Public Hearing - March 11, 2015

Download PDF

                                 PUBLIC HEARING:
                          EXAMINING POLICE SAFETY AND

       7      -----------------------------------------------------

       8                       Legislative Office Building
                               Van Buren Hearing Room A, 2nd Floor
       9                       181 State Street
                               Albany, New York 12247
                               March 11, 2015
      11                       10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

                 Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
      14         Chairman, NYS Senate Standing Committee on
                 Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections
                 Senator Martin J. Golden
      16         Chairman, NYS Senate Standing Committee on
                 Civil Service and Pensions
                 Senator Carl L. Marcellino
      18         Chairman, NYS Senate Standing Committee on
                 Investigations and Government Operations
                 Senator Michael J. Nozzolio
      20         Chairman, NYS Senate Standing Committee on Codes


      22      PRESENT:

      23         Senator John J. Bonacic

      24         Senator Leroy Comrie

      25         Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.


              PRESENT (continued):
                 Senator Simcha Felder
                 Senator Andrew Lanza
                 Senator Thomas F. O'Mara
                 Senator Michael Venditto

       7                            ---oOo---


       9      SPEAKERS:                              PAGE   QUESTIONS

      10      Thomas Krumpter                          10       29
              Acting Police Commissioner
      11      Nassau County Police Department

      12      Alfonso David                            60       67
              Counsel to the Governor
      13      Terrence O'Leary
              Deputy Secretary for Public Safety
      14      State of New York

      15      R. Bruce McBride                        107       --
              Commissioner of Police
      16      State University of New York

      17      Thomas H. Mungeer                       115      121
      18      The Police Benevolent Association
                   of the New York State Troopers
              Kevin Mulverhill                        134      143
      20      Sheriff
              Franklin County, New York
              Thomas Czyz                             148      150
      22      Co-Founder/CEO
              Armoured One
              Jeffrey Kayser                          157      165
      24      President
              NYS Police Investigators Association


              SPEAKERS (continued):                  PAGE   QUESTIONS
              Frank Sedita                            171      192
       3      President
              District Attorneys Association of NYS
              Michael Powers                          219      227
       5      President
              Tammy Sawchuk
       6      Executive Vice President
              John Terlesky
       7      Treasurer
              NYS Correctional Officers & Police
       8           Benevolent Association

       9      Drew Cavanagh                           245      258
      10      Police Benevolent Association of NYS

      11      Bernard Rivers                          245      258
      12      Environmental Conservation
                   Superior Officers Association
              David Zack                              261      284
      14      Chief of Police, Town of Cheektowaga
                   Police Department
      15      Vice President, New York State
                   Association of Chiefs of Police
              Richard Wells                           261      284
      17      President
              Police Conference of New York
              Peter Patterson                         261      284
      19      Vice President of Nassau County PBA
              Legislative Chairman,
      20           State Association of PBAs

      21      Margaret Ryan                           261      284
              Executive Director
      22      NYS Association of Chiefs of Police

      23      Dr. Robert Worden                       298      309
      24      Dr. Sarah J. McLean
              Associate Director
      25      John Finn Institute


       1             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Good morning, everybody.

       2      Thank you for being here today.

       3             This is a joint Senate Standing Committee on

       4      Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections; Civil Service

       5      and Pensions; Investigations and Government

       6      Operations; and the Codes Committee, coming together

       7      for a public hearing to examine police safety and

       8      public protection.

       9             In light of the things that we have seen

      10      raised across the nation, not too recently in

      11      New York City as well, we thought it appropriate to

      12      examine these issues; to look specifically at police

      13      safety, and what is needed to assist police to

      14      effectively do their jobs.

      15             And then, of course, the criminal justice

      16      system, there have been cries and calls for reform.

      17             The Governor, in particular, has proposed

      18      several reforms.

      19             And the committees have come together to

      20      examine -- to examine those issues, and we

      21      appreciate your participation.

      22             I'm Senator Pat Gallivan.  I chair the

      23      Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections Committee.

      24             We are joined today by

      25      Senator Carl Marcellino, to my left, your right, who


       1      chairs the Government -- Investigations and

       2      Government Operations Committee;

       3             Senator Martin Golden, who is to my right, a

       4      former New York City police officer, chairs

       5      Civil Service and Pensions;

       6             And we're also joined by Senator Ruben Diaz,

       7      to your far right.

       8             Senator Mike Nozzolio is the Chair of the

       9      Codes Committee, and will be joining us as well,

      10      along with others.

      11             Other members may be moving in and out.  It's

      12      a very busy day in the Capitol.  There are a number

      13      of different committee meetings, budget process,

      14      going on, so there will be people moving in and out

      15      throughout the hearing.

      16             But we appreciate your participation.

      17             We do have written testimony from most

      18      everybody who is going to present today.

