Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh appointed an eight-person oversight committee to ensure public transparency and accountability in implementation of the Syracuse Police Reform and Reinvention Plan. The plan, in response to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203, was approved by the Syracuse Common Council and submitted to the State in late March.
The Syracuse Police Reform and Reinvention Plan Oversight Committee, which conducted its first meeting May 24, is comprised of: Syracuse Common Council Public Safety Chair Chol Majok; Citizen Review Board Administrator Ranette Releford; Mayoral appointee David Chaplin; Common Council appointee Barrie Gewanter; Syracuse Corporation Counsel Kristen Smith, Syracuse Police Sergeant Mark Rusin; and Syracuse Neighborhood and Business Development Planner Cimone Jordan. Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens chairs the committee.
“The duty of enhancing police accountability and improving police-community relations is never done. The true value of this plan will be in achieving its objectives and commitments,” said Mayor Walsh. “That will require constant effort by the City in coordination with community stakeholders. I thank each of the members of the committee for sharing their time and expertise with the City.”
The committee’s responsibilities include: reviewing progress on tasks identified in the plan; make recommendation to address identified deficiencies in task completion; and ensuring transparency. The 79-page Syracuse Police Reform and Reinvention Plan includes programs and initiatives in Transparency and Accountability; Community Engagement; Policies and Procedures; Training and Wellness; Diversity in Hiring and Advancement; and Alternatives to Policing.
The plan also builds upon prior public engagement on policing in the City of Syracuse; Mayor Walsh’s 16-Action Executive Order on Syracuse Police Reform last June; actions taken by the Syracuse Common Council on police transparency; as well as the City’s response to demands by community stakeholders last summer.