GOSHEN – Members of the Orange County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Advisory Panel held their second session as mandated under the Governor’s Executive Order 203, which dictates that all law enforcement agencies in the state must convene regularly with a panel made up of residents from that municipality’s police department and selected members of its community.
The executive order was introduced as a response to growing distrust of police conduct and instances of police brutality, directly following the murder of George Floyd and other black individuals that were killed by police under unscrupulous circumstances.
During the meeting held virtually Thursday evening, the focus was centered on the progress and practices of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Topics included crisis intervention training, mandatory department accreditation, deputy security at schools and sensitivity training.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is one of very few departments in the nation to have a Triple Crown Accreditation, Commission of Accredited Law Enforcement Agencies accreditation for the last five years and having their first department accreditation in 2004, which they have maintained since.
Sheriff Carl Dubois said since their department already has the training and accreditations necessary to meet the requirements of 203, these public forums can now be better utilized for gaining public feedback and providing transparency, as well as education for the county they serve.
“Hopefully, through what we’re doing now, that’ll come out and they’ll have a bigger appreciation for the sheriff’s office and that the sheriff’s office, or let’s say police in general, will have appreciation of how they operate within their own demographic- what their issues are and for us to better understand their issues,” said Dubois.
The sheriff added that these public forums are just as beneficial to police as they are to the people they serve by promoting evolution of policing.
“As you go through generations, as you go through years and years and years, things change. People change. Demographics change,” said Dubois. “I think that what the purpose behind it is to keep the sheriff’s office, or the keep law enforcement, I don’t want to say it’s just the sheriff’s office – it’s every police department in New York State. It’s just up with all the trends and understands where the public is coming from and is in tune to those understandings and is sensitive to that,” he said.
Orange County’s Sheriff Office must draft an action plan for reforms in their policing, just as every other police department in the state must, by April of 2021 as expressed by 203.
The final public input session for the county’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Advisory Panel will be held in two weeks. The exact date is expected to be announced within the week.