City of Peekskill Police Reform Task Force Presents Draft Plan for Public Input

On Thursday, February 11, the City of Peekskill Police Reform Task Force will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss their draft plan for police reform recommendations. Chaired by Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey and Antonio Knott, the Task Force is charged with leading a community engagement process that will result in a reform plan that addresses policies, procedures, practices and deployment (including but not limited to use of force) as well as issues of racial disparities wherever they exist.

The Task Force’s Draft Plan was created in response to Governor Cuomo’s Emergency Order calling upon City Managers and Police Chiefs to create a community dialogue around police reform issues. The draft plan, which can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2FTQ4qR, will be completed following review of all public comments made at the February 11 meeting or via email by February 18. Following this deadline, revisions will take place as needed and the plan moves to the City Council for review.

“Thank you to the Governor for his timely initiative and to Task Force members for their hard work,” said Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey, Task Force Co-Chair. “This draft plan is the beginning phase, and I look forward to more input from the community and ultimately discussion by the City Council to decide how to move the process forward in concrete ways to implement the plan.”

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203, which follows the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, requires City Managers and Police Chiefs to draft reform plans in consultation with the communities they serve. The draft plan has information on the police department, the Task Force membership and process, and over 30 draft recommendation summaries for community feedback. It includes an appendix featuring background information and details on many recommendations, and well as other pertinent information.

“It is an honor to be able to release the preliminary draft of the Peekskill Police Reform Plan,” said Antonio Knott, Co-Chair of Task Force. “It goes without saying this could not have been completed without the input from the community and hardworking members of the taskforce. These members have spent countless hours researching, discussing and finalizing the various areas of reform that we release to the public for review and comment.

The public can watch the February 11 meeting, which begins at 7:00pm, on the City website (http://bit.ly/2IXEWXR) and Government Access Cablevision Channel 78 / Verizon Fios Channel 28. Public comment may be made via Zoom during the meeting at http://bit.ly/3a0NGtv or by calling (929) 205-6099 (Meeting ID: 963 2965 5989 | Passcode: 10566).

A public presentation of the Peekskill Police Reform Plan to City Council is anticipated to take place on March 1. The plan must be adopted by the City Council and submitted to New York State by April 1 for the City of Peekskill to be eligible for future state funding for police.

“Commencing with the signing of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203, members of the Peekskill Police Department, along with community stakeholders who represent the core of the city, have worked very hard to compose this draft,” said Peekskill Police Chief Donald Halmy. “While there is still much to do to make it a reality, I believe these proposals will only make an already excellent police department even better. The goal of this package is to enhance many of the programs we already have in place, while expanding our relationship with the community.”

Public feedback on the draft plan is welcome and may be emailed to policetaskforce10566@gmail.comby February 18. The project webpage, which includes the draft plan as well as other Task Force documents, is available at https://bit.ly/2FTQ4qR.

Peekskill City Hall is located at 840 Main Street in Peekskill, N.Y. and can be reached at 914-737-3400. For the latest news and updates, visit the City of Peekskill online at www.cityofpeekskill.com and on Facebook (@PeekskillGov).

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