senate Bill S7881

Establishes the crimes of reckless endangerment of a peace officer, police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services professional in the first and second degrees

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO RULES

Summary

Establishes the crimes of reckless endangerment of a peace officer, police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services professional in the first and second degrees.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10174
Versions:
S7881
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Add §§120.26 & 120.27, Pen L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7881

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to
establishing the crimes of reckless endangerment of a peace officer,
police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services professional
in the first and second degrees

PURPOSE: To create the new crimes of reckless endangerment of a peace
officer, police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services
professional in the first and second degrees.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill adds a new § 120.26 to the penal law creating
the crime of reckless endangerment of a peace officer, police officer,
firefighter or emergency medical services professional in the second
degree. A person is guilty of this offense when, knowing that a
building permit is required and with knowledge that such permit has
not been obtained, he or she knowingly alters, converts, encloses,
subdivides or partitions any building or structure in violation of the
New York State uniform fire prevention and building code, or any other
provision of general, special or local law, ordinance, administrative
code, rule or regulation addressing standards for building
construction and fire prevention and during such fire or other
emergency evacuation such conduct creates a substantial risk of
serious physical injury to a peace officer, police officer,
firefighter or emergency medical services professional. Reckless
endangerment of a peace officer, police officer, firefighter or
emergency medical services professional in the second degree is a
class A misdemeanor.

Section 2 adds a new § 120.27 to the penal law creating the crime of
reckless endangerment of a peace officer, police officer, firefighter
or emergency medical services professional in the first degree. A
person is guilty of this offense when he or she commits reckless
endangerment of a peace officer, police officer, firefighter or
emergency medical services professional in the second degree and
either: during such fire or other emergency evacuation such conduct
creates a grave risk of death to a peace officer, police officer,
firefighter or emergency medical services professional and such person
sustains a physical injury; or he or she has previously been convicted
within the past ten years of reckless endangerment of a peace officer,
police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services professional
in the first or second degree. Reckless endangerment of a peace
officer, police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services
professional in the first degree is a class E felony.

Section 3 provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Building codes exist to ensure that residents, and
particularly first responders and emergency personnel, are protected
from the dangers posed by fire and inferior construction methods.
While responding to any emergency is dangerous, this is particularly
so when a building has been illegally altered, usually to make room
for more occupants. Firefighters and other first responders are put
at significant risk when they enter a structure anticipating a certain
layout and instead must navigate around with walls that don't belong,


narrow passageways, blocked entrances or exits, or other structural
changes, all while battling smoke and flames. Far too often, these
situations result in serious injury to, or even the death of,
firefighters or other emergency personnel.

This is exactly what happened on a January morning in 2005 in the
Bronx, where an apartment fire turned into a deathtrap for several
firefighters. Six New York City firefighters were forced to jump from
a fourth-floor window after they were trapped in the apartment by
illegally constructed walls. Sadly, two firefighters were killed and
several more were severely injured. While the building's owner and
former were initially convicted of criminally negligent homicide,
these convictions were overturned by a judge who ruled there was no
evidence that they knew the apartments had been illegally converted.

More recently, in 2011, firefighters in Haverstraw, Rockland County,
entered a smoke-filled single-family home and were confronted with its
illegal conversion to a rooming house. A disoriented volunteer
firefighter was running out of air and had to issue a mayday call to
his fellow firefighters, who had to use a thermal imaging device to
locate him in the home. Thankfully, he was found in time. The owner of
the home had been served with a code violation just two weeks prior to
the fire.

Illegally altered or subdivided structures can have very serious
consequences for the occupants of these structures and particularly
the first responders who might be called there in an emergency. Our
first responders provide an invaluable service in keeping us safe and
assisting us in emergencies, and when an unscrupulous individual
directly places their health and safety at risk for the sake of their
own profits they should be held accountable in the event that their
illegal conduct results in injury or death to a firefighter or other
emergency services personnel

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November
next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7881

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 16, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crimes of
  reckless endangerment of a peace officer, police officer,  firefighter
  or  emergency  medical  services  professional in the first and second
  degrees

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 120.26 to
read as follows:
S 120.26 RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, FIRE-
           FIGHTER OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL  SERVICES  PROFESSIONAL  IN  THE
           SECOND DEGREE.
  A PERSON IS GUILTY OF RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE
OFFICER,  FIREFIGHTER  OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL IN THE
SECOND DEGREE WHEN, KNOWING THAT A BUILDING PERMIT IS REQUIRED AND  WITH
KNOWLEDGE  THAT  SUCH  PERMIT HAS NOT BEEN OBTAINED, HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY
ALTERS, CONVERTS, ENCLOSES, SUBDIVIDES OR  PARTITIONS  ANY  BUILDING  OR
STRUCTURE IN VIOLATION OF THE NEW YORK STATE UNIFORM FIRE PREVENTION AND
BUILDING  CODE  OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF GENERAL, SPECIAL OR LOCAL LAW,
ORDINANCE, ADMINISTRATIVE CODE, RULE OR REGULATION ADDRESSING  STANDARDS
FOR  BUILDING  CONSTRUCTION  AND FIRE PREVENTION AND DURING SUCH FIRE OR
OTHER EMERGENCY EVACUATION SUCH CONDUCT CREATES A  SUBSTANTIAL  RISK  OF
SERIOUS  PHYSICAL INJURY TO A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER
OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL.
  RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER,  FIREFIGHTER
OR  EMERGENCY  MEDICAL  SERVICES  PROFESSIONAL IN THE SECOND DEGREE IS A
CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.
  S 2. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 120.27  to  read
as follows:
S 120.27 RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, FIRE-
           FIGHTER  OR  EMERGENCY  MEDICAL  SERVICES PROFESSIONAL IN THE
           FIRST DEGREE.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15626-01-4

S. 7881                             2

  A PERSON IS GUILTY OF RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE
OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL  IN  THE
FIRST  DEGREE  WHEN HE OR SHE COMMITS THE CRIME OF RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT
OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER,  FIREFIGHTER  OR  EMERGENCY  MEDICAL
SERVICES PROFESSIONAL IN THE SECOND DEGREE AND:
  1. DURING SUCH FIRE OR OTHER EMERGENCY EVACUATION SUCH CONDUCT CREATES
A GRAVE RISK OF DEATH TO A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER OR
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL AND SUCH PERSON SUSTAINS A PHYS-
ICAL INJURY; OR
  2. HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN CONVICTED WITHIN THE LAST TEN YEARS OF RECKLESS
ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER OR EMERGEN-
CY MEDICAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL IN THE FIRST OR SECOND DEGREE.
  RECKLESS  ENDANGERMENT OF A PEACE OFFICER, POLICE OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER
OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL IN  THE  FIRST  DEGREE  IS  A
CLASS E FELONY.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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