Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin
On June 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring each local government in the State to adopt a policing reform plan by April 1, 2021. The Order authorizes the Director of the Division of the Budget to condition State aid to localities on the adoption of such a plan.
The goal of the Albany Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative is to engage in a robust conversation about policing in Albany and explore opportunities to reimagine how we create safety in our community. Below is an outline of the process.
View The Time for Reckoning Symposium, original air date - Monday, October 26, 2020.
After a six month-long process involving 63 meetings, 14 hours of public comment, and a great deal of research, the Mayor’s Office delivered the Amended Final Report of the City of Albany Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative to the members of the Albany Common Council on Friday, February 12, 2021.
On Monday, March 15th, after a series of meetings and deliberations, the Albany Common Council approved the administrations policing reform plan. On Thursday March 25, 2021, prior to the April 1, 2021 deadline set by the Cuomo administration, the City submitted the final City of Albany Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Plan and NYS certification form to the NYS Office of the Budget. As of today, December 22, 2021, my administration is on pace to complete the implementation of all action items categorized as “short term”. Since submitting the final plan and the NYS certification form, the administration has undertaken the below actions:
In 2022, in keeping with the short-term implementation timeline provided in the final policing collaborative report, the City intends to complete the work of rewriting and revising the APD general orders. This work will be completed by an interdepartmental group consisting of the Public Safety Commissioner, Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel Matthew Toporowski, a member of the Mayor’s Office, and the Albany Police Department.
The City will continue to implement the remaining short-term action items (12-18 months) into 2022 and will begin the process of implementing the mid-term action items (18-36 months) starting January 1, 2022.
- Final Report - City of Albany Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative - Amended Draft (PDF)
- Policies, Standard Operating Procedures and General Orders Working Group - Draft Report (PDF)
- Civilian Oversight Working Group - Draft Report (PDF)
- Police Department Function Working Group - Draft Report (PDF)
- Community Safety and Restorative Justice Working Group - Draft Report (PDF)
- Recruitment, Retention, Promotion, Training and Officer Development Working Group - Draft Report (PDF)
Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – General Meeting - Recording
Friday, December 11th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – Police Department Functions - Recording
Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – Recruitment & Retention - Recording
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – Community Safety and Restorative Justice - Recording
Monday, January 4th, 2021 6:00pm-8:00pm – General Meeting - Recording
Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 6:00pm-8:00pm – Policies, SOPs, GO’s - Recording
Monday, January 11th, 2021 6:00pm-8:00pm – Civilian Oversight - Recording
Recruitment, Retention, Promotion, Training and Officer Development Tuesday, November 24, 2020 Recording
Recruitment, Retention, Promotion, Training and Officer Development Tuesday, December 1, 2020 Recording
- 2020 APD Prospectus Report
- APD 21st Century Policing PowerPoint
- Albany Police Department General Orders and Standard Operating Procedures
- Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing
- NYS Gov Cuomo Police Reform Workbook
- Part 1 Crimes – 5 Year Average
- Press Release Announcing City of Albany Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative
- YTD Breakdown of Calls for Service
- YTD City of Albany Calls for Service
- YTD City of Albany Violent Crimes
- Meeting Minutes - August 18, 2020
- Meeting Minutes - September 8, 2020
- Meeting Minutes - September 15, 2020
- Meeting Minutes - September 22, 2020
- Collaborative Questions from September 8, 2020 Meeting
- Collaborative Questions from September 15, 2020 Meeting
- Collaborative Questions from September 22, 2020 Meeting
- Working Group Mission Statement & Topics Final
- Working Group Assignments w/ Chairpersons
- Working Group Draft - Revised with Comments - September 22
- Working Group Assignments
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
In August and September 2020, the Collaborative will meet every Tuesday from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Please find meetings listed below:
- August 18 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm - Meeting Topic: Introduction to Intergroup Dialogue
- August 25 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm - Meeting Topic: Privilege, Assumptions, and Group Dynamics
- September 1 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm - Meeting Topic: 21st Century Policing in Albany
- Assigned Reading(s): Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
- September 8 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm – Meeting Topic: How the APD Creates, Implements and Enforces Police Policies
- Assigned Reading(s): 2020 APD Prospectus Report
- September 15 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm – Meeting Topic: APD Data – Calls for Service, Crime Statistics, Use of Force
- September 22 – 6:00pm-7:30pm – Meeting Topic – Finalize Working Groups’ mission and build timeline to complete recommendations
- September 29 – 6:00pm-7:30pm – Meeting Topic – Address lingering questions & Comments. Finalize working group proposal & build the timeline for working group meetings
- November 5 - 5:30pm - Common Council Public Safety Committee Meeting. The police reform proposals being discussed are Local Law H of 2020, Local Law I of 2020, and Local Law J of 2020. Submit public comments by Thursday, November 5, 2020, 12pm. Watch meeting live on Facebook.
