Peekskill hosts 1st police reform meeting as required by Gov. Cuomo's executive order
The City of Peekskill hosted its first police reform meeting to discuss changes to the department.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order calling on local police departments to host meetings and submit a plan to adopt by April 1. The plans should include modifications to a police department's policies and procedures.
Peekskill Police Chief Don Halmy weighed in on what is required during the meetings and for the plans.
"What do they think we're missing in this department? What are the things that we can apply? Put that together as a working group to come up with, first of all the concepts, and then next we have to come up with applying," says Halmy.
The city created a reform task force to oversee the process. A prominent member of the task force is Jeffrey Deskovic, who more than 30 years ago was locked up for 16 years after the Peeskill Police Department charged him with a rape and murder he didn't commit.
"It does feel like it's for a full circle, you know I do feel humble that they would accept my application and I do feel optimistic in terms of prospects of change for the future," says Deskovic.
Only a handful of residents spoke at Thursday's meeting. Their primary areas of concern ranged from police interactions with homeless people, those with mental health issues and those who practice a different religion.
Other topics included use of force and the process of reprimanding or firing bad police officers.
Councilwoman Vanessa Agudelo says the police department will soon be renewing its contract agreement with the police union, which could protect concerning officers.
There will be a meeting every Thursday for the foreseeable future.