Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Tom Reed (23rd District of New York)
Elmira, NY — Yesterday, Rep. Tom Reed hosted a law enforcement roundtable to provide police agencies from across the region and local leaders with the opportunity to speak openly about the safety and policing challenges facing our communities. The discussion was organized to ensure these critical voices and perspectives are recognized here in New York and in Washington.
“As co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, we have worked extensively on this issue to identify common ground solutions on the issue of positive police reform,” said Rep. Reed. “Instead of demonizing the police or rejecting important voices in the community, we found when you listen to you actually listen to folks on the ground, you can build bipartisan consensus around the importance of increasing accountability and transparency, all while empowering law enforcement to do their jobs.”
Rep. Reed continued, “We deeply value all of the input we heard today and appreciate all those who participated because these forums help us champion the effective solutions. We will continue to work in the House and with our Senate partners on bipartisan legislation that addresses the problems at hand without hurting police agencies’ ability to keep our communities safe.”
“I am happy to have been included in the Law Enforcement Roundtable meeting yesterday, as I found it to be thought-provoking and effective in terms of having a difficult or perhaps uncomfortable conversation,” said Elmira-Corning Branch NAACP President Georgia Verdier, “It provided an opportunity for us to dialogue on matters that impact us all. I believe, if we are to find solutions to issues involving law enforcement and the community, it must begin with mutual respect which can inspire all of us to be the best that we can be. We must learn to talk and listen before becoming judgmental, as someone has said, to effectively communicate we must realize that we are all different regarding our perceptions of the world and utilize this understanding as a guide when we communicate with others. I believe the meeting laid a foundation that we can build upon.”
“It’s important to collectively discuss issues and potential solutions with other law enforcement executives, lawmakers and members of the public,” said Schuyler County Sheriff William Yessman.
After brief opening remarks, the group discussed common ground reforms and other opportunities to promote positive change. The event was widely attended by local officials, various heads of police agencies within the area, and leaders from the local NAACP chapter. The full attendees’ list is copied below.
Attendees List: Rep. Tom Reed; State Sen. Tom O’Mara; Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend; Dan Mandel, Elmira Mayor; William Schrom, Chemung County Sheriff; William Yessman, Schuyler County Sheriff; Jim Allard, Steuben County Sheriff; Joseph Kane, Elmira Police Chief; Rick Churches, Elmira Heights Police Chief; Jeffrey Spaulding, Corning PD Chief; Thomas Stickler, Horseheads Police Chief; Georgia Verdier, President, Elmira-Corning Branch NAACP; Dr. Jimmie Williams, First VP, Elmira-Corning Branch NAACP