Lewis County nears completion on police reform plan

Lewis County police reform

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Police reform in Lewis County means structured communication between the sheriff’s department and county leaders.

Wednesday night, the county’s police reform group laid out its plans to meet New York state’s mandate by the deadline.

Mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness are key issues the group says need to be addressed.

They’d like to work with local groups who deal with those issues to better train deputies.

Under the proposed reforms, the sheriff’s office would need to meet with country lawmakers four times a year and give quarterly updates on training.

Sheriff Mike Carpinelli has had his issues with police reform, but he feels the plan is reasonable.

“You know, there’s always room for improvement and the best way you can do it, you know, is you’re not going to please everyone, that’s not going to happen, but if we at least try to do the best job and hold ourselves to a higher standard each time, then to me we are doing a good job,” the sheriff said.

The county is still looking for public input on its plan. You can call the county manager’s office or the sheriff directly at 315-376-5413.

“It’s the face to face, the handshake, hearing people when they’re not happy saying ‘hey, sheriff, today this happened and I wasn’t too pleased,’” Carpinelli said, “and the first thing I’ll say is ‘hey, that’s on me and I’ll do what I can to rectify it.’”

Lewis County legislators will look at the plan for final approval on April 6 before sending it to the state for review.

Copyright 2021 WWNY. All rights reserved.