- January 19, 2021 - 6:00pm-7:30 pm - Final Collaborative Meeting.
The first 7 meetings were intended to explore a range of topics, including implicit bias, the history of policing, 21st Century Policing Strategies, current policies, programs and practices of the Albany Police Department, and call and demographic data. All meetings are live streamed and recorded so that the public can participate virtually.
Each policing collaborative member was assigned to one of the working groups below and will work with the other collaborative members, the community, City staff, and a representative(s) from the Albany Police Department to create a working group report that will be presented to the community and the Albany Common Council for review by January 31st, 2020. Policing Collaborative working group meetings will begin the week of October 19th, 2020.
The draft working group reports are due by January 31st, 2021 to provide adequate time for compiling a complete draft document for submission to the Common Council. The working group topics are as follows:
Policies, Standard Operating Procedures and General Orders
This working group will review and evaluate current APD policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and General Orders, including, but not limited to, use of force, tear gas deployment, use of body cameras, formal and informal quotas, and disciplinary procedures. They will evaluate the Department’s adoption of recommendations in the final report on “21st Century Policing”, and review impacts of APD’s collective bargaining agreements. They will create recommendations regarding changes, additions and/or the elimination of APD polices, SOPs, general orders and union rules.
This working group will review existing by-laws and ordinances, and make recommendations regarding, the City’s Community Police Review Board and the Albany Community Policing Advisory Committee. They will also review APD’s collection and dissemination of police data, including demographic information, disciplinary action, the cost of civil litigation and settlements associated with alleged police misconduct, the appointment of special prosecutors, and facial recognition technology and other areas impacting policing transparency and accountability to the community. They will make recommendations regarding these matters, including, but not limited to, additional data collection requirements, changes to the Department’s disciplinary procedures and public dissemination of police data.
Police Department Functions
This working group will review calls for service, officer initiated actions and crime and demographic data to determine the scope of functions currently performed by APD. They will also review available data related to truancy, homelessness, mental illness (including PTSD), school interactions and suspensions, including the presence of school resource officers, child abuse and neglect, homelessness, addiction, poverty and domestic violence and make policy recommendations regarding the scope of services provided by APD and alternative models for intervention. This group will also make recommendations regarding alternative first-responder models, (e.g., responses to noise complaints and other quality of life issues) and identify other agencies and service providers that could impact the footprint of the APD.
Community Safety and Restorative Justice
The Albany Police Department was an early adopter of harm reduction strategies like Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, as a way to get people the services they need and reduce recidivism. This working group will review the effectiveness of existing programs (e.g., LEAD, Group Violence Intervention, Cure Violence, Neighborhood Engagement Unit, etc.) and evaluate other harm reduction strategies, restorative and procedural justice models, including discriminatory or bias-based stops, searches and arrests problem-oriented policing, hot spot policing, crime prevention through environmental design and additional evidenced-based strategies, and make recommendations for the Albany Police Department.
Recruitment, Retention, Promotion, Training and Officer Development
This working group will review the effectiveness of current recruitment efforts, civil service rules, training academy curriculum including implicit bias awareness training and de-escalation training, civilian training academy curriculum and ongoing professional development training. They may consider whether added flexibility in recruitment, shifts and/or assignments will increase the diversity of the Department. They will make recommendations for changes necessary to ensure that the Albany Police Department hires, trains, promotes and evaluates officers in a way that builds trust and strong police – community relations. They will also look at issues of officer wellness and well-being. For more information about the working group topics, mission and committee assignments please visit the documents entitled: “Working Group Mission Statement & Topics” and “Working Group Assignments – Policing Collab”
DOING THE WORK
At the conclusion of these initial meetings, goals were set and working groups were created that focus on specific policy areas. In addition to the members of the Collaborative, community members may be asked to participate in these working groups and each working group will conduct at least one public meeting to collect input from our residents.
Each working group will produce recommendations, which will be compiled into a draft final report that will be released to the public for comment. Those comments will be reviewed by the Collaborative and a final report will be presented to the Albany Common Council as required pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203. This work must be concluded by April 1, 2021.
The members of the collaborative are being asked a lot during this process, and each member is uniquely qualified to provide insight and perspective critically important to this work. They were provided with reading materials to review in advance of meetings as well as a resource guide of materials to explore on their own.
The Collaborative includes a diverse group of people representing a myriad of institutions, community organizations and neighborhoods. It is important that we approach this work with a deep sense of civic duty to our residents, particularly those who have been disproportionately impacted by structural racism, blight, poverty, crime and violence.