CHENANGO COUNTY - County legislators have greenlighted creation of a community-based advisory committee that will review protocols of the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office, making way for the agency to meet newly implemented state orders signed by the governor.
The move is in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that all municipal police departments in New York assemble a board of community stakeholders to guide the policies and procedures of their respective law enforcement agencies.
The “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,” signed into law in June, mandates police departments 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.
“That’s all state funding,” said Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting. “That’s for DSS, county highway, mental health, and all the services the county provides.”
Cutting laid out his plan for an advisory committee before the Chenango County Board of Supervisors on Monday, explaining that without the board’s authorization, the county would be subject to losing substantial amounts of money.
“As a sheriff, I’m a constitutional officer and I question the constitutionality or legality of the executive order as it reflects on sheriff’s offices,” he said. “I see how it can be imposed on a local police department.”
Even so, Cutting said he’s recruiting employees of other county departments that work directly with the sheriff’s office, including the district attorney, county attorney, assistant public defender, and members of the county's board of supervisors to join his committee.