Sheriff's police reform draft plan released for public comment

The Chronicle Express

PENN YAN – Yates County Legislature Chairman Douglas Paddock and Sheriff Ron Spike have released a 54-page draft of the “Yates County Law Enforcement Collaborative Report and Plan,” for public comment before it is finalized in March.

As a part of the state’s criminal justice reform, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in June 2020, directing municipalities to review their community needs and evaluate law enforcement’s current policies and practices, to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy to address bias; and to examine any disproportionate policing of communities of color, as well as the use of force and officers' conduct. The order further requires the review and evaluation of policies and police services currently being provided in the county by the Sheriff’s Office. 

The Yates County Legislature must certify the reform compliance and plan on or before April 1 or risk losing state aid from the N.Y.S. Division of Budget.

Spike and Paddock created Power Point slides and presented them to the County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) Jan. 14, and to  the legislators, stakeholders, and the public Jan. 19 and 27. Questions and suggestions from the participants were entertained, and surveys were provided to municipalities, the public, to law enforcement, and jail inmates.

“Our goal is to seek public comments on the draft plan for evaluation and presentation to the CJCC for that bodies review, and to finalize it for a presentation to the County Legislature,” said Spike, “Our agency N.Y.S. Accreditation positioned us well in addressing the required components of a plan.” 

Paddock said, “We have followed the guidance from the governor’s office in formulating this draft plan, and intend on the Legislature to discuss and ratify, or adopt a final plan for a certification resolution sent to the N.Y. State Division of Budget at a later March date.”

The “Yates County Law Enforcement Collaborative Draft Report and Plan,” is available on the county web site at www.yatescounty.org, on the Sheriff's web site at www.yatescountysheriff.org, or on the Sheriff's App. You may also email Legislature Clerk Connie Hayes at chayes@yatescounty.org, or telephone at 315-536-5150, or mail at 417 Liberty St., Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527 by March 11.