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(WSYR-TV) — The deadline for police agencies across New York to submit their reform plans is approaching.

Law enforcement has until April 1 to send their approved plans to the state or risk losing funding.

Police reform plays a key factor in economic recovery and work needs to continue to rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday during his COVID briefing.

“Public safety reforms are a top priority,” said Cuomo. “You know what else I hear right after economic issues? Crime. Crime. For an area to recover, the area has to feel safe, and people have to believe it is safe. We’ve had rising crime in New York City. Not just New York City, cities across the state, cities across the nation. We have tension between the police and the community, not just here in New York, all across the nation. After the George Floyd killing, it erupted nationwide.”

Floyd, a Black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest for an alleged non-violent crime.

Police agencies across the state had to draft plans and allow the public to comment and help shape the final policies. Under Cuomo’s, local governments and police departments were told to formulate a plan and address:

  • Use of force by police officers
  • Crowd management
  • Community policing
  • Implicit bias awareness training
  • De-escalation training and practices
  • Restorative justice practices
  • Community-based outreach
  • A transparent citizen complaint disposition procedure
  • Other issues raised by the community

“The community still lacks trust in the police; the police still feel misunderstood and mistreated by the community,” Cuomo said. “This is not a situation where we can get a divorce, right? We need public safety and public safety doesn’t work unless you have a relationship of trust with the local community.”