Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative

The Town of Bethlehem is undertaking a comprehensive Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative as directed by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order of June 12, 2020.  This process will be structured according to the guidance provided in the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative: Resources & Guide for Public Officials and Citizens (August 2020).  Keys to the process will be community input and participation, expert insight, and assessment of available data.

Collaborative Purpose:  Foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy within our community and address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color. 

---

NOTICE:  The Town is accepting letters of interest to serve on the Police Reform & Reinvention Advisory Committee through September 14, 2020.

---

INITIAL TIMELINE

The Collaborative’s timeline will be adjusted throughout the process based on input from the Advisory Committee and the community.

August and September - Organization

  • Aug 26    Promotion of Gina Cocchiara as new Police Chief
  • Aug 31    Request for applications to serve on the Police Reform & Reinvention Advisory Committee
  • Sept 14   Deadline for Advisory Committee applications
  • Sept 23   Town Board appoints Advisory Committee
    *Note: Timeline is to ensure that the committee is put in place and has the maximum amount of time to guide the important work of reform and reinvention.

ALSO

  • Issue RFP for professional facilitator to guide community forums
  • Gather info on how the police department currently operates (e.g., (data, policies, procedures, prior complaint history, budget, contracts, equipment, etc.)
  • Set up webpage for the Collaborative process (include Committee Member Bios; Meeting Schedule and links; Resources and Data with links; and Online Portal for sharing experiences and ideas)
  • Consult with neighboring municipalities to see if partnerships are possible for research and analysis
  • Consult with researchers to identify potential directions a public survey could take and how it might be structured
  • Hold first Advisory Committee meeting (last week of Sept or first week of Oct)

October and November – Listening & Learning

  • Hold Advisory Committee meetings
  • Hold Community Forums 
  • Continue developing website to create a variety of ways for the community to contribute to the Collaborative process (e.g., online questions, survey, etc.) and to provide data and information for the community to assess

November and December – Draft the Plan

  • Hold Advisory Committee meetings
  • Draft a Reform & Reinvention Plan – identify issues and areas in need of change; articulate policy changes and vision for what they will accomplish; identify measurable goals and ways to measure short- and long-term success
  • Hold open discussions so residents can hear deliberations and share proposals

January, February, and March – Revise, Finalize, & Submit the Plan

  • Hold Advisory Committee meetings
  • Post the Draft of Reform & Reinvention Plan for public review and comment
  • Educate residents about changes proposed in the Draft Plan
  • Integrate public comments to create the Final Reform & Reinvention Plan by February 28
  • Ratify the Final Plan at the second Town Board meeting in March
  • Submit the Final Plan to the State by March 31