(WIVB) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order mandating that police agencies in New York State sit down with their communities to create and adopt reform plans by April 1 to be eligible for state funding.
The reform plans will differ by community, because “there is no one size fits all,” Cuomo said during a Saturday press conference.
If communities are happy with their police force, they can simply pass legislation not to make changes, he clarified.
Cuomo said police reform is necessary.
“No police department can function if it doesn’t have the trust and respect of the community,” he said.
Cuomo said that state troopers will be also going through a reform process.
The governor also announced during Saturday’s briefing that the state’s number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is the lowest its been since March 20.
“We’ve done it, we’ve tamed the beast,” Cuomo said. “We’re now 180 degrees on the other side.”
The state’s rate of infection at the start of the pandemic was the highest in the nation. It’s now the lowest rate in the nation.
“The people of this state, by their actions, have saved thousands of lives,” Cuomo said.
He reminded New Yorkers to stay smart, keep an eye on what’s happening in other regions of the country, and to properly wear a mask, especially while protesting.
Cuomo added that the Western New York region is expected to enter Phase 3 of reopening on Tuesday, which includes indoor dining, nail salons, and tattoo shops.