A Police Reform Committee has been established in the City of White Plains.
According to Mayor Tom Roach, the committee will review the needs of the White Plains community served by its police department; evaluate the department’s current policies and practices; involve the full White Plains community in the discussion; develop policy recommendations resulting from this review; and offer a plan for public comment; and present that plan to the White Plains Common Council.
“This is an opportunity to step back and review our policing policies, enhance the lines of communication between our police department and the community, and make White Plains an even better place for all those who live, work, and visit here,” Roach said.
As part of the comprehensive review process, the City of White Plains and the White Plains / Greenburgh NAACP Branch will co-sponsor a series of public listening sessions for members of the Police Reform Committee and the White Plains community. The purpose of the sessions is to obtain feedback in responding to Governor Cuomo’s “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative” Executive Order 203.
“I am pleased to be working in collaboration with the White Plains /Greenburgh NAACP on this important initiative and I am also pleased to announce that the President of the White Plains / Greenburgh NAACP Branch, Ms. Janice Griffith, will be chairing our Police Reform Committee,” Roach said. “The White Plains /Greenburgh NAACP is a respected partner and well-qualified to help White Plains in this endeavor.”
The committee will convene several community listening sessions this fall. The listening sessions will give residents the opportunity to voice their opinions, share experiences, and submit questions to the committee in a public forum. The listening sessions and the subsequent work of the committee will focus on topic areas including Community Policing; Anti-Bias Training; Transparency, Data Collection and Reporting; Mental Health Crisis Management; and Civilian Complaint Review Board.
For those who do not wish to speak during the public listening sessions, questions and comments may be submitted in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org. A public meeting schedule with additional details will be announced shortly.
“Entering into a partnership with the City of White Plains is a terrific opportunity to work with our communities to strengthen the positive elements of the policing culture, while working on those areas where constructive modifications or additions are necessary,” Griffith stated.
“This is a very important issue and I look forward to the feedback from the City of White Plains Police Reform Committee. To me, 21st Century Policing involves a process of continual improvement,” Council President Nadine Hunt Robinson added.
Besides Griffith, members of the Police Reform Committee are: Joseph Castelli, Police Chief, White Plains Police Department; Rosemarie Eller, President, White Plains Board of Education; Cheryl Greenberg, My Sister’s Place; Wade Hardy, Westchester-Rockland Guardians Association; Brian Johnson, White Plains PBA; Nada Khader, Director WESPAC; Harriet Lowell Chair, Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities; Patrick Macarchuk, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office; Patrick Schelle, Westchester Coalition for Police Reform; Captain James Spencer, Community Advocacy & Strategic Initiatives Division, White Plains Police Department; Minister Donald Stevens, Resident & Deacon, Little Mt. Zion Holy Church; Bernie Thombs, Security Consultant for WP Housing Authority; Bernie Thombs, Security Consultant for WP Housing Authority; Judy Troilo, Executive Director The LOFT: LGBT Community Services Center; Reverend Erwin Lee Trollinger, Calvary Baptist Church; Isabel Villar/Judith Aucar Executive Director / Deputy Director, El Centro Hispano; Frank Williams, Director, White Plains Youth Bureau; Michelle Jones, Student, White Plains High School; and residents Keyla Garcia, Katrina Jackson, Marie Vitale and Laurette Young.