Gov. Cuomo issues executive order on police reform, no state funding if departments don’t comply

State News

NEW YORK CITY, (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily briefing on Friday that he would sign an executive order on police reform.

The governor announced that he was launching the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. He said he would issue an executive order that would require local government and police agencies to develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs.

“Police is paid by the taxpayers,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Police isn’t written into the Old Testament. Police are public servants, they do what the community wants them to do.”

Gov. Cuomo said individual departments must formulate a plan addressing the use of force by police offices, crowd management, community policing, implicit bias awareness training, de-escalation training and practices, restorative justice practices, community-based outreach, and have a transparent citizen complain disposition procedure to handle those and other issues raised by the community.

The governor said there must be community participation, and this plan must be enacted into local law by April 1, 2021, or local police agencies can lose state funding.

“We will not going to fund police agencies in this state that can’t look at what is happening, come to terms with it, and reform themselves,” Gov. Cuomo said.

“We have many, many Republicans voting for these bills, because enough is enough,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “How much bloodshed has to happen before we said we had to be better?”

The governor said the goal is to restore trust.

MORE | ‘New York state has lowest rate of transmission of coronavirus in the US,’ Gov Cuomo says

Police forces must adopt a plan by April 1, 2021 to be eligible for future state funding and certify that they have:

  1. Engaged stakeholders in a public and open process on policing strategies and tools;
  2. Presented a plan, by chief executive and head of the local police force, to the public for comment;
  3. After consideration of any comments, presented such plan to the local legislative body (council or legislature as appropriate) which has approved such plan (by either local law or resolution); and
  4. If such local government does not certify the plan, the police force may not be eligible to receive future state funding.

Regarding the executive order, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued this statement Friday:

“We welcome Governor Cuomo’s leadership on addressing police reform. In Rochester, we have been at the forefront of implementing police reforms including President Obama’s 21st Century law enforcement policies, which includes all eight demands of Campaign Zero. We have partnered with the National League of Cities to establish the Race, Equity and Leadership initiative to focus our City government on addressing the systemic and institutional inequities we face.

Now, we are prepared to build upon this foundation, and we know more work needs to be done. We will elevate the voices of the community as it relates to policing, healthcare, housing, education and jobs, and beyond. Ideally, we should do this work together, so we can lift up all people, specifically, communities of color. I look forward to working with the County, State, Towns and, most importantly, our citizens, to join us in this essential work.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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