Arrest sparks police reform in Schenectady

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In the wake of a controversial arrest in the city, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, Public Safety Commissioner Michael Eidens, and Police Chief Eric Clifford announced immediate changes to at the Schenectady Police Department on Wednesday afternoon.

“These reforms are just the beginning and as community conversations continue, additional reforms and changes will be made and immediately communicated to the public.”

Gary McCarthy
Mayor of Schenectady

Changes were announced during a Wednesday meeting with members of the NAACP, City Council, and Civilian Police Review Board. The following reforms are effective immediately:

  • Schenectady police cannot use of a knee to a person’s head or neck
  • The Use of Force continuum, including at least six levels of steps and clear rules on escalation, will be incorporated into de-escalation training
  • Warrantless arrests will be approved by patrol supervisors on scene to ensure compliance with policy and local, state, and federal laws
  • The department will try to decertify officers who use deadly physical force unwarranted by federal guidelines
  • The department will explore additional changes with the Civilian Police Review Board to build public confidence

“We are committed to building trust and serving our community… We are committed to listening, trying to understand, and being fair, impartial, and transparent in everything that we do.”

Eric Clifford
Schenectady Police Chief

Mayor McCarthy addressed the changes in a twitter thread on Thursday:

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