ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron announced unanimous passage of the Critical Infrastructure Safety Act though the Senate’s Codes Committee. The legislation (S.2190/A.6792) would increase penalties for trespassing on critical infrastructure, including bridges and tunnels.
Squadron introduced the legislation in response to a string of trespassing incidents on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2014, along with Assemblymember Lentol, in collaboration with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The legislation would provide a new tool in state law to better address the significant strain trespassing incidents place on security and emergency resources.
“Trespassing stunts on bridges, tunnels, and other critical infrastructure raise security concerns, and waste emergency personnel resources,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “I'm pleased the Codes Committee unanimously passed the Critical Infrastructure Safety Act today, and urge a full Senate vote. I thank Borough President Adams, Assemblymember Lentol, and Senator Schumer for their continued work on this important issue.”
“As an elected official, the safety of my constituents and all New Yorkers is my number one priority. When people decide to climb bridges or other critical infrastructure they are putting the lives of all New Yorkers in jeopardy. The NYPD and FDNY do not take these actions lightly, as it ties up critical resources that can be helping others with life threatening emergencies. I am hopeful my colleagues in the legislature understand the importance of this legislation,” said Assemblymember Joseph R. Lentol.
“In this age of global terror, when the threat of attack is real for every city in the world, we have a responsibility to protect the critical infrastructure on which the people of New York City depend. The law should clearly state that nobody has the right to interfere with our bridges, tunnels, and other secure facilities for any reason, and that we will prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone who attempts to undermine our security. I thank State Senator Squadron and Assembly Member Lentol for working with me on the Critical Infrastructure Safety Act since its conception two years ago, and I applaud the State Senate's Codes Committee for passing this vital measure today,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“As a top terror target, New York must be vigilant protecting our critical infrastructure, including a multi-level federal-and-state response to prevent and punish bridge trespassers. I applaud Borough President Adams, NYS Senator Squadron and NYS Assemblymember Lentol for introducing legislation that will help keep New York City safe and I am pleased this important bill is one step closer to passage,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.
Squadron and Lentol’s legislation secured the support of elected officials representing the RFK Triborough Bridge after a trespassing incident last year. Under the Act, critical infrastructure (already defined in state law) trespassers would be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor. Current law does not differentiate trespassing on critical infrastructure from other types of trespassing (currently a Class B Misdemeanor). The legislation complements a similar piece of federal legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Schumer in 2014.