The Rotterdam Town Board unanimously adopted its police reform plan Thursday evening, hours before Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deadline.
No board members raised any questions or offered any other comments on the reform plan. Chief G. William Manikas said he was glad to see the plan come together.
“I’m thankful we’re going to get this passed and resolved by the deadline set by the governor,” he said.
Deputy Chief Michael Brown thanked all of the members involved in the collaborative for their work developing the plan.
The plan was created in response to Cuomo’s executive order requiring police departments to review their policies and procedures to determine how to better serve their communities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers last year. The executive order stipulates that departments must submit a plan to the state today or risk the possibility of losing state and federal funding.
Some of the recommendations in the plan include:
- Implementing body cameras
- Appointing a community engagement officer
- Receiving additional training on implicit bias and de-escalation
- Continuing to increase knowledge about best practices for mental health calls and implementing those standards, including participating in the Schenectady County Emotionally Disturbed Persons Diversion program
- Having community outreach officers attend job fairs and post about department exams to promote diversity in the department
The department will also keep track of racial disparities and post yearly arrest and traffic-stop data to the police department’s website following some comments from committee members that more research needed to be done on policing of minorities.