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Local Residents Continue to Rally for Police Modernization Act

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Binghamton residents continue to push for legislation that would prevent racial profiling in the City of Binghamton.

Wednesday night residents and members of the Human Rights Commission met with the city council's municipal and public affairs committee to show support for the Police Modernization Act.

A recent survey conducted by students at Binghamton University shows a significant trust gap between non white residents and law enforcement officers.

Members of the Human Rights Commission are hopeful the Police Modernization Act will change this.

The proposed law calls for diversifying the Binghamton police force and requiring cultural competency training for all members of the department.

At Wednesday night's meeting BPD representatives said that there has been no cultural competency training in the department since 2010.

Department reps said that funds allocated for this training in prior years have been used to address other needs.

Councilwoman Teri Rennia says, "There is no excuse. I understand that there is challenges. I understand that there is timing limitations, but there are all sorts of mandated training. When council and the administration say that they would like the police department to have a specific training, it should happen."

Sean Massey, Human Rights Commission member says, "These are things that are the challenges that all police departments face all over the country. We're trying to be proactive we want to give you the resources you need, the training and skills you need to be ready for these challenges."

Members of the BPD were not available for comment on this matter.

The next meeting on the police modernization act is scheduled for May 18th.

City council members say they will hold additional public discussion forms regarding the proposed law in the coming months.