ALBANY, NY – Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay, their fellow Republicans, and law enforcement professionals from around the state today called for an immediate restoration to public safety in New York.
“No New Yorker should ever feel unsafe in their homes, neighborhoods, and local communities. Regrettably, the radical extremists now running the State Legislature have placed the interests of dangerous criminals above the rights of everyone else, including crime victims, law-abiding citizens, and the dedicated law enforcement professionals who keep our communities safe. The results are painfully clear, and New Yorkers have had enough. Today, the Senate Republican conference will be introducing a hostile amendment that will repeal the discovery and bail reforms that passed in 2019 and 2020. It’s time to restore common sense and public safety to our state now,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
“The safety of our citizens should be the top priority for anyone who holds public office. But year after year, Democrats have done everything in their power to undermine our laws, pardon violent criminals, and make it harder for police to protect the communities they serve. Those who supported and celebrated ‘bail reform’ as a means to make the community safe have lost all credibility on issues of law and order. They are responsible for establishing a system that enables crime and ignores criminal behavior, and it’s time to reverse course. Liberals’ platform on criminal justice isn't simply misguided – it’s actually dangerous,” said Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay.
“As we saw in last fall’s election, voters held legislators accountable who voted for the Bail Reform Act. Just yesterday I joined with Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder to cite examples of criminals who were released, only to be rearrested for dangerous gun-related offenses. Right now, criminals have more rights than victims. Enough is enough. We have to repeal bail reform, and we have to repeal it now before any more New Yorkers get hurt,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
“As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I understand the many challenges facing law enforcement in its effort to keep our neighborhoods safe. With crime and victimization on the rise in many communities, it is clear that we need to fix the dangerous changes made to New York’s criminal justice system in recent years. Our laws should not favor offenders over law-abiding citizens and families. It is time to restore common sense criminal justice policies and ensure that law enforcement has the resources necessary to protect our communities and residents,” said Senator Patrick M. Gallivan.
“As a former Lieutenant with the New York City Police Department, I understand better than most the consequences of Albany Democrats’ weak-on-crime agenda and the impact that it is having on communities across our state. Today I stand with my Republican colleagues, just as we have done many times before, to demand that Albany Democrats take action that’ll restore law and order once and for all with the passage of our legislation,” said Assemblyman Mike Reilly.
“We have seen time and time again that the Democratic Majorities in Albany have advanced a pro-criminal, anti-law enforcement, and anti-victim agenda. Our Conference has consistently said that so-called bail reform would make New York less safe and now we have the data to prove it. Thousands of violent crimes were committed following the release of individuals who could’ve been denied release were it not for bail reform. Recent state statistics also show that HALF of all individuals in a New York City ‘bail reform release program’ were rearrested. This isn’t what success looks like. We need to restore common sense to our criminal justice system now,” said Senator Alexis Weik.
“Bad policy and refusal by radical officials to enforce the law has resulted in a public safety crisis in New York. Our skyrocketing crime and murder rates are absolutely unacceptable. As a prosecutor, I saw firsthand what it takes to keep our communities safe and it starts with returning to common-sense public safety policy and holding criminals accountable for their actions,” said Assemblyman Michael Tannousis.
“The bail and discovery reforms enacted two years ago have led to record increases in crime in New York State. Judges must have the ability to make decisions about remanding dangerous criminals to jail for the safety of the communities they serve. We hope that the legislature will make common-sense changes during this legislative session. Positive changes to the bail reform agenda are vital to the safety of every New Yorker,” said Chief Patrick Phelan, Executive Director, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.
Some of the public safety challenges New York is facing include:
- A 46.7% increase in murders from 2019 to 2020;
- Overall index crime in New York City increased by 21.3% in November 2021, compared with November 2020;
- Hate crime rates in NYC increased 97% from November 2020 to November 2021;
- Firearm related violent crime increased by 28.9% from 2019 to 2020 in New York outside of New York City; and
- According to the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, New York has the highest demand for domestic violence services in the country.
For years, Republicans successfully led the fight to support and fund law enforcement, as well as enact landmark, tough-on-crime policies such as Megan’s Law, Kendra’s Law and many others designed to toughen penalties for violent criminals and sex offenders – and to provide services to those in need.
The Republicans’ 2022 agenda to restore public safety includes:
Protecting Those Who Protect Us:
- Invest in law enforcement;
- Provide them with the support they need to make our communities safe and serve those in need; and
- Fight Democrat efforts to “Defund the Police.”
- Rejecting Dangerous “Reforms” like Cashless Bail:
- End cashless bail, restore judicial discretion and reject proposals like “Clean Slate”;
- Require state agencies to be transparent about the effects of public safety policies; and
- Enact policies that get dangerous individuals off our streets.
- Reforming the Broken Parole System:
- Recenter the Parole process around the protection and rights of crime victims and their families;
- Ensure that cop-killers, serial killers, child killers, and other dangerous murderers can NEVER be released; and
- Reject dangerous Democrat proposals like “Elder Parole” and “Fair and Timely Parole.”
- Passing a Victims’ Justice Agenda:
- Strengthen penalties for violent and repeat offenders, as well as hate crimes;
- Create and support more victims’ services and resources; and
- Invest in proven mental health, addiction, and homeless programs.
“To make New York safe again, we must Protect Those Who Protect Us, Reject Dangerous Democrat “Reforms” like Cashless Bail, Reform our Broken Parole System, and Pass a Victims’ Justice Agenda,” concluded Leader Ortt.