December 7, 2017




Newburgh community remains concerned about no permanent police chief

NEWBURGH – Only three people came out for Wednesday night’s session of the City of Newburgh Police Community Relations Board and they all expressed concern that a permanent chief has yet to be named.

Community activist Omari Shakur said the series of acting officers in charge is not working well for the community.

“They are not taking the job seriously because they are not chief,” Shakur said. “They don’t want to make decisions because they are not chief. They have to go back and work with these guys. They don’t want to make decisions because they are not chief.”

Gabrielle Burton Hill recounted how her pregnant daughter was almost dragged from her car by police officers after a snow storm last winter when she tried to explain her concern about getting stuck in the snow.

“I think it would be a great idea for the police officers to come out and have a buddy resident that they spend time with,” Hill said. “Different ethnicities act differently. I have West Indian friends, but they are loud; Puerto Rican friends, they are loud, but they are harmless. That’s just how they speak and how they talk. But, when you don’t have any kind of relationship with the people you are serving, things can escalate very quickly.”

Current officer-in-charge Lt. Aaron Weaver listened closely to the concerns, but did not address them to the residents.

City Manager Michael Ciaravino has said he would hope to name a permanent chief before the end of the year. The main stumbling block in selecting a candidate has been the city’s residency law.

Hill: "... you don't have any kind of relationship ..."

Weaver listened and took notes
(Photos: Anthony Lucarelli)



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