Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative

Police Graphic (PNG)"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.

Community members have the option to submit anonymous written comment about desired reforms by email or by calling or texting (518) 618-2268.  You can also use the form below to submit a public comment. 

Public Meeting Schedule

  1. Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – General Meeting - Recording
  2. Friday, December 11th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – Police Department Functions - Recording
  3. Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – Recruitment & Retention - Recording
  4. Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm – Community Safety and Restorative Justice - Recording
  5. Monday, January 4th, 2021 6:00pm-8:00pm – General Meeting - Recording
  6. Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 6:00pm-8:00pm – Policies, SOPs, GO’s - Recording
  7. Monday, January 11th, 2021 6:00pm-8:00pm – Civilian Oversight - Recording

Member Bios

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
  • 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.

WORKING GROUPS

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.

Meeting Dates

  • Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020: Common Council Public Safety Meeting – 5:30 pm via YouTube or Facebook
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020: Meeting #2 – Policies, SOPs, General Orders – 5:00pm-6:30pm
  • TENTATIVE: Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 (Week of Thanksgiving): Meeting #3 – Policies, SOPs, General Orders – 5:00pm-6:30pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020: Meeting #4 – Policies, SOPs, General Orders – 5:00pm-6:30pm
  • TENTATIVE: Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 (Week of Christmas): Meeting #5 – Policies, SOPs, General Orders – 5:00pm-6:30pm
  • Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021: Meeting #5 – Policies, SOPs, General Orders – 5:00pm-6:30pm
  • Thursday, Jan. 2021: Meeting #6 – Policies, SOPs, General Orders – 5:00pm-6:30pm

Civilian Oversight

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[1] and public dissemination of police data.

Meeting Dates

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020: Meeting #2 – Topic: CPRB – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2020: Meeting #3 – Topic: ACPAC – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020: Meeting #4 – Topic: Collection and Dissemination of Police Data – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020: Meeting #5 – Topic: Disciplinary Action – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24 2020: Meeting #6 – Topic: Civil Litigation and Settlements (Police Misconduct)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020: Meeting #7 – Topic: Special Prosecutors – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020: Meeting #8 – Topic: Other areas affecting policing transparency and accountability – 6:00pm-7:00pm
  • Tuesday, Dec 15. 2020: Meeting #9 - Topic: TBD – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Dec 22. 2020: Meeting #10 -Topic: TBD – 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020: Meeting #11 – Topic: TBD – 6:00pm-7:30pm

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.

Meeting Dates

  • Friday, Oct. 30 2020: Meeting #2 0 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Nov. 6, 2020: Meeting #3 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Nov. 13, 2020: Meeting #4 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Nov 20, 2020: Meeting #5 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Nov. 27, 2020: Meeting #6 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Dec. 4, 2020: Meeting #7 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Dec. 11, 2020: Meeting #8 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Dec. 18. 2020: Meeting #9 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Week of 12/21 TBD
  • Week of 12/28 TBD
  • Friday, Jan. 8, 2021: Meeting #10 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Jan 15, 2021: Meeting #11 – 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Friday, Jan 22, 2021: Meeting #12 – 12:00pm-1:00pm

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.

Meeting Dates

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020: Meeting #2 – 5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2020: Meeting #3 – 5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020: Meeting #4 –5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020: Meeting #5 –5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020: Meeting #7 – 5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020: Meeting #8 –5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Dec 15. 2020: Meeting #9 –5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Dec 22. 2020: Meeting #10 -5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020: Meeting #11 –5:00pm-6:00pm

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”

Meeting Dates

Draft Working Group Reports

Disclaimer: The Working Group Reports are draft reports and remain subject to change up until the point a final report is presented to the Albany Common Council (tentatively scheduled to occur on February 1, 2021).

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.

EXPECTATIONS

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. 

MEETING DOCUMENTS

WORKING GROUPS

DRAFT DOCUMENTS

RESOURCES