LOWVILLE — The sole participant in the Lewis County police reform listening session held Wednesday evening had a request for Sheriff Michael P. Carpinelli: name someone in law enforcement you admire and why.
Lowville resident Joe Hall said he’s a retiree who worked for the now-defunct Climax Manufacturing and thanked everyone on the committee “for making time in your work lives to tackle this rather broad mandate.”
“I’m wondering if there is someone in the field of law enforcement that you would hold up to me, just an average citizen, as someone you admire, an authority ... this person has laid out a plan that I think is something we could work toward,” Mr. Hall asked Sheriff Carpinelli. “Anyone you would think of as an authority worthy of being emulated?”
The sheriff said he both admired and tried to learn from former police chiefs with whom he’s worked.
“One that comes to mind is one of my past chiefs in the city of Rochester, Bob Duffy. Another one would be another police chief there, Dr. Cedric Alexander,” Sheriff Carpinelli said. “It was the fairness in the attitude toward the public. Their ability to communicate and to be able to be reachable to the public. That’s ultimately who we’re responsible for. I just admire the ways that they did that.”
Like Sheriff Carpinelli, both Mr. Duffy and Dr. Alexander had political aspirations. They went on to win high elected offices on the state and city levels, respectively,
The process and resulting recommendations for police reform as determined by a committee formed specifically for the purpose were offered by consultant facilitator Christie Andrus-Nakano in a presentation prior to the public comment period.
Three recommendations will be sent to the county Board of Legislators for approval in their April meeting and ultimately, to the state to satisfy the police reform mandate.
Those recommendations include: using local community agencies to provide specialized training for engaging with people who are homeless or have mental health or substance abuse issues and account for those trainings by providing a quarterly report to the board’s General Services Committee on the number of trainings, attendees and hours for those sessions;
Creating a better understanding of the links between crime, mental health, substance abuse and homelessness by sharing information between and meeting quarterly with departments and agencies in the county dealing directly with these issues and using the county’s successful Drug Task Force as the model;
Communicating with the General Services Committee with a quarterly report on the amount and type of training, skill updating, “gaps that prevent training” including funding issues while also keeping the community informed on “skill development” for deputies.
During the committee’s third meeting in which the recommendations were fleshed-out, de-escalation and implicit bias training were listed specifically as included in the third recommendation concerning the reporting of training.
The police reform committee will meet again at 1 p.m. March 12 via Zoom and will be broadcast on the county’s YouTube page, and the reform report will be made available next week. It will be presented to the General Services Committee on March 16.
Written comments are still being accepted through the board clerk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org until April 6 and will be read at the county Board of Legislators meeting that evening. A public hearing will be held on the report for further public comment during that meeting at 5 p.m.
Sheriff Carpinelli invited anyone with questions to call him directly at his office, 315-376-3511.