Board of Legislators Celebrates Black History Month

Recently, the Westchester County Board of Legislators celebrated their annual Black History Month observance by honoring two exemplary individuals — Mamie Duncan-Gibbs of Yonkers and Deputy Police Commissioner Neil Reynolds of New Rochelle – in a virtual ceremony.


Board Chair Catherine Borgia convened the ceremony, welcoming guests both virtually and in person. She explained, “Each year, there is a national theme for Black History Month. This year’s theme is ‘Black Resistance,’ which recognizes the courageous stand Black Americans have taken against historic oppression in pursuit of self-determination and equality. They have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms, including the racial terrorism of lynching and police brutality, since their arrival upon these shores.”


“Tonight, and the entire month of February, is an opportunity to honor the accomplishments of our honorees and all Black Americans in our community and throughout history. Black history is American history. There would be no American history without Black history.”


Legislator Terry Clements (D – New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) presented the proclamation saying, “It is with great pride and admiration that I recognize the outstanding service and career of Deputy Police Commissioner Neil Reynolds, a lifelong New Rochelle resident, as we celebrate Black History Month.”


“Newly promoted from Captain on January 4, his professional experience, strong leadership skills, and calm temperament make him a role model for modern policing. Deputy Police Commissioner Neil Reynolds was a perfect choice to establish and lead the new Professional Development and Community Engagement Division of the New Rochelle Police Department.”


Reynolds thanked Legislator Clements, saying, “I owe my family, friends and neighbors for everything that they did in helping raise me. I thank the City of New Rochelle as a whole — my city – my colleagues past and present, of the New Rochelle Police Department — the best department in Westchester County and, I believe, the entire state for all their support.”


“I believe that no one achieves anything purely on their own. I am standing here today because of those who came before me. My accomplishments were only possible because so many paved a way for me. Countless black men and black women fought, struggled, lived, and died so that I might have an easier time. I am forever grateful and humbled by their stories.” 


 “I think that the best way for me to show my appreciation to them, is to continue to build bridges and pave the road for those who follow. I am because they were.”

The Board declared Saturday, February 11, 2023, “Deputy Police Commissioner Neil Reynolds Day” in Westchester County.

Watch the video presentation here:


In addition, NYS Attorney General Letitia James participated in the celebration, acknowledging the honorees and referencing our region’s integral role in shaping Black and American history.