Goshen. Village’s police reform plan to focus on transparency and community policing

Goshen /
| 09 Mar 2021 | 02:34

    With few violent felony-level crimes, the Village of Goshen has adopted a state-mandated reform plan that puts its accent on transparency and community policing.

    According to the Goshen plan, what the village submits to Albany is a “living document” that will launch “a continual review of police policies and practices to ensure the police department at all times fulfills its duties to all people who live and visit our community regardless of age, sex, race, religious persuasion, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation.”

    Beginning in the fall of 2020, police and village officials reviewed numerous policies including those that govern use of force, investigation of hate crimes, racial bias and profiling, Civil Service exams and citizen complaints.

    All of the policies will be placed on the village’s website so long as that would not compromise criminal investigations or otherwise be subject to the exemptions of state Freedom of Information Law.

    Police will conduct an annual review and report on the use of force and civilian complaints and the resulting findings.

    The department will make available monthly crime statistics and police activity reports by shift and productivity.

    An online civilian complaint form and opinion survey will be added to the village’s website.

    Increased training

    The department pledges to increase annual training by a minimum of at least four hours in each of the following areas:

    Community relations;

    Implicit bias;

    Cultural awareness/anti-racism; and

    De-escalation of tense situations.

    It will seek to meet with the county Mental Health to discuss utilization of servicers in handling people in crisis.

    The department will “remain committed” to the hiring of “underrepresented community members” as staff and police officers. It will disseminate information on requirements to become a police office, vacancies and promotional opportunities and will encourage members of the community to participate in the hiring process.

    - Jeff Storey