Senator Michael Nozzolio, Chairman of the New York State Senate Codes Committee, today held the first in a series of public hearings to provide a thorough review of issues affecting the safety of law enforcement, first responders, and the public in New York State. The hearing was jointly convened in New York City by four Senate Committees to address serious concerns raised by the shooting deaths of two NYPD Officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson, in addition to other recent attacks and hostility directed at law enforcement.
The Senate Standing Committees holding the hearing included: Codes, chaired by Senator Nozzolio; Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections; Investigations and Government Operations; and Civil Service and Pensions.
“This hearing is an important first step toward creating new initiatives and legislation to strengthen our criminal justice laws and establish additional protections to keep our first responders, police, fire and emergency providers, safe from harm,” said Senator Nozzolio. “As Chairman of the New York State Senate Codes Committee, I look forward to continuing the effort we have started here today to develop genuine, lasting solutions to eliminate violent crime in our communities and ensure the safety of our first responders.”
Today’s hearing provided a comprehensive examination of New York’s criminal justice system, including:
- The safety of 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 based policing;
- The need for state action to insure 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.
Additional hearings are also being planned throughout the state.