Local Organization Responds to Utica’s Police Reform Plan

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UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — Different groups from Utica have come together to figure out how can we come up with a police reform that will break down systemic barriers? Last night the Black Leadership Coalition held a ZOOM meeting with residents and Utica’s Police Reform Advisory Committee for an open discussion about the plan.

“That’s the mission of the Black Leadership Coalition in terms of the police reform is to try to make a decent reform report better.” – Jawwaad Rasheed Black Leadership Coalition

The BLC supports many strategies like rotating officers to different areas of the city and increasing access to mental health services. However, there are some topics they say need work.

“Instead of there being 4-7 people on the public safety board being governmental appointees and you know giving some of those spots to black and brown non-profit organizations.” – Oneka Roach-Campbell Member, Black Leadership Coalition

“I am not against surveillance of certain types but this is not the time nor place for it. Again we’re victimizing the community.” – Jawwaad Rasheed Black Leadership Coalition

One member says the biggest flaw is the lack of detail in each solution. “None of the proposals put forward gives who, what, where, most importantly, how these things are going to be initiated.” – Rev. Sharon Baugh Black Leadership Coalition

The BLC commends Utica’s Police Department, the mayor and everyone in the reform committee for working towards change. The next public meeting will be hosted by MVCC at 7 p.m. on March 1st.

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