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Four Bold Ideas to Mend Police-Community Relations

Posted on February 11, 2015 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

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Braving frigid temperatures, over 150 youth, community leaders, members of the public and NYPD law enforcement officers, banded together last week to discuss the dicey subject of community-police relations. Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York held the event at the Catholic Charities Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center in Upper Manhattan. 

There to speak, listen and learn were:

  • NYPD brass:  Chief James O’Neil and Deputy Chief Kathleen O’Reilly
  • Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine
  • Plus more than 20 students from Catholic Charities various programs including:

      o     Alianza Dominicana Division’s Dyckman Cornerstone

      o     Highbridge Cornerstone

      o     La Plaza Beacon School, MOSAIC Beacon School

      o     Brandeis HS Complex: Innovation Diploma Plus LTW (Learning to Work) programs George Washington HS for Media & Communications

      o     George Washington HS for Science & Technology

      o     ISY TTA Harlem (Kennedy Center)

Their goal was to develop input and policy suggestions from participants of all backgrounds and walks of life.  To do so, they participated in moderated small-group discussions on policing, civil rights, and community safety. Moderators guided groups at twelve tables to identify specific problems and opportunities, generate practical policy recommendations and formulating at least one bold, transformative idea per group. Here is the Top-Four Sampling of  Bold Ideas:

  1. Monthly police and youth events at the local Beacon Schools, Cornerstone programs, SONYC and COMPASS after-school programs
  2. Police precincts hosting some of their monthly meetings at community center, partnering CBO’s space or locations
  3. Making NYC residency a requirement for NYPD officers
  4. Assign more beat cops instead of patrol cars

The Borough President Gale A. Brewer in conjunction with Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel will compile and report the recommendations later this year after convening several more forums throughout the borough of Manhattan. Check out our photos of the event on FaceBook.