(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Incoming Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton announced plans to establish a police citizen’s advisory and review board and to develop a diversity initiative within the police department, whose makeup does not reflect the community which it serves. In addition, after more than a week of discussions with Hudson Police Commissioner Gary Graziano and Chief Ed Moore, Hamilton announced that Graziano will continue in his role in 2016 under the new administration.
Hamilton outlined the initiatives:
- To establish a citizen’s advisory/review board in order to provide full transparency on the department’s activities, reviewed monthly by the board; to give citizens a way to provide input – suggestions, complaints, questions, etc. – with assurances that all will be heard and responded to; when issues do arise, to establish and facilitate respectful, two-way dialogue; and to keep everyone in the community up to date on what’s happening in the police department, including new initiatives, community events, departmental changes, etc.
- In addition, developing a diversity initiative within the department, with the primary goal of establishing policies and best practices to increase diversity in hiring and promotions. The city will seek guidance from diversity practitioners, and will be partnering with outside organizations and agencies to assist in this process.
Hamilton continued, “We are coming out of several years where, on a national level, we’ve witnessed horrific events play out between law enforcement officers and the very people they’ve taken an oath to protect, and I understand that it’s impossible for these events not to sow the seeds of distrust. The opportunity now lies before us to implement some meaningful changes to build a healthier relationship between the police and our community. To that end, Commissioner Graziano, Chief Moore, and I agree that there two key initiatives we will begin to develop in January.”
“Police Commissioner is undoubtedly one of the most important appointments I will make as Mayor,” said Hamilton. “Of all city departments, the police department has the most consistent direct contact with the public. The relationship the department has with the public is incredibly important, and has to be cultivated and nurtured by strong leadership. In addition to providing continuity and a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge, I believe Commissioner Graziano is dedicated to driving positive change within his department.”
Commissioner Graziano said, “I accept Mayor Elect Hamilton’s offer to stay on as Police Commissioner. I look forward to continuing our present initiatives in strengthening Community relations, continuing the strong interagency cooperation that we have built, improving our department administratively and continuing to improve the safety and quality of life for all residents of the City of Hudson.”
Graziano continued, “I’m all for and support community members consisting of all sectors of the community who want to meet, discuss, ask questions, provide input and create positive dialogue with the Hudson Police Department. I support this type of program. We are planning to assemble a board of interested, concerned residents who aim to represent the best interest of everyone throughout the City of Hudson, absent of personal agendas. Only professional and respectful dialogue will bring positive change and better relationships between HPD and the Community. I have and will continue to support full transparency and disclosure of the Department, and see this board as an avenue to provide further transparency.”
Graziano suggested that hiring and promotional practices are a great topic for one of the first board meetings. “Educating the general public on just how HPD’s hiring and promotional practices work through Civil Service Guidelines and Regulations would be a great start in showing the process we must adhere to while hiring and promoting Police Officers and Communication Specialists within the department,” said Graziano.
“With that said, I continue to be open to dialogue with the community on how to raise awareness and interest so that all sectors of our community can be reached on a Civil Service list, and am open to suggestions and professional guidance on how to better promote this awareness in our department.”
More information will be provided in the first quarter of 2016 as the details of these initiatives are further developed.