The Town of Chester held its first police reform meeting on Monday, Jan 18.
The Facebook live meeting was held at town hall and may be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/chester.town.505/videos/871016350330536.
Last August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered every county, city, town and village that has a police department to examine its policies and how law enforcement interacts within those in each jurisdiction. The municipalities must report back to the governor by April 1.
The focus of the Town of Chester’s first session was on scheduling future meetings and noting that, in Chester, the police are basically free of complaints and charges. Chief Dan Doellinger said he welcomes any complaints so they can be dealt with and corrected. No complaints were noted during the first meeting.
The chief said there would be a PowerPoint presentation at the next meeting on Jan. 25.
Chester Town Councilmen Tom Becker and Bob Courtenay will chair the meetings. Committee members to date are: Chief Doellinger; Sue Bahren; David Collins; Bob Ferraro; Father John S. Bonnici, pastor of St. Columba Church; Brandon Holdridge; Steve Keahon; Patricia Miller; Rev. Erin Moore, pastor of Chester Presbyterian Church; Jacob Mott; and Orlando Perez.
Becker said the next meeting will be jointly held with the Village of Chester, which is also under the same mandate from the governor.
Meetings on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 will be held at Chester’s Senior Center at 6 p.m.
The Feb. 10 meeting will be held at town hall during a town board meeting when the new plan will be introduced and a hearing date set.
The tentative date for the hearing is March 10 at 7 p.m. during the town board meeting. The tentative adoption date for the final plan is March 24 at 7 p.m.
People interested in becoming part of the committee are advised to contact Becker or Courtenay.
- Frances Ruth Harris