JAMESTOWN – The process of creating a plan to reform the Jamestown Police Department’s operation took several months of meetings and other forms of communication between officials and community stakeholders.
Stakeholders, however, are not done with their work despite the Jamestown City Council’s intentions to vote on the final plan next Monday a few days prior to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s April 1 deadline for communities to submit their reform plans.
Councilman At-Large Jeff Russell, a retired JPD officer, addressed the Council as part of the Public Safety Committee’s presentation Monday evening on the JPD reform plan. Russell says the plan is only the beginning for change within the police department.
“The City of Jamestown, Jamestown Police Department and the City Council all realize that it is imperative to update the public on the progress of reform and change in the police department,” Russell said. “This will be done on at least a quarterly basis going forward. This isn’t going to stop after this document. We’re going to continue to meet and have conversations on these topics.
Councilwoman Tamu Graham-Reinhardt also addressed the Council. She says that the plan that the Committee hopes to present to Albany is just a snapshot of the goals and initiatives from stakeholders.
“This is just a macro-level view,” Graham-Reinhardt said.
One of the goals listed in the plan is to increase the recruitment of qualified local, minority and women candidates for the Jamestown Police Department.
“Recruitment of officers is a key function of the JPD, and ensuring that a pipeline of qualified local, minority, and women candidates must become a priority in that recruitment,” the plan states. “As Jamestown becomes more diverse, the JPD must continue to reflect the community it serves, and try to draw upon the community of Jamestown and surrounding communities to attract more officers from those who grew up and know
One of the objectives of the minority recruitment involves the development of scholarship/tuition assistance to attend the police academy.
The full draft of the plan can be found on the city’s website. The Council is expected to vote on the plan during its March Voting Session next Monday evening.