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Dutchess County’s Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative Workgroups Hold First Meetings

Published: 7/30/2020

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director 

(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie, NY…   As part of Dutchess County’s Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative,  established to create a unified, countywide law enforcement plan with reforms to eliminate racial inequities and address community needs, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has announced the formation a Community Stakeholder Workgroup and a Municipal Leaders & Police Chiefs Workgroup to guide the process. The County Executive convened each of the workgroups on Tuesday to lay out expectations, set goals, and begin policy discussions.

Following Governor Cuomo’s and President Trump’s executive orders for local police review and enhanced training and policy, Dutchess County moved to create a collaborative approach to work directly with all entities involved. The goal of the Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative is to develop a new law enforcement plan that will include reforms, policies and procedures necessary “to eliminate racial inequities in policing, to modify and modernize policing strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and to develop practices to better address the particular needs of communities of color to promote public safety, improve community engagement, and foster trust,” as enumerated in the Governor’s Executive Order No. 203, signed on June 12th. Such agreed-upon reforms will be put in place in every participating law enforcement agency.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Every day, our goal should be to ensure that every single person, regardless of race, color, or creed, is afforded equal opportunity and protection under the law. And, while the Governor and the President may have mandated that we do this, we are committed to enacting the real and lasting change the public expects of us. The creation of these workgroups, the hearings we will hold, and the policy we will enact, will not be done just to ‘check a box.’ The changes this Collaborative makes will go a long way to improving the relationship between the public, and the police officers who are committed to keeping us all safe.”

County Executive Molinaro has appointed Emergency Response Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Response Ken Roman, who has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience with the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, to lead the Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative.  

Deputy Commissioner Roman said, “Our objective is to guide this group to work more effectively and efficiently toward the shared goal of creating a fairer and safer future for all. I think we’re going to be a model for the state of New York.   I look forward to the work we will do, and all that we’ll accomplish over the next few months.”

The Municipal Leaders & Police Chiefs Workgroup includes the police chiefs and members from every law enforcement agency in Dutchess County, as well as every mayor and supervisor from local municipalities and the District Attorney and Public Defender. The Community Stakeholder group includes community activists, interested non-profit and faith-based organizations, local college leadership, and county and elected officials, including members of the County Legislature, District Attorney’s office, Public Defender, and members of the judiciary. 

Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson said, “The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement agencies in Dutchess County have been working diligently to update and improve existing policies and procedures for our Police Modernization Plan. We ALL strive to get better every day.  Our goal at the end of this process is to have improved, modernized police practices and to foster stronger relationships with our communities. Everyone involved in this process has one common goal, become better and stronger as a community.”

East Fishkill Supervisor Nick D’Alessandro said, “Working together, across both municipal and party lines, will ensure we emerge from this process with a fair, effective and strong policy. I’m excited to work with our police agencies and various community organizations on this project and I’m confident that we’ll be a stronger community because of it.”

Town of Hyde Park Supervisor and President of the Dutchess County Mayors & Supervisors Association, Aileen Rohr said, “Dutchess County municipalities are embracing the work of police reform to make our communities safe, equitable and fair for all. We are pleased to collaborate with our County Executive, all sectors of law enforcement, and our community stakeholders to forge a practical and comprehensive path to achieve the goals articulated set forth at the State level.

County Executive Molinaro continued, “Those individuals who make up the stakeholder group represent many different groups and organizations and offer a good cross section of our community. We want to hear from everyone, and part of the stakeholders’ responsibility will be to speak with others in the community to collect ideas and suggestions for what kinds of policies should be enacted.”

The Police Reform & Modernization Collaborative will next meet in two weeks to discuss and review the use of force policies currently in effect throughout police agencies in Dutchess County.

Governor Cuomo has given a deadline of April 1, 2021 for local governments to enact these police reforms, however, due to the immediacy of the issue, County Executive Molinaro has set the Collaborative the goal of finishing this process by November 1, 2020.


Community Stakeholder Workgroup Members

Shirley Adams, Retired Director, Catharine Street Community Center

Tom Angell, Dutchess County Public Defender

Legislator Barrington Atkins, Dutchess County Legislature

Andre Barnes, Acting Director of Safety, Dutchess Community College

Rev. Stacy Bottoms, Associate Minister, Beulah Baptist Church

Dr. Gary Christiansen, President, Justice Solutions, Inc.

