Cohoes announces Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Committee

Albany County

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler on Wednesday announced the formation of the city’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Committee. The committee is mandated through an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo requiring municipalities to adopt plans for reforms by April 1.

“This commission will undertake a comprehensive overview of our current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the specific needs of the people of Cohoes,” Keeler said in a statement.

The 14-member panel will review police department strategies, rules, and procedures, meeting publicly until March with an eye toward modifying and modernizing existing guidelines. Their first meeting is October 27 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The public is welcome at meetings, but must maintain pandemic measures like social distancing and masks.

The panelists include:

  • Brenda Baddam, Attorney
  • Adam Biggs, City Councilmember, Chair of Public Safety Committee
  • Francisco Calderon, Attorney
  • Venessa Colon, Specialist, NYS Office of Diversity and Inclusion Management
  • Bill Keeler, Mayor
  • Colleen Mayo, Tenant Commissioner, Cohoes Housing Authority
  • Katherine Oliver, Executive Director, Cohoes Housing Authority
  • Joseph Sorel, Executive Board Member, Cohoes Police Officers Union
  • Laura Tarlo, Cohoes High School Principal
  • Todd Waldin, Chief of Police
  • Benjamin Williams, Executive Director, Connect Center for Youth
  • Kizzy Williams, Business Owner, Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen
  • Robbin Williams, Albany County Sheriff’s Office/Corrections (Retired)
  • Kaitlyn Wood, Pastor, United Church of Cohoes

The committee is set to explore use of force policies, de-escalation training, procedural justice, and racial justice in policing. According to Police Chief Waldin, “I look forward to engaging and partnering with the panel to continue to advance our police department’s objective of positive interaction with the community at every possible opportunity.

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