      19             If we don't have it from you, before you do

      20      testify, if you're able to provide us with that.

      21             And, I would just point out, with written

      22      testimony, it is wonderful for us, and we can read

      23      it.  And we're more interested in what you have to

      24      say.

      25             So if at all possible, if you're able to


       1      summarize and just make points, and have a

       2      conversation with us, about the things that you deem

       3      important on the relevant issues that we came

       4      together for.

       5             So, with that, I would ask if,

       6      Senator Marcellino, do you have anything to add?

       7             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yeah, the only thing

       8      I would add to the situation is, again, I second my

       9      colleague, with the idea that we don't need people

      10      reading their testimony.  We can do that.

      11             Despite what you might read in the papers, we

      12      do read, and most of us graduated from school, so

      13      we're able to do that.

      14                  [Laughter.]

      15             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  But what we need is, as

      16      Pat said, is a conversation.

      17             The issues are extremely important: the

      18      relationship between the community, and the police

      19      department whose job it is to protect us from people

      20      who are bent on doing bad things.

      21             We want to be able to help our police.  We

      22      want to be able to help them in their relations with

      23      the community.

      24             We want to make sure that there is a positive

      25      relationship between the police departments all over


       1      the state, with the people that they are sworn to

       2      serve, and that's a positive thing.

       3             It's -- in some cases, it seems to be the

       4      bent of certain individuals to turn the community

       5      against its police force.

       6             I can think of no more dangerous scenario

       7      that would happen, if that was to happen.

       8             There should be a cooperative relationship

       9      between the police, there should be a positive --

      10      and the people.  There should be a positive

      11      relationship between the police and the public.

      12             This -- it is good for everyone if the public

      13      understands that the police are here to preserve and

      14      protect, and that cooperation with the police

      15      department is important so that they can do their

      16      jobs, and the public gets the benefit of being able

      17      to live in communities that are safe and streets

      18      that are safe.

      19             So, with that, I will turn it over to you,

      20      Pat --

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Carl.

      22             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  -- and Ruben has

      23      something to say about this.

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks.

      25             Senator Golden, followed by Senator Diaz.


       1             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you very much,

       2      Mr. Chairman.

       3             Thank you all for showing up here today.

       4             I think my colleagues already hit the nail on

       5      the head; this is about reactions that are going on

       6      across not just this state, but other states, and

       7      people overreacting and trying to have different

       8      outcomes by using the court system and restraining

       9      police officers and limiting district attorneys'

      10      rights and abilities to prosecute.

      11             So we're going to be, obviously, listening to

      12      "grand jury" testimony; what do we want to do about

      13      a grand jury that's been working well here for the

      14      past hundreds of years?

      15             We'll talk about the broken-windows theory;

      16      the resources to offices and how to keep them safe;

      17      and bulletproof glass, bulletproof doors; training;

      18      other resources; perception to the police

      19      departments and police conduct; and how we can help

      20      to give the police officers and district attorneys

      21      across the state of New York the tools they need to

      22      continue to bring crime down here in the state of

      23      New York and in the city of New York.

      24             And it's becoming more and more difficult

      25      each and every day, as we see the number of


       1      incidents, although, be it a small number, four or

       2      five have driven the media and many cities to react.

       3             And we want to make sure that this state

       4      reacts appropriately and does what's necessary to

       5      keep our citizens safe; but at the same token, we

       6      want to keep our police officers and our district

       7      attorneys, to give them the teeth that they need to

       8      be able to keep this city and state safe.

       9             A safe city, a safe state.

      10             So, I want to thank this Committee.

      11             I think this Committee has done an awful lot

      12      of good work, and it's going to continue to do good

      13      work, as we move forward to make sure we put the

      14      appropriate legislation forward, as well as the

      15      appropriate dollars where needed, to be able to

      16      protect our "thin blue line."

      17             Thank you.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Diaz.

      19             SENATOR DIAZ:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman --

      20                  [Microphone turned on.]

      21             SENATOR DIAZ:  It's on?  Okay.

      22             Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      23             You know, we do meetings after meetings, and

      24      we are always back to the same starting point.  All

      25      throughout the nation, from west to east -- from


       1      north to east and west to south, we have the same

       2      complaints:  How police and the law-enforcement

       3      officers treat Black and Hispanic and minority

       4      communities.

       5             All the complaints are based on the

       6      relationship between the law enforcement and the

       7      treatment towards Black and Hispanic and minority

       8      communities.

       9             If it were not because of that, we would not

      10      be here.

      11             We have been here over and over and over.

      12             So not until the relationship -- or, the way

      13      in which the police or the law-enforcement officers

      14      address or treat our community, it never will be

      15      changed.

