Last week, the Bethlehem Town Board adopted a historic police reform and reinvention plan that sets our police department, our town government, and our community on a path to making Bethlehem more fair, just, and equitable for all.
This plan is the culmination of months of hard work by the most diverse advisory committee in town history, and an open and transparent process that enabled and welcomed community involvement and guidance.
We want to thank the wonderful Advisory Committee members – who met 10 times in livestreamed and recorded meetings, joined 5 livestreamed and recorded Community Forums, and worked diligently on the plan for 5 months – for their vital insights, perspectives, and leadership in creating a plan that is the beginning of reform and reinvention, not the end.
We also want to thank our Police Department for their active and engaged participation in the process. Led by Chief Gina Cocchiara, the Police Department opened themselves to evaluation and analysis with a tone of collaboration and commitment to serving our community even better.
Finally, we want to thank all the residents who turned out against racism and police brutality on June 8, 2020 and who shared their concerns, ideas, and recommendations during the planning process. The plan is better because of you.
Black lives matter in Bethlehem – in our government, our schools, and our community – and we are committed to working with our Police Department and our community as a whole to address issues of systemic racism and trauma not just in the words of a plan, but in the actions that stem from it.
Town Board members
Editor’s note: Omitted from the signature is Republican Town Board member Jim Foster.