Letter to the Editor: An Open, Personal Letter About the Senseless Death of George Floyd

Photo: Al Jazeera

I am heartbroken about the senseless death, in Minneapolis, of George Floyd. The horrific video footage of this tragic murder is shocking and the actions of those officers involved are wholly unacceptable.

Over the course of time, the Town of Greenburgh has effectively taken steps to sponsor specialized training designed to mitigate the possibility of something as horrible as what has happened in Minneapolis, from happening in our Town.

We continue to train our officers on methods of conflict de-escalation and stress the importance of cultural sensitivity and respect of difference. During my tenure, in an attempt to foster diversity, I am proud to state that the GPD has effectively hired and promoted police officers of varied cultural backgrounds and gender, to better represent the wonderful cultural tapestry which Greenburgh enjoys. This is an ongoing process which we believe needs to be continued prospectively.

Our Town displays a commitment to transparency by requiring all of our police officers to wear and use body cameras to ensure the protection of both members of our community and our dedicated police force. It should be noted, Greenburgh was the first community in Westchester County to outfit all officers with body cameras and this initiative has proven quite effective.

I believe that Community trust is built through the formation of positive relationships, over time. We as a Town Government have focused, over the years, on fostering the formation of relationships between members of our community and the GPD. For nearly thirty years we have had a Community Advisory Board that has and continues to meet with the Police Chief on a monthly basis, opening critical lines of communication between the police and those whom they serve.

We have sponsored an annual summer police youth camp and have been able to hire graduates of the camp as officers in the GPD. We have appropriated resources for police Community Officers whose role in the community has been quite effective and In recent years we have sponsored National Night Out events attended by police officers and our residents, encouraging stronger community/police relations, while promoting greater understanding.

Although we believe we have an extraordinary, dedicated and sensitive GPD, under excellent professional leadership, we as your Town Government need to know “if we can do things better.” If you feel that any member of our Police department has acted inappropriately, or any of our policies or systems can be improved, please contact us. We will take every suggestion or complaint very seriously and act expeditiously to investigate and act on your suggestions.

As always, should you wish to reach me, my email address is, pfeiner@greenburghny.com and I can be reached personally on my cell phone, at 914-438-1343, anytime.

I wish you and your family health and peace during this difficult time.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh, Town Supervisor

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