UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On Thursday, January 13th, Mayor Robert Palmieri announced two new legislative proposals aimed at fighting the ongoing gun violence problem in the City of Utica and supporting local police reform.
Over the past year, Mayor Palmieri has been working with the city Advisory Committee to explore and establish new and better ways to address these issues. The Police Reform Report called for the implementation of fourteen specific reforms that included the establishment of a Crisis Intervention Team, the implementation of implicit bias training, camera installation in public areas, a minority youth public safety career program, and an increase in transparency of resident complaints.
“What we’re doing is taking all the tools that we have to make sure that we continue to move the city in a very prosperous strong and safe, safe atmosphere.” – Mayor Robert Palmieri, City of Utica
Mayor Palmieri’s first proposal will be to increase the UPD’s compliment by five police officers. These new officers will specifically address the cities gun violence. The administration will utilize funds from the ‘American Rescue Plan Act’ to pay for the officers, their training, and new equipment. These funds can be used until 2024 and will have no impact on the taxpayers.
“What we don’t want during the warm weather time when we see a rise in the gunfire, is to have deficits in manpower. So, we’re hoping to increase the compliment, so we don’t have to take away from the specialized units that go out and do the gun intervention that we need is the gun intervention that we need in the city of Utica.” – Police Chief Mark Williams, UPD
The second proposal is a formal submission of legislation to establish the Citizen Public Safety Advisory Board for consideration. The mayor says that everyone will have the opportunity to be a part of the board, making it open and transparent.
“They select several, the mayor selects several, NAACP will select one, non for profits will also, so it’s a conglomeration.” – Mayor Robert Palmieri, City of Utica
The Crime Prevention Unit has taken 87 guns off the streets of Utica. The mayor explains that this is a nationwide problem, and the city must be proactive.
“Our numbers are nowhere near some of the other cities that are out there. We don’t want to wait for it to get to that point.” – Mayor Robert Palmieri
The common council will vote on the proposals this Wednesday, January 19th, with the remaining reforms to be included in the mayor’s budget proposal in February.