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September 14, 2020 - 10:20am

City police add residents Henry, Blackshear to collaboration advisory stakeholder group

The City of Batavia Police Department today announced the addition of two people in the “resident” category of its Police Collaboration Advisory Stakeholder Group, increasing the total number to 20.

Michael Henry and Bill Blackshear have been added to the committee, and will join residents Raelene Christian, Bill Hayes, Francis Marchese and Gregory Munroe II.

Others who have been selected are as follows:

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, Assistant Chief Chris Camp and Batavia Police Benevolent Association President Matt Wojtaszczyk;

Public Defender Jerry Ader and First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell;

Acting City Manager Rachael Tabelski, City Council Member Kathleen Briggs and City Attorney George Van Nest;

Batavia City School Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr., YWCA Executive Director Millie Tomidy-Pepper, Batavia Housing Authority Director Nathan Varland;

Business owner Brandon Armstrong, Just Kings representative Victor Thomas and Rev. Martin Macdonald, City Church pastor.

Jay Gsell and Erik Fix have been appointed as facilitators/moderators.

The group has been formed in compliance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reform.

It is charged with reviewing police policies and procedures, and adopting a plan that addresses, per the mandate, “the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.”

The advisory group’s first meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 at the City Centre Council Chambers. All COVID-19 protocols will be in effect.

The governor’s executive order stipulates that municipalities must adopt a plan and submit it to the state by April 1 to be eligible for future state funding.

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