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Police Reforms

On June 15, Mayor Kamal Johnson issued the following Executive Order. 

June 15, 2020
Regarding City of Hudson Police Reforms

WHEREAS, the video recorded deaths of black Americans during encounters with police over the last half decade and the Black Lives Matter movement have made it clear that the underlying problem of police brutality is not related to individual police officers alone, but is a societal problem that will require multiple reforms; and

WHEREAS, despite more widespread use of body cameras nationwide, race and bias training, and the acknowledgment that change is necessary, George Floyd’s recent nine-minute long, agonizing and public death demonstrates that the police system has not sufficiently changed, necessitating more direct and systemic reforms to stem the violence and racism inherent in society; and

WHEREAS, the City of Hudson is not immune or exempt from this systematic racism, discrimination, bias, and implicit bias that exists throughout the United States, State and City; and 

WHEREAS, the residents of the City of Hudson are diverse, possess universal human rights and are entitled to dignity, respect and equal treatment under the law; and 

WHEREAS, the City of Hudson is committed to ensuring equality, social justice, violence reduction, and accountability related to all interactions with the community, its members and the police; and 

WHEREAS, the City of Hudson Police Department is an integral part of keeping residents safe and must serve and protect the community in a professional and unbiased manner to ensure all residents are treated equally under the law: and 

WHEREAS, the City of Hudson recognizes the danger, importance and need to support and maintain a professional police department whose members are not only well trained and trusted by residents but are supported in these efforts; and 

WHEREAS, the City of Hudson is committed to community policing targeted on violent crimes instead of low-level crimes, and to implementing the 21st Century Community Policing Strategy called for by President Obama that is based on mutual respect between residents and law enforcement; and 

WHEREAS, in order for the City of Hudson Police Department to fully carry out the mandates of this Executive Order and the 21st Century Community Policing Strategy, the City and the Department need to better publicize and in some cases revise police policies and practices to better serve the public and protect the lives, property and rights of all individuals, particularly people of color.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kamal Johnson, Mayor of the City of Hudson, by the authority vested in me by the charter and laws of the City of Hudson, do hereby order:

Section 1. Funding, Forfeiture Funds & the Demilitarization of the Hudson Police Department

  1. The police budget will be reduced by ten (10) percent. 

  2. No additional police officers will be hired until further notice. 

  3. A full accounting of forfeiture funds and equipment shall be provided to me for the last 3 years.

  4. No forfeiture funds will be accepted without review by the Office of the Mayor. 

  5. The City will not accept vehicles or equipment formally used for military purposes through the federal forfeiture program.

  6. Police Officers will avoid using military equipment and military-style uniforms for nonessential purposes.

  7. Effective immediately Hudson Police Officers may wear less formal attire approved by the Police Commissioner and for such duties as the Police Commissioner authorizes.    

Section 2. Reconciliation & Advisory Commission and Community Relations. 

  1. Purpose. There is hereby created in the Office of the Mayor a Police Reconciliation & Advisory Commission to be composed of 7 people including: 2 Police Officers (one Sergeant and one Police Officer), the Chairperson of the Police Committee of the Common Council, and 4 residents of the City of Hudson who shall fairly represent the diversity of the City.  Such Commission shall meet with the Mayor once a month, or as needed, to advise the Mayor on all matters related to the Police Department as requested by the Mayor.

  2. Reconciliation Report. Such Commission shall undertake a 3-month reconciliation process whereby Commission members meet with members of the community, including those communities with the highest volume of police calls, to listen and record community concerns and suggestions about police interactions within the City.  The purpose of these meetings is to give the residents of the City of Hudson the opportunity to be heard on issues related to: 1) community policing; 2) police interactions with people of color, those with substance use disorders or people in a mental health crisis; and 3) incidents of police brutality or misconduct, if any, among other issues the community may wish to raise or the Commission may wish to explore. The Commission shall also speak with all Police Officers willing to discuss these matters and shall produce a report of these meetings for the Mayor, including recommendations for addressing any concerns raised, no later than November 15, 2020.  The Mayor will share such findings with the Police Department by December 1, 2020 and the public by December 30, 2020.

