Town of Guilderland forms committee for police reform

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Guilderland has formed a committee tasked with “reforming” and “reinventing” the town’s police force. The 14-member group was put together in response to Governor Cuomo’s June executive order which requires the Town to outline how they plan to address racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.

Failure to comply with the order could see local governments losing access to state and federal funding.

In a statement, Guilderland’s Chief of Police said he was looking forward to working with the committee’s members.

“I look forward to working with the members of our committee as we improve police community relationships, promote accountability and transparency, and reduce racial disparity as identified in policing.

We will perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies and policies, and develop a plan to move forward in a positive manner.”

Chief Daniel McNally
Guilderland Police

The committee, which was formed after discussions with Town Board members, community and religious leaders, consists of:

  • Peter G. Barber, Town Supervisor
  • William Betjemann, NYS Division of Criminal Justice (retired)
  • Professor Jaya Conners, Director of Family Violence Litigation Clinic at Albany Law School
  • Willie Dean, Minority Business Owner
  • Robert Fleury, Assistant Attorney General (retired)
  • Matthew Hanzlik, Police Union Representative & Drug Abuse Resistance Education Officer
  • Daniel McNally, Chief of Police
  • Christine Rodriquez, Director of Domestic Violence Services at Equinox, Inc.
  • David Rossi, Assistant District Attorney
  • Salvatore Russo, Assistant Public Defender
  • Gustavos Santos, Minority Business Specialist, NYS Dept. of Transportation
  • Harjup Singh, Town Paramedic
  • Patricia Slavick, Town Board Member
  • Rev. Matthew van Maastricht, Pastor, Altamont Reformed Church

Commenting on the committee’s formation, Guilderland town supervisor Peter Barber said:

“I greatly appreciate the willingness of persons to devote time and effort in this important mission which is the first step in the Town’s planned concerted effort to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent people of color from enjoying the benefits of living in our community.

We were unfortunately unable to appoint all qualified persons to this committee, and hope that they will participate in the committee’s public forums.”

Peter G. Barber
Guilderland Town Supervisor

The committee plans to meet in the first week of September, and there will be opportunity for community feedback and involvement as it proceeds with its task.

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