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Public safety committee adopts police reform plan

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee recently adopted the Fulton County Police Reform and Reinvention Plan.

The plan — done by state executive order — will be the subject of a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday, The board may finally adopt it afterwards, as it must be into the state by April 1.

The Fulton County Police Reform Advisory Committee met Oct. 27, Nov. 10, Dec. 1, Dec. 15 and Feb. 9 to develop the plan, which allows for reforms through the county Sheriff’s Department.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead called the plan a “joint effort” between the board and sheriff’s offices.

“Everybody knows this is in conjunction with a mandate through Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo from early last year,” he said.

Stead said the state police were exempt from putting together a police reform plan, which he questioned. But he said local police units had to do the plan and much documentation was sent out between the county and the committee to accomplish the plan.

Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Warren Greene, the board’s 2020 chairman, stated: “I think we did a really good job of really going by the letter of what this was supposed to be.”

Greene said the final plan has “maybe opened some eyes.”

He said that in his 30 years with the Fulton County Probation Department he “never experienced any issues” with the sheriff’s office that required widespread reform.

Sheriff Richard Giardino thanked Greene, as well as Undersheriff Daniel Izzo who did “a tremendous amount of work.”

He said his department was further ahead in the process than many other police agencies.

Stead said he was pleased to see the sheriff’s approached the plan as a way to supplement the work it already does. He credited Giardino as well as Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Cynthia Breh.

“The [reform] committee members were very diversified,” Breh said. “It was a lengthy process.”

Greene suggested sending a letter to Cuomo’s office indicating Fulton County feels state police should have been involved in the reform process.

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