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Posted on: April 28, 2021

Mayor Sheehan Announces Update to the City Of Albany Policing Reform And Reinvention Plan

Contact: David Galin 

“Albany’s incredibly diverse and hardworking Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative helped us create the most comprehensive, detailed, and actionable plan put forward by any city in the State of New York, and we are executing on Plan recommendations as promised.” -Kathy Sheehan, Mayor

Release of RFP to rewrite APD General Orders

ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan has announced a partnership with What Works Cities and Everytown for Gun Safety to explore the creation of an Alternative Dispatch Program. The City has also issued a request for proposals to rewrite the Albany Police Department’s General Orders – both recommendations included in the City of Albany’s Policing Reform and Reinvention Plan.

Alternative Dispatch Program:

The City of Albany has partnered with What Works Cities, a national initiative that helps cities confront urgent challenges through data- and evidence-based decision-making, and Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, to explore alternative dispatch programs designed to improve emergency response, prevent police violence, and strengthen public safety and health. Albany is one of 14 cities selected to participate.

Alternative dispatch programs operate by having civilians—such as mental health and social service professionals—respond to select calls for service in cases where they can better address the issue with their specialized training than traditional enforcement or armed officers can alone.

Local government and community leaders from the City of Albany are taking part in a policy “sprint” developed in partnership with the longest running alternative dispatch program in the country, the CAHOOTS program of the White Bird Clinic in Eugene.

Request for Proposals to Re-Write Albany Police Department General Orders:

Mayor Kathy Sheehan also announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to rewrite the General Orders of the Albany Police Department pursuant to the recommendations set forth by the City of Albany Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Policies, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and General Orders Working Group.  

The Working Group was comprised of Co-Chairs Dannielle Hille and Rev. Michael Aaron Poindexter and working group members Albany Chief City Auditor Dr. Dorcey Applyrs, William T. Little, Esq., Lillian Moy, Esq., and Albany Community Policing Review Board Chair Nairobi Vives, Esq.

The vision of this Working Group was to provide recommendations, that when implemented:

  1. Eliminate racial disparities in outcomes resulting from police/civilian interactions.
  2. Transform police culture from the warrior mentality to a guardian mentality.
  3. Ensure there is a mechanism for community access to APD General Orders; and
  4. Ensure that APD General Orders are clear, concise, and timely.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “Albany’s incredibly diverse and hardworking Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative helped us create the most comprehensive, detailed, and actionable plan put forward by any city in the State of New York, and we are executing on Plan recommendations as promised. Joining this national partnership to explore deploying a new dispatch model in the City of Albany – something that Albany’s Policing Collaborative highlighted as a top priority – and re-writing APD’s general orders are critical steps forward in delivering policing reform in the City of Albany. This is serious work that has the potential to save lives which is why we are moving quickly to undertake these initiatives alongside Collaborative members, community leaders, and the Albany Common Council.”

The Albany Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Plan was drafted by 32 community volunteers. Over the course of six months, the Collaborative and its working groups held 63 meetings, conducted research into best practices and innovations across the country, and offered multiple options for public input resulting in hundreds of public comments to create this 100-plus page document.

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