Section 3. Training on Bias and Race. 

Studies have shown that most trainings on bias and race are not effective in combating systemic racism or racist or bias attitudes held by individuals. Accordingly, instead of requiring training, the City will hold quarterly 2-hour Community Conversations; two during the lunch hour and two in the evening.  All Police Officers shall be required to attend one of these sessions.  One quarter of Police Officers in the Hudson Police Department shall attend one of the sessions at one time. Such sessions shall also be attended by members of the community who volunteer to participate in the sessions. The Mayor shall select different community members to participate in each of the sessions from those who volunteer to serve. The sessions will be facilitated by an outside facilitator. The intent of these sessions is to develop understanding between both the police and the community about the issues and concerns each face related to police interactions in the community in the hope of forging better community and race relations. 

Section 4.   Transparency.

  • As per existing the Hudson Police Department Body Camera Program, body cameras will be worn and on at all times during a police interaction with a member of the public.

  • As per existing policy, the Hudson Police Department Body Camera Program, Police Officers will file a report each time they use or threaten force against a civilian.

  • Effective immediately, the Hudson Police Department Body Camera Program will include a proactive routine supervisory review of video footage and a weekly report of the findings shall be submitted to the Chief of Police.  The Chief will report the results of the review to the Mayor and indicate whether any incidents resulted in discipline or identified training needs.  The report will also be submitted to the Police Reconciliation & Advisory Commission.

  • An emergency notification system will be developed and implemented no later than July 30, 2020, to alert elected officials of major emergency incidents involving the community.  

Section 5. Use of Force and Searches. 

  1. As per existing policy, the Hudson Police Department and its Police Officers shall not employ a “chokehold” nor restrain any individual by placing a knee upon the individual’s neck, nor otherwise restrain any individual in a manner that restricts the flow of air or blood by compressing the windpipe, diaphragm, or the carotid arteries on each side of the neck. 

  1. As per existing policy, the Hudson Police Department and its Police Officers shall not restrain any individual by connecting or tying rear-cuffed hands to cuffed or shackled ankles or legs, or as such practice is more commonly known, “hog-tie,” any individual. 

  1. Effective immediately, so-called “No-knock warrants” for drug searches and other police functions where they are not essential to protect public safety, shall be prohibited. 

Section 6. Duty to Intervene. 

  1. As per existing policy, any member of the Hudson Police Department who is present and observes another member of the Hudson Police Department using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances or in any way physically or verbally escalating a law enforcement interaction, shall safely intercede to prevent the use of such excessive force or escalation. 

  1. As per existing policy, any member of the Hudson Police Department who observes such use of excessive force or physical and/or verbal escalation shall promptly report such observation to a supervisor.

Section 7. Hudson Cares. 

The Hudson Police Department will implement a Hudson Cares Program to assist individuals seeking treatment for Substance Use Disorders who are seeking and will adhere to all applicable policies and standards.

Section 8. Reduce Policing of Social Issue & Implement Crisis Intervention Training.

  1. Wherever possible, policing of social issues should be limited or removed from the scope of police responsibilities. The City shall seek to convene and work with city judges, the Public Defender, the District Attorney, county officials, non-profits and directly impacted people to expand diversion options from the criminal justice system, increase funding of and access to social service agencies and services for the provision of evidence-based interventions to address substance use disorders, mental illness, and homelessness, and to expand re-entry services for citizens returning to the community following incarceration. 

  2. At least 1 member of the Hudson Police Department shall become trained in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) no later than January 15, 2021 to provide assistance with 911 calls involving people in mental health crisis. 

Section 9.  Data Reporting. 

A) Effective immediately, the Police Chief shall cause to be collected the following data on a monthly basis: 

  1. Number of Use of Force incidents; 

  2. Number of times Police Officers intervened as per Section 6(b) of this Executive Order;

  3. Number of arrests and crimes alleged as the basis for such arrest; 

  4. Number of Emotionally Disturbed Person calls; and 

  5. Number of calls involving a drug overdose or suspected drug overdose.

B) Such data shall be reported to the Mayor and to the Chairperson of the Common Council Police Committee beginning July 2020.

This Order shall take effect immediately.