Looking forward as Wall leads reforms
Niskayuna, like other municipalities in New York state, has been engaging in meaningful conversations about how to reform and reinvent policing in response to the Governor’s Executive Order 203.
Volunteering for Niskayuna’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative allowed me to meet Niskayuna residents, its police officers and Police Chief Frances E. Wall.
We worked together on the thorny issues of civilian oversight, use of force and officer burnout in the face of understaffing.
I had never met Chief Wall before, but knew that as a woman in a male-dominated profession, she had faced obstacles in her career, and that she was recently asked to lead in the wake of scandal.
She took on a department where basic leadership tasks like annual personnel evaluations and data tracking had not been performed in years, something confirmed by the recent CNA audit.
During the process of the Collaborative’s work, she expressed a commitment to increase diversity among the ranks, welcomed civilian oversight, and insisted on better training opportunities for her officers.
Niskayuna has a hard-working police chief in Wall who seems equipped to undo the effects of years of laissez faire leadership.
As a Collaborative volunteer, I look forward to seeing how Police Chief Wall will work with the town and its residents to follow through on the recommendations that we made in collaboration with her.
Hold accountable all behind Capitol siege
The following tale of two countries should serve as a caution to our nation.
In Myanmar on Feb. 1, the military seized control of the country following a general election which Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won.
The armed forces were demanding a rerun of the vote, claiming widespread fraud.
The election commission said there was no evidence to support these claims. The coup was staged as a new session of parliament was set to open.
The military takeover continues.
In the United States on Jan. 6, Donald Trump urged his supporters to seize control of the country following a general election that Joe Biden won.
Donald Trump wanted to overturn the election results, claiming widespread fraud. Christopher Krebs, who led the federal government’s efforts to secure the 2020 election, said there was no evidence to support these claims.
The attempted coup was staged at the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify the election results. Fortunately, the insurrection was repelled.
We “dodged the bullet” this time, Myanmar was not so lucky.
If we want to prevent a “next time,” we must hold all of those responsible for the January insurrection accountable.
This would include Donald Trump, all citizens who attacked the Capitol, and all lawmakers who persisted in claiming that the election was “stolen” from Trump.
We need to demonstrate that we are still a nation governed by the rule of law.
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