At the Common Council Police Committee meeting on June 25, Mussmann herself did not speak. Instead Claudia Bruce, Mussmann's wife and partner in TSL, did. She expressed her concern that the trust between the community and the police is harmed by the SWAT raids "because they are overwhelming in a neighborhood." Bruce asked about the role of the mayor in planning such action and wanted to know if the mayor gave his "say-so" to the raids. Responding to Bruce's suggestion that the mayor should be the one to decide if the deployment of the shared services team was warranted or not, Mayor Rick Rector said that Chief Ed Moore advised him before the raid took place but he was not involved in deciding when a situation called for such action. "He's the expert," Rector said of Moore, "I'm not the expert, and I have complete faith in him and his department." In his comments, Rector also mentioned that a new police commissioner had not been appointed since Martha Harvey, appointed by Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton in September 2016, resigned in August 2017.
|Photo: Linda Mussmann|Facebook|
The connecting thread in all of this can be found on Linda Mussmann's Facebook page. There she expresses her opinion that the Common Council should pass a resolution requiring the Hudson Police Department to opt out of the Shared Services Response Team (the team is made up of officers from the sheriff's departments of Columbia and Greene counties and the HPD) and also reveals her preference for police commissioner: Peter Volkmann, the police chief for the Village of Chatham who was the Democratic candidate for Columbia County sheriff last November. Volkmann is known for a program he launched in Chatham to address opioid addiction called Chatham Cares 4 U (CC4U). In a video accompanying an article about Volkmann that appeared in April in the web magazine CityLab, Volkmann says he trains his officers to be "guardians of our community; they are not warriors." Those terms were also used by Bruce at the Police Committee meeting when she told Moore, "SWAT training makes warriors; police officers are guardians."
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