengthen trust and legitimacy, and address disparities that exist in communities of color.”

The John Finn Institute for Public Safety in Albany will be collecting and analyzing the survey responses and submitting a statistical report to the city.

The Schenectady police survey: Schenectady Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Community Survey

The survey asks respondents about their thoughts on whether the Schenectady Police Department has a good relationship with the community, whether there’s a perception of bias by police, whether the public thinks the department is open to change, and about attitudes toward community policing.

Those who take the survey are also being asked how well they think the department handles internal discipline, and how they feel about police officers in schools. It also seeks opinions on whether initiatives like more police-community meetings would be helpful in improving relations.

The collaborative has been working since last summer to develop a draft police reform and reinvention plan pursuant to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s order that all municipal law enforcement agencies conduct reform reviews in the wake of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism, especially within police agencies.

The goal, according to the collaborative, is  to “foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and … address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.”

Already, the police department has formed a panel of community members to meet with potential new police recruits as part of the Schenectady Police Department hiring process. Cuomo singled that idea out for praise during one of his recent State of the State addresses.

The city already has a Civilian Police Reform Board that can review civilian complaints about police conduct. Members of that board recommended to the City Council last week that they be given additional investigative powers, including the ability to review evidence like officer-worn body camera footage.

Whatever draft plan the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative comes up with will be subject to City Council review and approval before being submitted to the state.

The Schenectady police survey: Schenectady Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Community Survey

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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