Town of Warwick, New York EO 203 – Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative Plan

On June 12, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued EO 203 (see appendix) as a direct result of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota.  EO 203 mandated that “Each local government entity which has a police agency operating with police officers under 1.20 of the criminal procedure law must perform a comprehensive review of the current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures and practices, and develop a plan to improve such deployments, strategies, policies procedures and practices, for the purpose of addressing the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness and legitimacy , and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color”.

EO 203 goes on to state that “Each chief Executive of such government shall convene the head of the local police agency, and stakeholders in the community to develop a plan.  In the Town of Warwick that chief executive is the supervisor. In October, ten citizens from our community were invited to serve on a panel to review the WPD’s policies and to discuss the issues raised in the EO as they pertain to the Warwick police department. These citizens represented a wide range of stakeholders from our community, and they were joined by the supervisor, mayor, chief of police, Village trustee liaison to the WPD and a representative from the DA’s office as required by EO 203. (see appendix).  An organizational meeting was held on October 15th where panel members were asked what particularly they wanted to be sure were discussed in the upcoming panel public meetings. (see appendix for list of topics from that meeting).

The panel recognizes and acknowledges that Black Lives Matter.  With a history in NYS of incidents that resulted in the death of unarmed civilians including the those of Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo, Ousmane Zango, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, Patrick Dorismond, Akai Gurley and Eric Garner, it clearly is imperative to ensure our community that the men and women of the Warwick Police Department are well trained and perform their duties in a manner that treats everyone fairly and with respect as human beings. It is with this spirit that panel sessions were held.