Statement by Legislator Vernon M. Williams, Jr. on Adoption of the Onondaga County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Plan

Last year, shortly after the murder of George Floyd, Legislator Williams authored a resolution condemning that terrible act of violence and racism and condemned all police brutality. At that time, Legislator Williams made it clear that words were not enough and that action and change were desperately needed.

Today the Onondaga County Legislature unanimously approved their Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Plan that began to make good on that call to action and call for change.

As a member of the sub-committee on alternatives to police response, Legislator Williams can speak directly to the fact that a lot of good work was put in by many leaders in our county to make this come to fruition. Those leaders include Mayor Ben Walsh, County Executive Ryan McMahon, County Legislator Leader Linda Ervin, Common Council President Helen Hudson, and so many others.

“Today, Onondaga County took a significant step toward justice. By reforming police structure, police-community relations, officer training, and alternatives to police response, all residents of our community will be better served” said Legislator Williams.

By approving this reform on the county level, it creates change in the County Sheriff’s Department which often operates in the City of Syracuse as well as in the surrounding towns. This resolution also enables local police forces in towns and villages in our county to implement these badly needed reforms.