Resolution in support Troy DSA’s demands to reform the Troy Police Department

At its January 2021 meeting, a majority of TALC delegates voted to sign on in support of the Troy Democratic Socialists of America’s demands to reform the Troy Police Department.

WHEREAS the Troy Police Department has shown consistent disregard for human life, particularly the lives of Black people, exemplified most recently by the murder of Edson Thevenin and attempted murder of Dahmeek McDonald.

WHEREAS the Troy City Council empowered a “Reimagine Troy Community Justice Work Group” to study the problem of police violence and that group has since released a public statement on January 18, 2021 airing their frustrations that their work is not being supported by the city’s government.

WHEREAS an estimated 11,000 people marched on the city in June in support of Black Lives Matter as the Troy Police Department ordered and ate pizza with City Council members in front of the widow of Edson Thevenin.

WHEREAS the Troy Area Labor Council has a long and proud history of moral clarity and commitment to justice in times of struggle.

LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Troy Area Labor Council formally endorses the demands articulated by the Troy chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America which can be found at and are copied herein.

Demands put forth by the Troy DSA:

In June, 2020 we saw 11,000 people filled streets of Troy to say emphatically and with no reservations that Black Lives Matter and that police brutality must come to an end. That is why we. the undersigned. as residents of the City of Troy demand current and future city leaders adoption the following platform:

Divest from policing, invest in Troy:

  • Immediate Budget & Hiring Freeze: Halt all future increases in police spending, including the approved $712,000 increase in the 2021 city budget, and institute a hiring freeze until the City moves forward with an examination of police practices, protocols, and internal culture.
  • Get cops out of schools: Students need support and services, not police surveillance and the constant threat of arrest or punishment. Remove School Resource Officers from Troy schools and invest in programming that helps students work through conflict in healthy, productive, and culturally-relevant ways. 
  • Demilitarize the police: Troy residents are not enemy combatants, and Troy is not a warzone. The use of military equipment such as helmets, camouflage, assault rifles, and tanks is an unnecessary provocation against community members. Troy must stop acquiring military equipment and dispose of its current arsenal.
  • Redirect funding to mental health, affordable housing, and social services: Redirect funds spent on policing to better support services that keep our community safe, including mental health and housing

Hold police in Troy accountable for misdeeds:

  • Create a Civilian Police Review Board with teeth: Assembled in June 2020, the Police Objective Review Board has not met or released any statements. A real review board, composed of a majority of people most impacted by police violence, must receive sufficient funding, meet at least once a month, review complaints, collect evidence, and have the power to subpoena individuals and suggest or compell disciplinary actions against officers.
  • Create an Easier Process to File a Complaint: Troy community members must be able to file complaints against Troy Police Officers in an easy, convenient manner that does not require interaction with the police. This includes not only having mobile-friendly online forms but having paper forms available in public locations such as libraries. Copies of complaints must also go to Troy’s personnel department.
  • Impose a Duty to Intervene on Troy Police: Require Troy police officers to intercede when a fellow officer is using excessive force, hold officers who fail to do so accountable and protect police officers who intervene from retaliation.
  • Enforce ban on political “thin blue line” or “back the blue” gear: Troy Police must refrain from wearing pins, buttons, scarves, masks, gaiters, ties, and hats that have the symbols and iconography generally associated with political slogans including “thin blue line” and “back the blue.” 

Promote police transparency in Troy:

  • Immediately Release All Disciplinary Records: With the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law, the city can and must release the disciplinary records and personnel files of all past, present, and future Troy police officers and command staff. It also must make a commitment to release these records on a regular and ongoing basis.
  • Pass the Right to Know Act:  The Right to Know Act would increase transparency in police interactions with the public by requiring officers to identify themselves when they interact with members of the public, provide a reason for the interaction, and hand over a business card with their name, rank, badge number, and command. It would also require officers to announce, prior to a search, that any searches of one’s body or property must have “voluntary, knowing and intelligent” consent.
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