June 24, 2020 New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to advise you that the Governor recently issued Executive Order No. 203, which implements his finding that “urgent and immediate action is needed to eliminate racial inequities in policing, to modify and modernize policing strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and to develop practices to better address the particular needs of communities of color to promote public safety, improve community engagement, and foster trust.”
The Executive Order requires the Director of the Division of the Budget, in consultation with the Division of Criminal Justice Services, to issue guidance for all local governments that includes the following directives:
1. Each local government entity with a police agency operating with police officers must perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and develop a plan to improve those deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the particular needs of the communities served and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.
2. Each local government chief executive must convene the head of the local police agency, and stakeholders in the community to develop the plan, which must consider evidence-based policing strategies including, but not limited to, use of force policies; procedural justice; any studies addressing systemic racial bias or racial justice in policing; implicit bias awareness training; de-escalation training and practices; law enforcement assisted diversion programs; restorative justice practices; community-based outreach and conflict resolution; problem-oriented policing; hot spots policing; focused deterrence; crime prevention through environmental design; violence prevention and reduction interventions; model policies and guidelines promulgated by the New York State Municipal Police Training Council; and standards promulgated by the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
3. The political subdivision, in coordination with its police agency, must consult with stakeholders including, but not limited to, membership and leadership of the local police force; members of the community, with emphasis in areas with high numbers of police and community interactions; interested non-profit and faith-based community groups; the local office of the district attorney; the local public defender; and local elected officials, and create a plan to adopt and implement the recommendations resulting from its review and consultation, including any modifications, modernizations, and innovations to its policing deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, tailored to the specific needs of the community and general promotion of improved police agency and community relationships based on trust, fairness, accountability, and transparency, and that seek to reduce any racial disparities in policing.
The local government entity must offer the plan to all citizens in the locality for public comment. After considering any public comment received, the plan must then be presented to the local legislative body, which must ratify or adopt the plan by local law or resolution, as appropriate, no later than April 1, 2021.
The local government must transmit a certification to the Director of the Division of the Budget to affirm compliance with this process and with the adoption of the required local law or resolution. The Executive Order authorizes the Director of the Division of the Budget to condition receipt of future appropriated State or federal funds upon the filing of the certification.
We recommend that you identify individuals to serve as stakeholders from the various groups set forth above for participation in the required review process and plan development for your municipality. We will provide additional information once the Division of the Budget issues the guidance required by the Executive Order.
Please contact Alyson Mathews or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300 if you have any questions.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2020