STATE SENATE TO HOLD JOINT COMMITTEE HEARINGS IN JANUARY ABOUT POLICE SAFETY AND PUBLIC PROTECTION

Carl L Marcellino

December 30, 2014

Hearings Will Focus on Serious Safety Concerns Raised By the Shooting Deaths of Two New York City Police Officers

            The New York State Senate will hold a series of public hearings convened by four Senate committees starting in early January to examine police safety and public protection in New York City and throughout the state.  The hearings will review serious safety 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 hearings will be held in New York City and Albany and provide a thorough and balanced review of the City’s and State’s criminal justice systems. The Senators will receive input from law enforcement, legal scholars, City and State officials, and district attorneys on issues that include:

- The safety of police officers, in New York City and the rest of the state, 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.

             The following Senate Standing Committees, which will have subpoena powers, will jointly hold the hearings: 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). Dates and locations are being confirmed and will be announced once finalized.

             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.”