ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Police Department launched an internal Diversity and Inclusion Committee to help promote better understanding and relationships among those who work in the police department. The new committee is made up of a diverse group of both sworn and non-sworn members of the Albany Police Department.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan praised both the chief and the department for creating the committee:
As the City is simultaneously moving forward with the Policing Reform Collaborative, this Committee will bring a supplementary viewpoint and provide Chief Hawkins with feedback and recommendations that have a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion within APD.Kathy Sheehan
Mayor of Albany
Two meetings have already been held since the internal committee formed in July. They’re working to tailor a diversity and inclusion program specifically for the Albany Police Department.
Through committee meetings, Chief Hawkins said he “gained a greater appreciation for the diversity of the police department and the Albany community and decided to empower personnel to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are top priorities.”
“One of the Albany Police Department’s greatest strengths is its diversity. This newly formed committee will provide an opportunity for members of the department to embrace that diversity while shaping the future of this department and the community we serve. I want to thank our chief diversity officer for her willingness to facilitate, as well as the members of the police department who are sitting on this important committee.”Eric Hawkins
City of Albany Police Chief
At its head is the city of Albany’s Chief Diversity Officer, Angelica Kang, who said members of the committee are involved on a volunteer basis. “Confronting the realities of how we all can be doing better in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our daily lives and workplaces is challenging—but crucial—work,” she says. “We are having important conversations and I am looking forward to seeing the recommendations, ideas, and initiatives that result from our monthly meetings.”
The committee will serve as an internal advisory committee that provides feedback and recommendations to the chief. Once a diversity statement and set of goals for the police department are developed, new guidelines will impact recruitment, retention, promotion, training, and officer development.
There has been an increased push for police reform and a new focus on diversity and inclusion in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Governor Cuomo issued both an executive order and signed three bills in June, forcing local governments to take action.
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