Waverly Police Chief Dan Gelatt said his department’s relationship with the community has always been the most important part of their approach to policing.
Through new meet-and-greet events, he hopes to make that relationship even stronger in order to help them do their job better.
Last Friday, the Waverly police kicked off their first meet-and-greet at The Red Door, with plans to bring these events to various locations in the village each quarter.
“We can just bring all of the officers in and invite the public down to just get to know us,” Gelatt said. “When we know them and they know us, everything works better.”
The initiative comes from a police reform measure handed down by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020 after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Cuomo’s initiative challenged municipalities with their own local police force to examine their policing with the help of community stakeholders, and identify ways it can improve.
The meet-and-greet events were one of many ideas to come out of that effort, Gelatt said.
“One of our strengths has always been our community relations here,” he explained, adding, “We saw that as a good starting point to build on, to bring us all together.”
Given their history of partnering with The Red Door with past initiatives, along with its relaxed atmosphere, Gelatt felt it was the perfect place to start.
“We’ve met a lot of new people, which is great – members of the community that we can call friends now, and we think they can call us friends as well,” said Gelatt.
He asked the public to watch their Facebook page for future events as they are scheduled.