On June 15, 2020, in response to a series of peaceful protests regarding police brutality and racial injustice, Mayor Robert M. Restaino announced the formation of a Social Justice Commission. The Commission was tasked with examining the following areas: health care, education, economic opportunities, housing, and law enforcement. A committee for each area was established made up of community leaders and residents to identify actions necessary to address inequities.
The Law Enforcement Committee was convened on July 14 and met throughout the month of July and August reviewing the policies and practices of the Niagara Falls Police Department (NFPD) and its relationship with members of the minority community. The Committee’s focus was Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #203 regarding New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaboration.
On November 30, 2010, the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls Police Department entered into a Stipulated Order of Consent with the Attorney General of the State of New York because of an investigation of complaints by members of the African American community. The order was signed by New York State Supreme Court 8th Judicial District Justice Ralph A. Boniello III. In November 2015, the City and the NFPD were deemed by the court-appointed Independent Auditor and the New York State Attorney General to have achieved compliance with all required sections of the Order.
The Committee reviewed the revised policies and procedures because of the Consent Decree as outlined in the attached PDF.NYS Police Reform Plan