The New York Police Department has announced the creation of a committee to “reimagine” policing efforts in the city and a series of public forums that aim to meet statewide reform mandates set in place by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“This is about reimagining, if you will, policing in New York City,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “How do we make policing more equitable, fair, without sacrificing public safety? It’s about moving into the 21st Century in a way never done before.”
While announcing the plans from police headquarters in Manhattan, Shea said the initiative has led to a partnership between the department, the New York Urban League, and anti-poverty nonprofit Robin Hood.
“Every New Yorker should feel confident that they can move about New York City with the assurance that our police officers are concerned with protecting them, and with treating them fairly should they find themselves interacting with the NYPD for whatever reason,” said FPWA CEO Jennifer Jones Austin, adding:
I am eager to work with Commissioner Shea and my colleagues to ensure that all voices — and especially blacks, browns and other persons of color, as well as persons experiencing poverty and health challenges — are heard and embraced as critical reforms centered on keeping all New Yorkers safe and supported are designed and implemented.
After the death of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests and launched a war against police in America, Gov. Cuomo implemented reform guidelines.
As of now, there are eight forums scheduled, with one in each NYPD patrol borough, according to city police. Meetings will last for two hours and will have limited in-person attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. The meetings will also be live-streamed for those who cannot attend in person.
“We have a moral imperative to work to make sure that community voices are heard and New Yorkers feel safe and respected no matter the neighborhood that they reside,” said Urban League President and CEO Arva Rice.
“The Statewide and mandated ‘Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative’ is a welcome opportunity to engage in this process learning from New Yorkers as well as experiences and practices around the country,” Rice added.