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Lawmakers, law enforcement hold roundtable to better help policing

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TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) -- Facing a lack of new candidates, local law enforcement and legislators are trying to come up with a new approach.

State Sen. Fred Akshar (R, District 52) and Broome County Sheriff David Harder (R), joined by other local law enforcement leaders, discussed Wednesday possible strategies to help policing in our local communities.

The group told 12 News less people are applying to become officers than ever before, and it is especially difficult to attract people of color to become members.

Akshar said he wants to examine how recent changes in police practices here in New York have impacted the Southern Tier, and how lawmakers can be more effective in helping law enforcement.

"How are these changes being implemented in real world time, and what changes need to be made?" Akshar asked rhetorically. "No piece of legislation, I guess we'd like to think it's perfect going into it, but all too often I think bureaucrats in Albany advance a piece of policy they think is the right thing to do without having meaningful conversations."

The group said one of the biggest problems it faces is messaging, with less people believing police are the good guys in our society.

In addition to the various heads of law enforcement, the group also included Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt (R), and members of local district attorney offices.

Josh Rosenblatt

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