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‘Having a voice is very important’: Vestal stakeholders improve the town they love

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- On Thursday, the Vestal Police Department met with community stakeholders to build stronger ties in the town.

This meeting was part of a series of meetings mandated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo signed an executive order back in June requiring municipal police departments to hold meetings with the community to "increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system".

While initially skeptical of this process, Lieutenant Christopher Streno said he was blown away by the community's openness and willingness to learn.

"Any apprehension that I might have had personally going into this was immediately wiped away," Lt. Streno told 12 News. "It's a nice varied demographic of people from different backgrounds, different ages, different walks of life, different life experiences, so in my opinion it turned out to be a really good community stakeholder committee."

Lynn Parker, who owns a business in the town, said he wasn't surprised the meetings were productive given the close-knit nature of Vestal.

"Vestal is a very positive community. There's a lot going on in the community, we're very supportive of each other," Parker said.

Josh Rosenblatt

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