Police Reform Committee Meeting Minutes

A Police Reform Public Hearing was held on Monday, March, 1, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the Village Hall Boardroom. The public was invited to join through Zoom.

The meeting started at 6:00 p.m.

Committee Present: Jeffrey Gearhart- Chair, Michael Mills- Police Chief, Michele DeFreece, Ryder Galvin- SUNY Delhi and Sarah Krzyston- SUNY Delhi.

Jeffrey Gearhart- Chair opened the zoom meeting to the public, to voice their input, corrections and/or criticism regarding the recent survey.

John Hubbard- District Attorney, Stamford said that the recommendations put together by the Committee are appropriate and do-able.

David Krzyston- Town of Delhi resident agreed with John Hubbard and said he realizes that the police department has a limited budget and believes things can be done without a lot of money. He felt the recommendations were respectful.

Jeffrey Gearhart responded that the surveys received a very positive response from the public and that there wasn’t a lot to be addressed in a major way. He said the community feels safe, pleased and comfortable with how the police department is operated. Jeffrey then asked if anyone on the committee wanted to speak.

Mike Mills- Chief spoke and said they had received a good response back on the surveys. Mike reported that of the 1800+ surveys mailed out, the committee received about 350-400 surveys back in total (from the mail and on-line) Mike said there was good insight in regards to the police department and that overall, the public felt safe in the village. Mike thanked the committee, the residents, SUNY Delhi and his employees at the police department who all responded to the survey.

Sarah Krzyston- Committee reported that overall this was a good experience and that the committee has learned of things to improve on in the community.

Michele DeFreece- Committee reported that it was a great opportunity to truly assess our community. She said that despite Covid-19 it was an exciting time to move forward and that the connections they have developed with Sarah and Ryder were good.

Ryder Galvin- Committee stated that overall the survey was extremely positive. He reported that there are some things that can be tweaked, like better police visibility and recommended using Lexipol to help fix the issues.

Dave Kryston asked if the committee has identified any recommendations that they can do right away? Mike Mills responded that the committee is looking into: Policy updates and addressing critical standards to develop a program for harmful addiction and substance approach. Mike reported that there was a high public concern about substance abuse in the area.

Jeffrey Gearhart responded that some of the changes don’t require a monetary commitment and can be started now but that there are a number of things that do require a monetary commitment from the Village Board. Jeffrey stated that at the 3/15/21 Village Board Meeting, the board will have this information represented to them and hopefully the board will be “on board” with the changes. The Committee can’t commit until the board approves the changes.

Mike Mills feels the board seems to be agreeable and that the village is presently budgeting for these changes to take place. Mike said the village takes pride in training our police officers, the instructors and through on- line training through Police One. He said the police officers get at least 3 hours of training each month.

John Hubbard asked what the cost was to purchase body cams for the Police Officers. Mike Mills said the cost for body cams is a lot but that he is looking into getting grants to support the funding as well as the village tax base. Mike stated that the tax base is not available until at least the next budget year. Jeffrey Gearhart stated that the body cams will be purchased as the funds become available and that will take time.

Katie Kloss-Delmar, NY a former Village of Delhi resident, joined the meeting at 6:14 p.m. and stated that she was just listening and had no comments at this time.

Matt Kryzston- Village of Delhi resident, joined the meeting at 6:15 p.m. and stated that he didn’t have any comments.

John Hubbard asked when these recommendations were going to be presented to the board and Mike Mills responded that they plan to on 3/15/21.

Jeffrey Gearhart said he posted a draft of proposal on the Village of Delhi Website for people to review and ask questions before the 3/15/21 meeting. Mike Mills then sent the email address for the Delhi P.D. for people to send to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on the zoom remarks section.

Matt Krzyston asked if the committee had discussed the response rate compared to other communities. Mike Mills said they received between 350-400 responses back in total. He said more community members responded then did stake holders. Jeffrey Gearhart responded that 2/3 of the responses were received from the mail survey. Jeff said the committee was fairly surprised as all of the responses were similar and that probably the most disparity came from college students. Matt Krzyston then responded that normally there isn’t a great response to these type of things, but that he was surprised with the good response it did bring.

Mike Mills said there were about 170-180 responses from the mail-in survey. Ryder Galvin said they received about 130 on-line surveys back. John Hubbard reported that he was part of the Sidney P.D. survey and their response was about 400.

Regina Krzyston- Village of Delhi resident, joined the meeting at 6:21 p.m.

Matt Krzyston hopes that the responses are useful as some communities blow off doing the recommendations and then he thanked Chief Mills.

Michele DeFreece stated that the committee had started at the beginning of November 2020 and reviewed literature that Chief provided- locally, regionally and worldwide. The committee gathered the information from the Village Police Department, stake holders and community members.
Michele said the committee met weekly for 1 ½ - 2 hours at a time and that the people want to have a positive town. Michele believes the recommendations are positive and were well written so the board can move forward with them. She advised it was a great experience for the community residents and looks forward to great things in the community.

Katie Kloss spoke and said it is a “great plan” and thanked everyone for doing it.

Dave Kryzton said it was a great opportunity to do it and to be part of it.

Regina Krzyston thanked the committee for all of their hard work.

Jeffrey Gearhart spoke again and said the village is on-going and changing and as the village changes; the police department will have to change too. The evaluation process should be part of changes and developments.

Jeffrey Gearhart said the committee plans to meet again on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. to finalize the plans and see if there are any additional comments before they present them to the board.

Michele DeFreece said the plan is true to the village and not sugar-coated. She said when people see the truth on paper it is healthy.

Mike Mills ended the meeting at 6:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Yager
Deputy Clerk- Treasure

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