NORWICH – Community input is at the root of a new undertaking of the Chenango County Sheriff's Office to create an advisory panel which will help guide future strategies of the department.
The effort comes in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo's “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,” a directive signed by the governor in June calling on all local police agencies statewide to develop a plan based on community input. Police agencies must adopt a plan by April 1, 2021 in order to receive future state aid.
Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting said his advisory panel will help his department identify law enforcement needs for its jurisdiction. A list of names is in the works to potentially join the group, he said. That list includes the district attorney, county attorney, and members of the county's board of supervisors.
“We have to create a group to identify goals that we want to accomplish … Any municipality that has a police agency is going to have to do the same thing,” Cutting told members of the county's safety and rules committee at their monthly June meeting. “And each municipality is different; so I believe we have the flexibility to create what we need.”
By means of the governor's directive, police agencies must get input from their respective committee that addresses ways in which their department can reinvent and modernize police strategies and programs. Each police agency's reform plan needs to acknowledge policies, procedures, practices and deployment, including the use of force.
Police departments must also present their plan to the public for comment and get plan approval from the local legislative body (the board of supervisors in the case of Chenango County). Failure to do so would result in the loss of state funding.