Town of DeWitt Police Reform and Reinvention Plan DeWitt Police Reform and Reinvention Plan

DEWITT, N.Y. (NCC News) – The town of DeWitt released its final draft of its police reform and reinvention plan. The plan is a response to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203, which was signed into effect in July of 2020.

DeWitt’s police reform policy was a collaborative effort made by the DeWitt police department, the town’s common council and local residents. Last night, the public was welcomed to comment and make suggestions during the town board meeting.

Chief of police, Chase Bilodeau, and town supervisor, Edward Michalenko, led the forum and reviewed some of plan’s notable changes. The reform includes a number of tasks, but not limited to the following:

A number of critical police policies; the purchasing and implementation of body worn cameras for the DeWitt Police patrol division; a resolution requiring the Chief of Police to report to the police commission the finding of all internal affairs investigations; amendments to the employee identification policy; continued and enhanced implicit bias training for all members of the department.” 

You can review the plan in its entirety on the DeWitt police department’s website. 

Bilodeau said this is a living document and the department will  be open for suggestions and commentary.

“Be part of solution,” Bilodeau said. “Be active and engaged in your community, so that we can continue this process. I believe in continuum improvement of an organization. So, I thank people who have participated in this and all the other meetings leading up to this and I ask them to continue their participation.”

The public’s main concern with the new plan is its failure to address the specifics on how they plan to handle threatening mental health calls.

Last Thursday evening, 17-year-old Judson Albahm of Jamesvilles was shot and killed by local police. Police said Albahm was pointing at what appeared to be a handgun at the police. Police confirmed the weapon was actually an air-soft gun.

Albahm has a history of mental health issues. This incident brought the topic of police protocol with mental health calls to the forefront. The town supervisor and the police chief said they will be working to improve this concern in the police reform before its final submission on Apr. 1.

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