Kyle Hudson, a candidate for the Mayor of West Chester, announced his police reform policies last week after a discussion with West Chester Police Chief Jim Morehead. Hudson’s main focus as supervisor of the Police Department will be diversifying the department so that it is a reflection of the community it serves. 

“I hear one thing over and over from residents – that people don’t know the officers, because so few of them live in or are from West Chester. So we will be creating programs to encourage officers we hire to move into the borough and develop an academy feeder program that encourages local youths who want to become officers to stay in our community,” explained Hudson. These programs provide both short-term and long-term solutions to this problem.

One of Hudson’s biggest reforms includes creating a new class of police officers called “Special Law Enforcement Officers.” Hudson modeled this program after an already existing and successful police structure found in New Jersey police departments. These officers, Hudson says, will be a part-time police force that will not add to the pension burden. 

“The Special Class officers will be unarmed additions to the police force during the season that West Chester University will be in session,” Hudson says. “The goal is to create fewer armed police contacts with residents in the borough, as well as reduce our long term budget impact without sacrificing WCPD’s ability to do their job.”

Currently, no officers in the West Chester Police speak Spanish fluently, a point that Hudson has wanted to fix for the last four years. “As co-founder of the West Chester Cinco de Mayo Festival, I work with members of our local Mexican population and many don’t trust law enforcement, so there is no relationship at all. I think the first step is being able to talk to one another.” This was a campaign issue that Kyle ran on in 2017 and he has regularly brought up the fact that even if we have difficulty hiring officers who speak Spanish, we can still train officers to speak Spanish.

Another way to add qualified and racially diverse officers to the West Chester Police force, Hudson adds, is to change how we market the job. “My background is in marketing and I think this is where my skill set can really help the department. The problem stems from a failure in our hiring process, one that I aim to fix. The way to diversify our department is by diversifying our pool of candidates. We clearly aren’t doing that now, and my skills will allow us to attract the talent we are looking for.” 

“Our residents made it clear that we need to change the way we approach policing in our community,” said Hudson. “I am committed to that change and look forward to more feedback from the community about how our police can better serve our residents.”

 

Additional policies include:

  • A program he calls “A Social Worker for every Sargent”, where a social worker must be available for mental health-related calls each shift. 
  • Continue and expand the Mayor’s Opioid Action Task Force that he helped State Rep. Dianne Herrin develop when she was Mayor.

Kyle Hudson is a local organizer and business owner who ran for mayor of West Chester in 2017, becoming the youngest mayoral candidate in history. Kyle has been doing digital marketing since 2006, including work for the Charles A. Melton Arts and Education Center, Chester County Economic Development Council, and more than 30 businesses in West Chester. 

The policies put forward were created through policing research from national sources such as the FBI Counterterrorism Division, the Department of Justice, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and from local intel from the West Chester Borough Police Brotherhood Contract and suggestions from borough citizens. Hudson’s full police reform policy is able to be viewed on his campaign website, www.kylehudson.com

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