The heightened awareness of our society’s needs to the wake of violence against African Americans has induced the City of Plattsburgh to refine its Use of Force policy.

The last time the policy was revised was in 2007, based on circumstances, realities, and norms of a century now long gone. Society has evolved significantly since then, and demands that our police reflect these expectations. 

The Mayor and the Police Chief began working on new policies when it witnessed the most recent tragedy in Minneapolis. Best practices from across the country were reviewed, as well as the “8 Can’t Wait” recommendations.

Many of these places reviewed had a pattern of violence, and some were under Federal orders to change their practices. While the City of Plattsburgh has not shared the problems those cities suffered, it can still benefit from their solutions. 

The new policy released yesterday is state-of-the-art. It does not permit chokeholds, and it requires deescalation. The City’s Police Academy curriculum is being modified and the city shall take the lead in recurring training of not only its officers but also officers from across the region who wish to participate.

Mayor Read commented “I am incredibly pleased by the willingness of our department to create a policy that makes our community proud. I know that this policy would not have impinged on the actions of our officers in the recent past, but it is reassuring to the public that the dangerous and inappropriate practices we see elsewhere are banned here.”

Chief Ritter added, “We strive to hold ourselves to a higher standard and exceed the expectations of the community we serve. Bringing our Use of Force policy up to a nationally accredited standard honors that.”