From the Office of the Mayor of the Village of Pelham Manor
At last night’s Board meeting, the Village of Pelham Manor Board of Trustees restated its commitment to fair and equal treatment for all and publicly denounced any form of racism, bigotry, bias or hatred.
In recognition of the critical role that law enforcement plays in community and race relations, the Mayor read the following statement:
Recent events have sparked important conversations about the role of law enforcement and a review of policing across the nation. During this challenging time, the Pelham Manor Board of Trustees is proud to reconfirm our Police Department’s commitment to promoting public safety through a collaborative approach with the community. As a Board, our fundamental policy objectives include treating each person respectfully and equally under the law, as the Village is welcoming and inclusive. We remain open to dialogue and departmental evaluation, not just to comply with orders or recently passed legislation, but also prevent tragedies like the brutal and needless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Pelham Manor Police Department looks rather different than it did when I took office. This Board inherited a department in need of rebuilding and in need of a leader. We chose wisely in selecting Chief Jeffrey Carpenter. The great strides made in recent years reflect our collective commitment to proactive, service-oriented policing, centered on two critical components: advanced training and direct communication with the public.
In Pelham Manor, police training starts at the top and involves accountability at all levels of the Police Department. Notably, in 2018, Chief Carpenter was selected from an international field to attend the three-month FBI National Academy for law enforcement executives in Quantico, Virginia. There, the Chief received specialized, advanced leadership training which has proven valuable in helping him perform his oversight duties. The Chief’s experience in Virginia has also served as a complement to his early training in the White Plains Police Department’s Community Policing Unit. At that time, the White Plains Police Department was at the forefront of Community Policing. All Pelham Manor police officers, both recruits and those in service, receive varied and comprehensive training at the Westchester Police Academy. These programs include crisis intervention training, reality-based training, juvenile officer training, and de-escalation technique training. Every patrol officer and detective in our Police Department is trained in de-escalation, and we presently have three crisis intervention officers and two mental health “first aid” officers. Our crisis intervention officers are trained to negotiate in the field, while our mental health officers are trained to recognize the early warning signs of need both within the Police Department and in the community.
Consistent with this Board’s commitment to communication and community outreach, our officers make daily stops at the elementary schools, promoting school safety and trust with some of our youngest residents. Our Police Department also sends informational and critical updates directly to the public through outlets such as Facebook and Nixle, the text notification system that Chief Carpenter pioneered in Pelham (text 10803 to 888-777 to sign up). Perhaps most importantly, Chief Carpenter has an “Open Door” policy, making the highest level of law enforcement imminently approachable and accessible.
The Board and our Police Department continue to look for ways to improve and remain open to suggestion. Chief Carpenter has always insisted that police officers approach each police encounter with respect and professionalism, providing our law enforcement team with a laudable operational baseline. Although this has consistently been our policy, we all understand that is important now, more than ever, to restate this commitment. Our Police Department looks forward to maintaining and building upon the trust earned by this community.
At this time, I would like to ask Deputy Mayor and Police Commissioner Louis Annunziata to read the Pelham Manor Police Department’s Mission Statement:
“The Pelham Manor Police Department’s mission is to provide professional and compassionate police service through partnerships that build trust, reduce crime, create a safe environment and enhance the quality of life in our community.”