Hearing Focuses on Safety Concerns Raised By the Shooting Deaths of Two
New York City Police Officers
The New York State Senate today held the first in a series of public hearings to provide a thorough review of issues affecting the safety of law enforcement and the public in New York City. The hearing was jointly convened by four Senate committees to address serious concerns raised by the shooting deaths of two NYPD Officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in addition to other recent attacks and hostility directed at law enforcement.
The Senate Standing Committees include: Codes, chaired by Senator Michael Nozzolio (R-C, Fayette); Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections, chaired by Senator Pat Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma); Investigations and Government Operations, chaired by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset); and Civil Service and Pensions, chaired by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn).
Senator Marcellino said, “Our communities are safer because of the sacrifices police officers and first responders make every day. It is a tough job and we must do all that we can to see that their jobs aren’t made even more difficult. It is time that we use all our available resources to review our laws and training procedures so that we protect both the rights of citizens and the safety of our police force.”
The hearing provided a comprehensive examination of New York City’s criminal justice system, including:
- The safety of New York City police officers and other first responders in the current climate;
- Statistics on assaults upon police officers and discussions about adequate training and equipment and the risks the police must take while in the line of duty;
- The impact of community policing;
- The need for state action to assure adequate police disability and death benefits, impose stricter penalties and deny bail for people who assault police officers and/or make threats to the police, and provide increased treatment for criminals with mental illnesses, among other measures; and
- The grand jury process and procedure.
Those providing testimony included: William J. Bratton, New York City Police Commissioner; Patrick J. Lynch, President, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association; Edward D. Mullins, President, Sergeants Benevolent Association; Cyrus R. Vance, District Attorney, New York County; Daniel M. Donovan Jr., District Attorney, Richmond County; Paul E. O’Connell, Professor, Iona College; Eugene O’Donnell, Lecturer, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Dr. Michael Jenkins, Assistant Professor, The University of Scranton; Stephen J. Cassidy, President, Uniformed Firefighters’ Association; Israel Miranda, President, Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics & Fire Inspectors F.D.N.Y. – Local 2507; and Michael J. Palladino, President, The Detective’s Endowment Association, Inc.
The next public hearing examining police safety and public protection is being scheduled for later this month in Albany. Additional hearings are also being planned for other parts of the state.