by New Paltz Meeting
The attached is a letter about police that Friends in New Paltz labored faithfully over for a number of months. It was approved for distribution and the clerk was directed to send a copy to be considered for publication in Spark.
As members of the Religious Society of Friends we believe in the dignity and worth of every human life. We seek the best in ourselves and look for the best in others. We strive to treat our neighbors equally and with honesty, fairness, and respect, whatever their walk of life, whether we agree with their views or not.
We consider ourselves responsible for caring for our nation, our communities, and each other, including those who work in New Paltz to keep the peace. We oppose violence in any form. These are the same values and attitudes we would like to see in the local police and in our community. We urge that community officers be deeply schooled in ways to solve conflicts without violence.
We are profoundly disturbed to know that nationwide the police kill three people a day—a number that hasn’t changed in recent years, despite all the attention on police killings (as reported in the NY Times, 4/17/21). A disproportionate number of the victims are people of color. Similarly, people of color are incarcerated at a much higher rate than whites. Violence and injustice can only create more violence.
We are heartened to know that the town of New Paltz has passed a plan in accordance with suggestions from the Police Reform and Reinvention Committee that includes community oversight of the police as well as antiracism training. We are eager to see the implementation of these changes. We welcome and support them.
—New Paltz Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)