A proposal released Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is meant to bolster relations between local police agencies and the communities.
The move would empower Attorney General Letitia James’s office to help improve police-community relations and provide help to improve it.
Cuomo is including the plan in his State of the State agenda, which will be fully unveiled on Wednesday.
“As our nation confronts the toxic mix of anxiety, fear and division, many of our communities are facing challenges in the relationship between local police and the communities they serve,” Cuomo said.
“The stressed relationship has been compounded by viral videos showing recent interactions between police and civilians that have understandably caused an emotional reaction among the public. Attorney General James is a superb leader and as the state’s chief law enforcement officer and a former public advocate she is uniquely suited to help bridge that divide by providing community members and police an opportunity to form a stronger relationship based in respect and trust.”
The attorney general’s office has the power to review cases in which civilians die during interactions with police. But this proposal takes an expanded view of the issue to identify “root causes” of the dynamic.
“We are all better off when our police and the communities they serve build stronger relationships,” James said. “New Yorkers deserve to be safe and respected at the same time and better police-community relations go a long way toward that goal. I welcome the opportunity to play a role in improving police-community relations.”