Sign this petition
Let the City of Troy know that we do not support hiring 6 more police officers. The City Council votes on Thursday (5/6/21) and we need to let them know quickly that this is not the way we want to invest in our city.
Please sign today to tell Troy City Council to invest in our neighborhoods and communities not police. And, vote NO on Ordinance 23 on Thursday!
Recently, the City of Troy, like most municipalities across the State of New York, held a series of discussions on the topic of policing. Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203, issued in June of 2020, required municipalities with police forces to examine the policies and procedures of their police department and make recommendations for future changes to address police violence, biased policing, and systemic racism. The measure stated its intention was to provide transparency and build trust, urging localities to hold listening sessions and meetings with community members.
Mayor Madden did not announce the creation or intentions of the Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative until the end of January 2021. There were nine highly controlled meetings held in February with very little open community participation—the city made little effort to inform residents about the meeting or how to get involved.
Once the report was drafted, in early March, Black leaders throughout the city expressed their dismay and loss of trust in the city about this process. This included all four Black PRRC committee members (Starletta Smith, Executive Director, YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Inc. and Renée Powell, President of the NAACP, Troy, NY Branch, Pastor Justin Relf of Rhema Revealed Ministries, and Stacey Howard of Troy’s Police Objective Review Board). They released a statement decrying the report and saying that they felt “tokenized throughout this process.”
So why this, why now?
We need to reallocate funds to expand or create new entities to respond to mental health calls, domestic disputes, traffic stops, and more. Troy is swiftly pushing forward to increase the police budget and add more police to the force. Again, with very little time for dialogue and discussion with community members and community leaders.
While the City of Troy, Mayor Madden, and the Troy City Council avoid input from community members, we are making space for input. We know that with more investment in social services and community support, communities can better look out for each other and construct the means through which to survive and thrive.
We call for structural investment to address the history of deliberate marginalization and segregation.
We call for investment in our under-funded, under-served, structurally marginalized Black and brown communities.
In calling for no additions to the police budge for the police force, we are asking for allocation of funds into community needs and social services.
While Mayor Patrick Madden told the Times Union, “People want police officers out in the neighborhood. They want police officers to know them. They want to know their police officers.” Given the lack of space for open dialogue and discussion, we don’t know who the Mayor is referring to.
We want the city to invest in our neighborhoods and communities, not more police.