Hempstead Village Commission Focusing on Police Reform


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The village of Hempstead has formed a committee aimed at improving the relationship between police officers and the communities in which they serve, village officials said Thursday.

The Hempstead Police Reinventing and Reinventing Committee, consisting of village board members and police, as well as local leaders and clergy, will hold its first public meeting next week to gather opinions and inform attendees on police procedures. I will let you know.

“The Commission will consider current police deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices to improve in these areas,” said Mayor Don Ryan. “We look forward to being at the forefront of regional police in areas of high interaction. Given the tensions of the country, we work with this highly skilled group of people to live, work and play in our village. It’s the perfect place for. “

Retired law enforcement agencies, members of the NAACP Hempstead branch, Terrace Avenue Citizens’ Association, and public defenders will also be part of the committee.

The commission will be established in response to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order in June, with 500 police stations across the state adopting a police reform plan or losing state funding by April 2021. I’m at risk.

State officials said 146 jurisdictions, including some of Long Island, have begun enacting the reforms required by Cuomo’s orders. The requirements include that the police station take in the views of the community, recommend changes in how it operates, and submit it to the state budget director.

Cuomo’s actions followed widespread protests in New York and across the country after a black man, George Floyd, died in detention in Minneapolis police.

“These are moments of positive change. They are difficult,” Cuomo said in August. “They are destructive, but without destruction there is no change. Destruction is the price of change and progress, and this is the moment of destruction.”

According to Ryan, Hempstead Village is the only police station on Long Island to serve more than 80% of blacks and Latinos. Village Police Chief Paul Johnson is one of the few black chiefs in the state.

The village board recently reformed its code to clarify when police and other village employees are subject to civil liability related to conduct within their duties.

Separately, police pointed to the October 10 incident, indicating that police officers were already using detention when answering the phone.

According to Johnson, two police officers heard gunshots on West Columbia Street at 2:20 am, and members of a rival gang were chasing another man in a machete. A gunman fired two bullets at the man before the village policeman pulled his weapon and ordered him to stop.

Instead, the shooters fired at the police, but police officers bent over and did not fire, according to Johnson. They later arrested the shooter and recovered the weapons.

Johnson said he was looking forward to discussing police station concerns with local leaders and sharing police procedures.

“Ideally, we would reach a common ground in the way we do police,” Johnson said. “I think we need to get a better understanding of how we operate and police procedures. It’s an opportunity to tell us what we’re doing wrong and discuss how to improve them.”


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