MASSENA — Village residents are being asked to provide their input for an online survey that’s part of a state-mandated police reform package.
The nine-question survey is in response to the mandate for police agencies to “reinvent” their policing strategies. The Massena Police Department is working with Village Administrator Monique Chatland on the initiative.
“Everything we’re doing is part of the requirements that the state mandated for every police agency,” Chief Jason Olson said.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order earlier this year, the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, which was passed by the state Legislature. It mandates a reinvention of policing strategies.
Police forces throughout the state must develop a plan by April 1, 2021, to be eligible for continued state funding. The municipality that oversees the law enforcement agency must certify, adopt and enforce the plan as a local law or risk losing future funding for their police departments.
The plan must address the law enforcement agency’s use of force, crowd management, community policing, implicit bias awareness and de-escalation training, restorative justice practices, community outreach, a transparent citizen complaint procedure and other issues specific to each community.
Chief Olson said some of the questions in the online survey were developed locally, while others were detailed in a guide book issued by the state.
“Some came up based on what we felt the needs were. Some of the questions are based on the type of community we have,” he said.
The survey covers a broad range of topics, such as what functions police should perform, community policing and outreach programs, the role of the police department in schools and how to strengthen the relationship between the police department and community.
“It’s only nine questions. We encourage every village resident to take the time (to complete the survey),” Chief Olson said.
Links to the survey can be found on Facebook pages for the Massena Police Department (facebook.com/MassenaPolice), village of Massena (facebook.com/Village-of-Massena-106406081002736) and Mayor Timmy J. Currier (facebook.com/currieriscommitted). It can also be found on the Massena Police Department’s website, massena.us/493/Police-Reform.
Chief Olson said they were well on their way to meeting the April deadline to submit their plan to the state.
“The process is going great. Our stakeholders have been wonderful. We haven’t had any roadblocks. It’s been a great response so far,” he said.