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Our view: Communication with local police a two-way street

Our view: Communication with local police a two-way street

Protest March

Auburn police chief Shawn Butler joins marchers in downtown Auburn May 31 during a protest against inequality and police brutality.

If you have any thoughts on how the Auburn Police Department is being run, now's your chance to speak up.

The APD has launched an online survey to gather feedback from city residents, and that information will help guide a community group develop a report looking at how things are going and how they might be improved.

In response to police brutality cases across the country earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered every law enforcement agency in the state to review their strategies, policies and practices. The executive order warned that municipalities need to comply by April 1 "to be eligible for future state funding."

Was it a knee-jerk reaction by Cuomo so that he could be seen as taking charge of the police brutality problem? Maybe. But the good thing is that he didn't lay out any specific reforms, so it's a wide-open discussion at this point, and what might create improvements will be very different from one community to another.

We have been fortunate to not have big problems in Auburn and Cayuga County. There is no widespread strife or "us against them" mentality between area police agencies and the communities they serve, but there may very well be some adjustments that would make public safety work even better for everybody.

The APD has taken this as an opportunity to increase dialogue with the community — and that's always a good thing. It's a great opportunity for people to have the ear of the police and the local government on this topic, so the more people who participate the better.​

The survey can be found at, and a similar survey will soon be offered by the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office for county residents who live outside the city.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Michelle Bowers, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.


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