A package of 51 proposed reforms is now on the table in Westchester County, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday.READ MORE: Police Reform Is Well Underway In Westchester County Cities
In the controlled atmosphere of a classroom, role-play training is used to help with the chaos probationary cops will encounter in the field.
Mental health expert Mark Giuliano teaches future cops how to lower the temperature so heated situations don’t boil over. More training like that is taking place at the Westchester Police Academy.
It’s all part of the recommendations from a task force on re-inventing policing that was empaneled after the May 2020 death of Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.
“We didn’t turn our back from the tragedy. We turned to work to deal with that tragedy,” County Executive George Latimer said.
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Latimer will be able to implement some of the recommendations by executive order. Many will impact training at the academy used by dozens of local Westchester departments.READ MORE: NYPD Adopts New Guidelines For Disciplining Officer Misconduct; Mayor De Blasio Says It’s A ‘Game Changer’
“They agreed that they would expand the training in certain specific areas, such as cultural competency and implicit bias,” Reform Commission co-chair LeRoy Frazer said.
The task force wants all 40 local departments to be accredited by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, just like county police.
“Throughout New York state, only 25% of police departments are actually accredited, and in Westchester County only 50%,” Reform Commission co-chair Mayo Bartlett said.
Another recommendation deals with so-called “bystandership,” so even rookie cops feel empowered to speak out when they see misconduct.
“Every officer in that department is enabled to be able to step up and hold that officer accountable,” Bartlett said.
From body cameras to police discipline, the task force believes the recommendations form a basis for building trust between cops and the communities they serve.
The next step in the process is public comment and a review by county lawmakers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered every police department in the state to go through a reinvention process, or risk losing state funds.