BROOKLYN, NY (5/23/17) –State Senator Kevin Parker installed retired New York City Police Officer and Air Force Veteran, Detective H. Leroy Hutchinson into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The on-line Hall of Fame is designed to pay tribute to the New Yorkers whose service in the U.S Armed Forces is complemented by their service to the community.
Detective H. Leroy Hutchinson, affectionately known in the Flatbush Brooklyn community as “Officer Hutch” or “Brooklyn,” was born on the Caribbean island of Barbados. He began his law enforcement career in the royal Barbados Police Force, and later immigrated to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Detective Hutchinson rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant before departing the military for a career at the New York Police Department. He became a Detective in the Community Affairs Division of the NYPD where he worked closely and tirelessly with the Central Brooklyn community to keep residents and visitors safe.
"I am completely honored to be inducted into the Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame by Senator Parker. I am actually more proud to see he is not just honoring Veterans because Memorial Day is upon us, but also working every day to pass laws that will improve the quality of life for troops currently serving and those returning home,” said Detective Hutchinson. The retired Community Affairs Officer wholeheartedly continued, “Through my experience, I know that support services around mental health and homelessness are crucial. If more efforts can be put towards veterans housing and support services on all levels of government, that would be ideal as it would stabilize those returning home, and afford them the opportunity to engage in their community as I have done.”
In addition to honoring Detective Hutchinson, Senator Parker is working to advance legislation to provide mental, financial, and housing support for veterans in New York State. According to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, about 1.4 million veterans are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and/or dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing. Equally important, the Coalition reports that roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, and many suffer from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The package of potential laws being advocated by Senator Parker this Legislative Session in Albany include, but is not limited to, the following six (6) bills:
- Senate Bill No. 1699 - ensures that individuals are equipped with the information they need to seek help in the event they experience sexual trauma in the military.
- Senate Bill No. 1705 - will create a mental illness and chemical dependence initiative to tackle any mental health and substance abuse issues of veterans.
- Senate Bill No. 2189 - will facilitate a study regarding homeless people who are veterans in New York State.
- Senate Bill No. 3252 - will institute a small business tax credit for business that hire unemployed veterans.
- Senate Bill No. 5412 - will create a distinctive “Women Veterans” New York State license plate of which the proceeds will help to fund women veteran support services and programs. The proposed law will also establish the Women Veterans Support Fund.
- Senate Bill No. 6158 – will mandate the State of New York to establish a Veterans’ Housing Program.
“Officer Hutchinson’s commitment to our country during his time in the Air Force, and later to the City of New York as a police officer is commendable and deserves much praise,” stated Senator Parker. “Though I am overjoyed to celebrate his remarkable accomplishments while having the opportunity to install him into the State Senate Veterans’ Hall Of Fame, our State has to do more to support the brave men and women who protect us abroad and at home. I am happy to have the support of veterans such as Officer Hutch to advance laws and policies that will ensure better days for all of our veterans,” concluded the Brooklyn lawmaker.