OPD to hold public reform forum tonight

OSWEGO — Port City law enforcement leaders will hold a public forum tonight to discuss how to improve police and community interaction.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow and Police Chief Phil Cady will take to the virtual airwaves at 6:30 p.m. for the Police Reform Public Forum, which Barlow said is designed to “improve the Oswego Police Department (OPD) by bringing our officers closer to our community to build relationship and improve communication.”

The forum will be livestreamed on Barlow’s Facebook page, and the city of Oswego’s official YouTube channel. Anyone interested is urged to visit www.oswegony.com for links and more information.

The forum is part of a statewide “police reform and reinvention collaborative” established this summer by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Executive Order No. 203 mandates local law enforcement agencies undertake “comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and develop a plan to improve such deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the particular needs of the communities.”

Cuomo cited a “long and painful history in New York state of discrimination and mistreatment of Black and African-American citizens” and recent history includes incidents involving police resulting in the deaths of unarmed civilians, predominantly Black and African-American men, undermining the public’s confidence and trust in our system of law enforcement and criminal justice.”

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