John Gildard, Retired, City of Poughkeepsie Police Department

William Grady, Dutchess County District Attorney

Dan Hairston, SNUG Coordinator, Family Services Inc.

Darrel Honkala, Retired Detective, Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department

Mario Johnson, Former Dutchess County Legislator, Community Activist

Nick Joseph, Assistant to the Chairman, Dutchess County Legislature

Enrique Rob Lunski, CEO, GET-e360-ABClatino

Steve Miccio, CEO, People USA

Cindy Murphy, Assistant District Attorney, Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas Pape, Chief of Police, City of Poughkeepsie Police Department

Royal Parker, Civil Rights Activist

William Patterson, Case Manager, Nubian Directions

Pastor John Perez, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ

Gregg Pulver, Chairman, Dutchess County Legislature

Van Riley, Senior Assistant Director of Admission, Marist College

Karmen Smallwood, Assistant Commissioner, Youth Services, Dutchess County Dept. of Community & Family Services

Mary Ellen Still, Director, Dutchess County Department of Probation and Community Corrections; Chair, Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council

L’Quette Taylor, President and Founder, Community Matters 2 Inc

Hon. Denise Watson, Dutchess County Family Court, 9th Judicial District

Municipal Leaders & Police Chiefs Workgroup Members

Acting Chief William Cornett, City of Beacon Police

Chief Thomas Pape, City of Poughkeepsie Police

Chief Chris Bellino, Town of East Fishkill Police

Lieutenant Keith Dworkin, Officer in Charge, Town of Fishkill Police

Chief Robert Benson, Town of Hyde Park Police

Sergeant John Hughes, Town of Pine Plains Police

Chief Kevin Faber, Town of Poughkeepsie Police

Glenn Scofield, Commissioner, Village of Fishkill Police

Officer Jared Witt, Officer in Charge, Village of Millbrook Police

Officer Michael Veeder, Officer in Charge, Village of Millerton Police

Sergeant Patrick Hildenbrand, Officer in Charge, Village of Red Hook Police

Sergeant Peter Dunn, Officer in Charge, Village of Rhinebeck Police

Lieutenant Paul Capparelli, Officer in Charge, Village of Wappingers Falls Police

Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Under Sheriff Kirk Imperati, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Chief Deputy Jason Mark, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Colonel Gerard Lennon, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Captain John Watterson, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Major Michael Drake, New York State Police Troop K

Captain Katheryn Rohde, Zone 1, New York State Police Troop K

Captain Lawrence Muller, Zone 2, New York State Police Troop K

Captain Michael Cappuccilli, New York State Park Police

Kyle. M. Lehmkuhl, Chief Ranger, National Park Service

Mayor Lee Kyriacou, City of Beacon

Anthony Ruggiero, City Administrator, City of Beacon

Mayor Rob Rolison, City of Poughkeepsie

Marc Nelson, City Administrator, City of Poughkeepsie

Supervisor Nick D’Alessandro, Town of East Fishkill

Supervisor Ozzy Albra, Town of Fishkill

Supervisor Aileen Rohr, Town of Hyde Park

Supervisor Darrah Cloud, Town of Pine Plains

Supervisor Jay Baisley, Town of Poughkeepsie

Mayor Jim Miccio, Village of Fishkill

Timothy Collopy, Acting Mayor, Village of Millbrook

Sarah Witt, Clerk, Village of Millbrook

Mayor Debra Middlebrook, Village of Millerton

Mayor Ed Blundell, Village of Red Hook

Mayor Gary Bassett, Village of Rhinebeck

Mayor Matt Alexander, Village of Wappingers Falls

Administrative Support Group Members

Ken Roman, Deputy Commissioner, Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response

Kyle Ketcham, Policy Director, Dutchess County Executive’s Office

John Penney, Community Outreach Coordinator, City of Poughkeepsie

Chris Formisano, Communications Specialist, Dutchess County Executive’s Office

Rachel Kashimer, Sr. Research Analyst, Dutchess County Budget Office

Jody Miller, Executive Director, Dutchess County Human Rights Commission

Tijuana Vann, Administrative Support, Dutchess County Dept. of Human Resources