FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2021
Jenna McDavid, Communications Manager
Rochester, NY - The Aid to Localities bill of the Enacted New York State Budget, which passed late Tuesday night, included $500,000 to support the necessary work of the Rochester Police Accountability Board thanks to months of advocacy from the Rochester state delegation, led by Senator Samra Brouk (SD 55). For the first time in the nation’s history, a state has invested in a Police Accountability Board to ensure that policing is transparent, equitable, and accountable to the people whom law enforcement is charged to protect. Rochester residents overwhelmingly voted for the creation of the Police Accountability Boar in 2019, and yet, like many other Police Accountability Boards around the country, it has struggled to do its vital work without funding. The Enacted State Budget provides meaningful funding to further accountability, transparency, and justice in our community.
“Input from community members and oversight of law enforcement creates safer and better communities,” stated Senator Samra Brouk. “The acts of violence by police here in Rochester over the past year have been devastating and relentless: the death of Daniel Prude while he experienced a mental health and substance abuse crisis last spring. The egregious pepper-spraying of a 9-year-old girl in January. A mother pepper-sprayed by police last month while she held her three-year-old child. And recently, the shooting death of Tyshon Jones, a young man in a crisis of grief over the death of his grandmother. Dedicated funding for the Police Accountability Board is an important first step in breaking this vicious cycle. I thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for her vision and understanding of the necessity of this state funding, and I send my appreciation to the Rochester residents who have worked tirelessly to make the Police Accountability Board a reality.”
Senator Brouk looks forward to continued advocacy for the work of the Police Accountability Board, which seeks additional funding from the City of Rochester to fully and meaningfully engage city leadership and community members in its vital work.
New York State Senator Samra Brouk (pronounced Sah-mra Br-uuk) represents the incredibly diverse 55th Senate District, stretching from the southern shores of Lake Ontario, through Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts, and south to Finger Lakes wine country. It includes Victor, East Bloomfield, West Bloomfield, Richmond, Bristol, South Bristol, Canadice, and Naples in Ontario County and Rush, Mendon, Pittsford, Perinton, Penfield, East Rochester, and Irondequoit, plus the east side of the City of Rochester in Monroe County. Senator Brouk serves as the Chair of the Mental Health Committee and sits on Health, Education, Elections, Women’s Issues, Aging, and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse committees.