On Wednesday, September 30, the first organizational meeting under the NYS Governor’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative was held to establish the Greene County Police Policy Review Committee.
The Greene County Legislature nominated the initial members based on NYS Guidelines pursuant to Executive Order No. 203.
This committee is comprised of Community Leaders and Public Servants across Greene County and includes:
Dr. Ronell Cook – Supt. of Catskill CSD
Rev. Richard Turpin – 2nd Baptist Church, Catskill
Ms. Rita Taylor – Community Member, Hop-O-Nose
Mr. Gary Slutzky – Community Member/MTP (Mountaintop Progressive) Member
Mr. Angelo Scaturro – Public Defender
Mr. Jeff Friedman – Chamber of Commerce
Pastor Richard Snowden – Community Life Church
Ms. Katie Oldakowski – MCAT (Mobile Crisis Assessment Team)
Rabbi Zoe B. Zak – Temple Israel of Catskill
Mr. Peter Kusminsky – Greene County Sheriff
Mr. Joseph Stanzione – District Attorney
Mr. Shaun S. Groden – County Administrator – Committee Chair
The committee was welcomed by Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger who said:
“Thank you everyone for coming and volunteering to be part of this group, the Greene County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. It’s hard enough to get people involved here to do anything these days, so this is a pretty big undertaking and I just wanted to let everyone know that it’s very much appreciated.
For members of our community that represent various groups around the county to step up and bring forward your thoughts for this process, I really do appreciate that. This should be a community discussion as to how our police departments interact with the community and with our criminal justice system. I would encourage you to go back to any of your communities and let people know that you’re a part of this. Let them come to you with suggestions. Bring them here. This is going to be a pretty lively and good discussion I think, as far as what our policing is going to look like in Greene County. Thank you.”
Committee Chair Groden introduced the committee members and outlined County Legislature’s goals for the committee:
- Review Community Needs
- Review Policies
- Involve Community
- Develop Recommendation to the Legislature
- Release Draft Plan for Public Comment
- Submittal of plan to Greene County Legislature for ratification and action by the Greene County Legislature
- Submittal to NYS by 4/1/21
He then went on to outline the immediate objectives:
- Public Hearings, Public Comment opportunity
- Meeting schedule confirmation
- Specific information the committee desires to review
- What individual members seek to accomplish
The committee is empowered and supported by the Greene County Legislature with:
- A broad latitude for the committee to examine and explore police policies, procedures, and other relevant issues and concerns
- A ‘Hands-Off’ approach by the Legislature on dialogue, agendas and discussion points
- Community communications and outreach
- County Communications:
– Website, comments, press announcements, social media, comment portal
- County documentation of all correspondence, agendas, and minutes
- Provision of all requested materials sought by the committee
The committee is solely charged with matters pertaining to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, not those of town or village departments which must complete their own studies and action plans.
A comprehensive binder containing policies, procedures, and supporting material was assembled and distributed to each committee member which will serve as a working reference throughout the review process, and be augmented as new materials are requested and provided.
It was agreed that community awareness and involvement in the process is critical to the committee’s success, and determined that the committee will hold meetings twice a month until its work is resolved.
The committee requested public input from the community to start the review, therefore:
Community members are invited to the first Open Public Comment Meeting which will be held Wednesday, October 14th beginning at 6PM at the Catskill High School Auditorium.
The County is also supporting the work of this committee with an online information portal with the ability to submit questions and concerns, social media awareness and email outreach.