Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh and Acting Sheriff Michael Filicetti today announced the next steps Niagara County is taking to comply with Governor Cuomo’s mandate that local governments undertake a police reform and reinvention collaborative initiative.
Wydysh named the members of the task force the County Legislature created to help put the police reinvention plan together.
“The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office has responsibility across the county so we asked each city and town to appoint a member of their community to this task force and we also included appropriate county personnel as well as some at-large members of the community with a particular interest in the issues,” said Wydysh. “We appreciate the commitment of all the members who have agreed to serve.”
Wydysh said the committee has a few more spots to fill, but as of right now, the members are:
City of Lockport Leonard Thomas
Niagara Falls David Taylor
North Tonawanda John Divirgilio
Cambria David Littere
Hartland Steve MacEvoy
Lewiston Ron Winkley
Lockport/Town Barry Kobrin
Newfane William Clark
Niagara Markus Williams
Pendleton Michael Zimmerman
Porter Gloria Baker
Royalton Joshua Walker
Wheatfield Tom & Rita Kontak
Wilson Chris Jordan
At large (one vacancy remains):
Sheriff Michael Filicetti
District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek
Public Defender Nick Robinson
Emergency Services Director Jonathan Schultz
Mental Health Director Laura Kelemen
Sheriff Filicetti said that community input and engagement beyond the task force is an important component of this initiative and as such, two community meetings have been scheduled for any member of the public to come and express their opinion.
“We hope the public will come out and take part in these community meetings because we want to be sure this process is open, transparent and inclusive, and that every citizen who wants to have a say will have the opportunity to do so,” said Filicetti.
The meetings are scheduled for:
6 p.m. on Monday, October 5 at Town Hall in the Town of Lockport, 6560 Dysinger Road.
6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 at the Wheatfield Community Center, 2790 Church Road.
Wydysh said once the task force completes a draft of the plan it will be made available for additional public comment. She expects the Legislature will adopt the final plan around the end of the year.