The village of Cobleskill will keep its public comment period on its police review and reinvention committee open for another month, after several trustees asked for more time to study the committee's report. 

Village officials held a public hearing on the plan during their Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16. 

Two members of the public spoke about the plan Tuesday, although both were members of the review board. Theresa Heary and Bobbi Wilding, who are both also members of the community group Schoharie Rural Awakening, thanked Cobleskill Mayor Becky Stanton-Terk and the trustees for including them in the review.

However, both women said they wished the review had included a deeper look into the village police department's use of force policy. They said there has been discussion of a new committee being set up to review that policy, and urged Stanton-Terk and the trustees to follow through on that idea. 

"We really need to make the citizen's review committee happen," Heary said. 

"Please set that up," Wilding said.  

New York municipalities with police departments are required to complete and approve a review of department policies and procedures and submit it to the state by April 1. 

The reports are required by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order 203. Cuomo ordered the reviews of all municipal police organizations following the May death of George Floyd, a Black man, during his arrest by a Minneapolis police officer.

Stanton-Terk said she thought the review process had been positive for the village. 

"I want to thank everyone who ... served on that committee or offered (to help)," she said. "It was very thought provoking. It was a good set of five or six meetings."  

The village board also held a public hearing on submitting a grant application through the Community Development Block Grant program, but no one spoke on the matter.

Stanton-Terk said the village will apply for funds for the Grandview Drive project, which is being planned with Delaware Engineering. The project would fix drainage issues on the street, as well as build a sidewalk on one of the busiest stretches of the road, which leads to Cobleskill Regional Hospital and Bassett Healthcare.

The trustees unanimously approved the grant submission.  

The public hearing on the police review will be extended to the trustees' next meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 16. 

Cobleskill's meetings are held in person at the Village Hall at 378 Mineral Springs Road. They can also be viewed online at schopeg.vids.io

Go to www.cobleskillvillage.com/executive-order-203-documents-1 to read the village's documents about the police review. 

Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at gklein@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7218.

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