NY police reform: 47 jurisdictions failed to submit plans by deadline, risk losing funding

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“Black Lives Matter” painted on a street in Ithaca, New York

A “Black Lives Matter” sign painted on a street in Ithaca, New York on March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/John Munson)

NEW YORK — Nearly 50 jurisdictions in New York did not submit police reform plans to the state by the April 1 deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

Under the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, the Cuomo administration has the authority to withhold up to 50% of state and federal funds from jurisdictions that failed to produce a plan.

The governor said 450 out of 497 jurisdictions submitted police reform plans on time. 

“That is a phenomenal, phenomenal accomplishment,” he added.

The governor, speaking during a budget briefing, said the jurisdictions who did not file on time have been put on notice.

State Attorney General Letitia James will install a monitor to oversee compliance for jurisdictions that did not submit plans.

A spokesperson from the governor’s office said that as of Wednesday evening, the list of noncompliant jurisdictions had dropped to 40. The Cuomo administration is reaching out to each jurisdiction to determine their status and will decide on funding and whether they are referred to the attorney general’s office at a later date.

The Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative was announced in June 2020 in response to unrest in New York City and across the country following the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.

Cuomo said it was clear the time had come for meaningful police reform and issued an executive order requiring local governments and police departments to formulate a plan addressing excessive use of force, implicit bias and crowd management — among other facets of policing.

“We’re not going to fund police agencies in this state that do not look at what has been happening, come to terms with it and reform themselves,” the governor had said.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined a massive police reform proposal in March that focuses on five goals. 

  • Transparency and accountability
  • Community representation
  • Recognition of racialized policing
  • Decriminalization of poverty
  • Diverse, resilient, and supportive NYPD

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