Photo Credit: Michael Isabell
John Perez is pastor of the Faith Temple Church on Cedar Street and co-chair of Beacon’s police reform committee. In this episode, he talks about the work being done to transform how the force operates and how policing in this city might change going forward.
In 2020, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo signed an order instructing municipalities across the state to develop reform plans for their police departments. In Beacon this process was spearheaded by a committee consisting of city leaders, clergy and community members.
After a series of hearings and discussions with the police and other stakeholders, the community released a report with specific recommendations for how to transform the BPD in ways that support community safety and facilitate trust between officers and residents. [Read it.]
Perez discusses many of those recommendations, including some that call for replacing some traditional enforcement tools and tactics with alternatives like mental health intervention and restorative justice.