Hearing on Port City’s police reform plan Monday

A police vehicle is seen in front of Oswego City Hall.

OSWEGO — The Port City’s state-mandated Re-imaging Policing plan is expected to be approved by the Oswego Common Council following a final public hearing tonight.

The city’s plan details a number of measures aimed at modernizing the Oswego Police Department (OPD), improving departmental training and data collection, engaging more with the community and addressing a number of issues, including mental health situations and complaints. The more than 20-page document, which is available on the city’s website, was spurred by an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo last summer after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and resulting protests throughout the country.

City officials held a forum to unveil the plan in December, and public comment has been open over the past two months. Monday’s hearing will likely be the final opportunity to comment on the plan before it is put into action.

Highlights of the plan include the incorporation of mental health counselors to co-respond to mental health and crisis invention calls, make annual anti-bias and de-escalation training mandatory, mandate a minimum number of hours for foot and bike patrols and partnering with local support agencies to better serve certain populations.

The city’s plan also calls for increased educational and situational awareness training, regularly assessing the department and individual officers via quality assurance surveys and creating a consistent policy and channel to deal with citizen or internal complaints. The city also plans to make all OPD policies and procedures, including training, available on the city website, and improve data collection.

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