Schenectady mayor signs police reform executive order

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy signed an executive order Wednesday mandating police reform in the city.

The order includes:

  • Banning the use of knee-to-neck holds and banning the use of chokeholds consistent with state legislation;
  • Reaffirming the duty of an officer to intercede and report use of force and unauthorized use of force; and
  • Reaffirming mandated training requirements for de-escalation, implicit bias, and system racism.

In a statement, McCarthy said:

“This order is to reaffirm to our residents our commitment to justice and equity in the City of Schenectady. After years of litigation we affirmed the right to use the commissioner form of police discipline which has been extraordinarily successful here in Schenectady and has created a model for other communities to follow.

Thanks to the progressive leadership of our Police Chief Eric Clifford, Use of Force data is collected and analyzed daily to review for officer frequency and other trends such as sex, race, mental health, and type of force. Additionally, our independent Civilian Police Review Board reviews all citizen initiated complaints free from bias and informed by actual police policies.”


The mayor of the city of Albany signed a similar executive order on Monday. It was met with rebuke by the President of the Albany Police Officers Union, who sent a scathing letter on Wednesday excoriating the new requirements.

In the letter, Gregory McGee said Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s order insults every police officer in the country, taking offense at the “inflammatory” claim that officers nationwide are engaging in excessive force.


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