CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–Recent incidents of police violence prompted Governor Cuomo to order a review of police policies statewide.
one local sheriff considers the order an insult to police.
“It’s absolutely insulting to those who are working hard.”
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone takes offense with an Executive Order put out by Governor Cuomo on June 12 that all municipalities must perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployment strategies and procedures, to promote community engagement, foster trust, and address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.
It goes on to say that if a municipality doesn’t certify a reviewed policy with public input by next April, it could lose state and federal funding.
“We go through those policies on a regular basis. So to further tie it into funding for the entire county in any of the services is I think being a bit of a bully,” Quattrone said.
He notes that usually mandates from Albany go through a legislative process and the State Legislature was in session the week the governor handed down his Executive Order.
“I don’t believe that the authority that the governor has had during COVID should be extended to the criminal justice reforms,” Quattrone added.
While much of Chautauqua County is considered rural, it includes cities like Dunkirk and Jamestown where there’s a higher percentage of minorities and where the mayors see this Executive Order differently from the sheriff.
The Mayor of Dunkirk, Wilfred Sosas says, “my experience as a retired state trooper, I can say to you in my opinion if the governor does not put out this mandate you’ll probably see no changes. So, there’s a reason why he had to mandate this reform.”
“You know I actually agree with the governor’s idea that we should be looking at what our police departments are doing across the state. Here in the City of Jamestown, we’ve done just that and we’ve find that pretty consistently. I think it’s especially important with the national sentiment going on over race relations that we evaluate whether our policies are the most appropriate to police a community,” Mayor Eddie Sundquist said.