It is no coincidence that at the annual Katonah Sidewalk Sales Day this past weekend, one of the most popular tents on Katonah Avenue featured the Bedford Police Department and “Coffee with a Cop.”
All throughout the sweltering day, residents stopped to chat with the officers on duty. They shared concerns about the town, discussed the challenges of life during COVID, and watched their kids make a beeline for the “Junior PD” badges. This is the same Bedford PD that deftly helped ensure that the Rally for Black Lives, with attendance estimated in the thousands, proceeded in Bedford Village Park without incident.
In these cases — and in so many others — the men and women of our police department acted proactively to build ties and to work closely with our community. This is community policing at its best and is in many ways a model for other agencies to follow.
We find ourselves now at a complicated and fraught moment in time. The implications of 400-plus years of racism are just below the surface nearly everywhere in American society. We all need to take responsibility for the society we live in and to consider how we can actively make it a better, more inclusive, anti-racist world. In no way, however, does this responsibility preclude support for our local police. I welcome the opportunity to undertake this vital work alongside the Bedford Police Department and look forward to building upon the solid foundation that already exists within our community.
Editor’s note: the author is a member of the Bedford Town Board and the board liaison to the Bedford Police Department.