Village of Pelham releases three-phase roadmap for police reform process addressing racism


Village of Pelham police vehicles parked next to Town Hall, which houses the department.

Editor’s note: This roadmap was provided by the Village of Pelham.

On June 12, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all municipalities with their own police departments to draft an action plan to ensure that local police departments were operating in a way that built and restored trust within the community. Action plans were to be developed in consultation with various community stakeholders and ratified by local boards no later than April of 2021.

We are committed to a robust and thorough process, which centers the experiences of BIPOC individuals in our community while also providing meaningful participation from the public. This document provides an overall roadmap for the process currently underway in the Village of Pelham.

NYS Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative

Overall Roadmap for Review

PHASE ONE ​(tentative time frame: July 2020 – November 2020)
Preliminary Scoping and Desk Review (driven by public via BIPOC focus group/steering committee)


  • Ensure that scope of review is determined by BIPOC members of the public, not Village officials
  • Create a space that protects and prioritizes BIPOC perspective
  • Ensure confidentiality and candid dialogue
  • Ensure productive and efficient collaboration
  • Provide a foundation for broader community discourse in Phase Two


  • Establish initial scope of review (administration serving as facilitators/clarifiers)
  • Develop preliminary findings and recommendations
  • Release preliminary findings and recommendations
  • Organize necessary documentation to support community forums in Phase Two

TRANSITION: Planning for Phase Two should include input from broader public (1-2 sessions)

PHASE TWO ​(tentative time frame: November 2020 – January 2021)
Community Visioning (driven by public via series of community forums, facilitated by Mayor, Board and Steering Committee)


  • Foster a shared understanding of existing local systems (governance structure, policies, practices, systems of accountability and responsibility, etc.)
  • Allow for public participation in identifying gaps and proposing solutions
  • Invite and empower community partners (nonprofits, businesses, individuals)
  • Transition responsibility from public to Village Board of Trustees


  • Utilize first phase documentation to present details of existing local systems
  • Share preliminary findings and recommendations
  • Confirm (or expand) scope of review
  • Generate additional recommendations and reactions from the broader community
  • Identify areas that require community and individual action
  • Identify areas that require action from the Village Board

TRANSITION: Phase Three should commence with acknowledgement of public feedback

PHASE THREE ​(tentative time frame: January 2021 – March 2021)
Formalize and implement Village’s action plan (driven by Village Board of Trustees via Regular Meetings)


  • Ensure the Village Board can commence its formal process with understanding of residents’ desires
  • Create the conditions for enduring change by fostering buy-in and consensus
  • Ensure clarity of purpose for Village’s action plan
  • Promote community commitment to racial equity


  • Prioritize key commitments
  • Identify necessary budget adjustments
  • Elicit feedback from Village staff
  • Establish timelines for implementation
  • Release draft action plan and invite further feedback from public
  • Ratify action plan by April 2021
  • Implement action plan according to established timelines