New group will examine police reform

BATAVIA — A 18-person stakeholder group including attorneys, residents, business officials and community organization representatives has been formed to review city police policies and procedures.

The panel has been formed in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s June 12 executive order calling for statewide police reform. It’s known formally as the Police Collaboration Advisory Stakeholder Group.

Once its review is complete, the group will help the City of Batavia Police Department develop a plan to adopt and implement the recommendations.

The plan will be developed over the fall and winter, and must be adopted by the City of Batavia by April 1. The first meeting will be 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at Batavia City Centre.

Former county manager Jay Gsell and Erik Fix will serve as moderators.

“The advisory group will open dialogue and add value to the relationships between City government employees, the police department and community residents,” said Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski in a news release. “As we move forward, the stakeholder meetings will be open for the public to attend, while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.”

“We look forward to positive dialogue that will bring this community closer together and foster positive relationships between those we serve and the stakeholders in our community,” said Chief Shawn Heubusch of the City of Batavia Police Department.

Besides Tabelski and Heubusch, the stakeholder group includes: Genesee County Public Defender Jerry Ader; business leader Brandon Armstrong; City Council member Kathy Briggs; Assistant Police Chief Chris Camp; resident Raelene Christian; First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell; resident Bill Hayes; Pastor Marty McDonald; residents Francis

Marchese and Gregory

Munroe II; Superintendent Anibal Soler of Batavia City Schools; community group representative Victor

Thomas; Millie Tomidy-Pepper of the YWCA; City Attorney George VanNest; Nate

Varland of the City Housing Authority; and President Matt

Wojtaszczyk of the Batavia Police Benevolent Association.

Other experts invited to advise and participate. The represent: the Genesee County Department of Social Services; New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; Genesee County Mental Health Services; Lake Plains Community Care; RESTORE Sexual Assault Services; the City of Batavia Youth Center; and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1