Plattsburgh re-shapes police reform panel into smaller committee to enact changes

Local News

Plattsburgh is beginning to put theory into practice where its police reform plan is concerned. During the Common Council’s first in-person meeting at City Hall in nearly six months, it approved a course of action for the reform plan without engaging in any discussion of it.

In February, the Plattsburgh Public Safety Citizens Review Panel presented its final report on ways to address the Lake City’s biggest crime-related problems. The first of the panel’s 20 recommendations was to keep meeting once its police reform plan was adopted.

The Common Council adopted the plan in late March. Last week, it voted to re-shape the review panel into a public safety plan oversight committee.

The new committee draws its five members from among the 12 members the review panel had.
Bonnie Black, Wil Brewer, Hilary Rogers, Amanda Allen and Jamie Douthat have been appointed to one-year terms.

They’ll be busy working on how to implement the reform plan they themselves helped develop.
It recommends the use of body cameras and more robust training in areas like use of force and implicit bias, as well as creating a mental health crisis intervention team.

There’s no indication yet of when, or how often, the oversight committee will meet. However, the old review panel met approximately every other Monday from late last June until mid-December.

This work will begin as the Lake City continues searching for a new top cop. Chief Levi Ritter resigned last week after having been away from the job on administrative leave since December.
Plattsburgh P.D. Capt. Brad Kiroy continues to serve as interim chief.

The department’s investigation of a school crossing guard is also still in progress following allegations earlier this week of that unnamed guard hitting a student. Mayor Chris Rosenquest expects the probe to be complete early next week. The crossing guard is away on leave.

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