Public hearing Wednesday on Rotterdam police reform


Rotterdam residents will get one more chance to voice their opinion on the town’s police reform plan during a public hearing at the town board meeting Wednesday evening.

“The only thing we’ve gotten is positive comments from all the stakeholders,” said Chief G. William Manikas Tuesday.

On Monday half a dozen residents were on a virtual call for the Police Reform and Collaborative meeting and one resident– Robert Godlewski–showed up in person, said Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone.

Tommasone said no one on the zoom asked any questions.

Godlewski said he asked to have proactive versus reactive policing explained.

“I also thanked the police department for their service to the community and the fact that I have lived in the town for over 65 years,” Godlewski said. “The prime reason there were not a lot of comments on the report is the people in the town are very pleased with the performance of our police department. I told them when I go for a walk in the middle of the day it is very reassuring to have a police car go by and the officer waves to you.”

While most of the comments have been supportive of the police department, Tommasone said he is open to all comments about the department.

“I want the public to come in and ask questions,” he said. “I want the public to come in and raise concerns.”

Manikas said Deputy Chief Michael Brown had been in contact with the local branch of the NAACP. He said they expressed that they liked what the department was doing and would be in contact if they had any concerns.

Manikas said many of the reforms Gov. Cuomo wanted to address, the department had pretty much been doing for 20 years as part of keeping its accreditation through the Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Tommasone said the board will vote to pass a resolution Wednesday adopting the reform plan and then send it to the state.

He also said there are no town laws prohibiting the town from reviewing the plan on an annual basis.

Attend the meeting:

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Join by dialing 1 (929) 205-6099, then entering the conference ID no. 867 0373 0307, followed by the pound symbol.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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