Town of Cortlandt Adds New Community Resource Officer
GEORGE LATIMER, Westchester County Executive
RICHARD BECKER, Cortlandt Supervisor
Jan. 19, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Westchester Contact: Catherine Cioffi
Office - (914) 995-2932
Cell- (914) 954 -5579
Cortlandt Contact: Supervisor Richard Becker
TOWN OF CORTLANDT ADDS NEW COMMUNITY RESOURCE OFFICER
Westchester County Police CRO to work closely with the Supervisor, Town Board and community organizations to expand community policing initiatives
(Cortlandt, NY) – Cortlandt is contracting for an additional Westchester County police officer to enhance a wide range of community policing initiatives in the town through the appointment of a Community Resource Officer.
The new CRO position is an outgrowth of the state-mandated police reform process undertaken by both the town of Cortlandt and Westchester County in the past year, County Executive George Latimer and Cortlandt Supervisor Richard H. Becker said.
“The work to be done by a CRO will enhance the safety and security of the people of Cortlandt and will also build trust and a stronger relationship between the police and the people they serve in the town,” Latimer said.
Becker said, “We are excited to offer this new coverage to our community with our ongoing partnership with Westchester County Department of Public Safety. I would like to thank County Executive George Latimer for working with our community in making this partnership a success and one that continues to grow.”
The Community Resource Officer will enhance the municipal police service that the County Police have provided to Cortlandt under contract since 1999. The CRO will work closely with the Supervisor and Town Board, the business community, neighborhood and community organizations, and other stakeholders to identify and address issues of concern to the community.
Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said the Westchester County Police are proud to provide police services to Cortlandt and excited about the opportunity to enhance that service through the Community Resource Officer.
“Our police officers who work in Cortlandt are often very busy going from one call for service to the next,” Gleason said. “The addition of a CRO will enable our Department to engage more fully with residents, business and community leaders, youth groups, clergy and others to hear their concerns and builder a strong partnership in addressing those issues.”
Gleason said Police Officer Deopaul Mahadeo, who currents serves as a Patrol officer in Cortlandt, has been selected as the CRO. “This officer already has an extensive knowledge of the Cortlandt community that he can build upon in his work as the CRO.”
The CRO will focus on several critical areas, including:
Neighborhood and Community Engagement: Utilizing the Police and Community Together (PACT) community policing model, the CRO will collaborate with strategic partners, including the Cortlandt Coalition, local school districts, business owners, community organizations, the Cortlandt Senior Center, Cortlandt Youth Center, Cortlandt Parks and Recreation Department, the town’s Code Enforcement officers, and houses of worship. The CRO will conduct Neighborhood “Pop Up” events to make it easier for residents to connect with their police officers in all parts of the town.
Mental Health Crisis Team Support: The CRO will be provided with specialized crisis intervention training and be actively engaged with Project Alliance, which was created by the County to help address the needs of residents with behavioral health challenges. The CRO will serve as a liaison to the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT), Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, Department of Social Services and the officers assigned to the Cortlandt precinct to help provide resources and assistance to persons experiencing a mental health crisis.
Domestic Violence Follow-up: The CRO will be provided with specialized Domestic Violence High Risk training and assist patrol officers and detectives in assisting victims of domestic violence. The CRO will provide follow-up and resource support for court referrals, orders of protection, counseling, shelter alternatives and safety planning. The officer will also perform domestic violence awareness outreach and utilize the Lethality Assessment Protocol that identifies persons at highest risk for deadly domestic violence.
Youth Officer: The CRO will be able to engage with local youth and youth organizations to build relationships between police and this segment of the community. The CRO will also work on collaborative initiatives with the Westchester County Police officers who currently serve as School Resource Officers in the Hendrick Hudson and Lakeland school districts.
Community Resource Officers receive specialized training to meet the community policing objectives in the communities they serve. The Westchester County Police helped develop the CRO training program in 2021, and it is now offered throughout New York State.
The CRO training includes instruction in a wide range of topics such as crisis intervention, de-escalation, implicit bias, procedural justice, crime prevention, mental health issues and domestic violence.
PO Mahadeo, the new CRO, begins his duties immediately. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He started his law enforcement career with the White Plains Police Department where he served for five years before transferring to the Westchester County Police Department.
Gleason noted that the Westchester County Police Department is a New York State-accredited agency, a distinction that affirms a commitment to the highest professional standards and best practices. Only 26% of all police departments in New York are accredited by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
“Our department is committed to excellence in all that we do,” he said. “We will bring that same standard and commitment to our work as a Community Resource Officer in Cortlandt.”