      16             We read in the paper, we read the same thing:

      17      the same abuses, and the same accusations, the same

      18      complaints.

      19             But hopefully, today, something will be done.

      20             [Unintelligible] to say that.  Too many of

      21      these [unintelligible].

      22             But I'm glad that you, Mr. Chairman, have

      23      called to this meeting, and let's go with it.

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Senator.

      25             Our first presenter will be Thomas Krumpter,


       1      who is the acting commissioner of the Nassau County

       2      Police Department.

       3             And Bruce McBride will be next.

       4             Good morning, Commissioner.

       5             When you're ready.

       6             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Good morning.

       7             I'd like just to take a moment and thank this

       8      Committee for holding these hearings.

       9             It is an extremely important topic in light

      10      of the national view right now, and some significant

      11      incidents that have occurred throughout the country.

      12             Nassau County Police Department is the

      13      thirteenth largest major-city department in the

      14      country.  We currently have approximately

      15      2200 officers.

      16             It's frequently touted that Nassau County is

      17      the largest safe suburban county in America, and

      18      it's a proud distinction that we're, you know, very

      19      excited about in Nassau County.

      20             In 2014 crime was reduced by 9.5 percent over

      21      2013.

      22             Over the last 5 years, crime is down

      23      25 percent, and shootings in Nassau County is down

      24      33 percent.

      25             Just to show exactly what that means:


       1             In the police district of Nassau County last

       2      year there were six homicides.

       3             That gives a per capita homicide rate

       4      of .56 per 100,000 residents.

       5             In New York State, in 2013, it was

       6      3.3 homicides per 100,000 residents.

       7             And in the country, as a whole, it was 4.5.

       8             So I think you get the feeling of just how

       9      safe Nassau County is.

      10             Now, what adds something special to all this,

      11      is that you would think that, over the last several

      12      years, we've significantly increased the size of the

      13      police department; and that's just not the case.

      14             In September of 2008, the police department

      15      was 2750 sworn.  And as I stated earlier, we are now

      16      at approximately 2200 sworn.

      17             You know, so the question is, you know:  How

      18      have we accomplished this?

      19             And, you know, first and foremost, you have

      20      to give credit where credit is due.

      21             The cops in Nassau County go out there every

      22      single day and do a great job, putting their life on

      23      the line, and are motivated to do the right thing by

      24      the residents in Nassau County.

      25             The other area that we have focused a


       1      significant amount of energy on, while we've made

       2      significant reductions in the Nassau County Police

       3      Department, we have invested significantly in our

       4      intelligence-led policing model.

       5             Five years ago there were three people

       6      assigned to the intelligence section.

       7             As of today, we have approximately 17 -- not

       8      approximately -- 17 intelligence analysts,

       9      civilians; and 10 sworn members assigned to that

      10      unit.  And in the next month we'll hire another

      11      seven.

      12             In Nassau County we take an all-crimes

      13      approach, using intelligence-led policing, from the

      14      ground up.

      15             At the core of that is, you know, we leverage

      16      technology.

      17             You know, we use the system, ShotSpotter,

      18      which is a real-time gunshot location system that's

      19      currently deployed in Roosevelt and Uniondale.

      20             You know, when we rolled out that system, we

      21      worked with the community.  And it's about community

      22      relationships, it's about building trust.

      23             And when we first tested that system, shots

      24      were going off every single day in those two

      25      hamlets.  And over time, we've seen a reduction of


       1      90 percent.

       2             As a matter of fact, when we first tested

       3      that system, we fired over 600 rounds at

       4      60 locations, and received 3 phone calls to 911.

       5             We didn't advise the community we were doing

       6      the testing.  We didn't want them to feel that those

       7      shots were by us and assume we expected them to

       8      call.

       9             And people became used to the sound of

      10      gunshots in their community.

      11             That's pretty scary when you're talking about

      12      a suburban community.

      13             So what we've done, is we turned around that

      14      community, and we've seen significant reductions in

      15      shots by over 90 percent in the last 5 years.

      16             LPR technology, it's the same thing.

      17             License plate readers have become an integral

      18      part of how we police in Nassau County.

      19             And what we've done there is, when I was a

      20      cop on patrol, if we had a burglary pattern, if we

      21      had a robbery pattern, we would make -- you know,

      22      30, 40, 50 cops would be assigned to that pattern.

      23             Now, with the use of technology, we're

      24      solving those patterns a lot faster.

      25             LPRs we'll put in a neighborhood, and we're


       1      usually able to solve a burglary pattern with fewer

       2      than 10 burglaries in total.

       3             Once a pattern's established in a given area,

       4      we put out that technology, and we can take license

       5      plates that are gathered by that technology,

       6      forty to fifty thousand, sort them, analyze it, and

       7      come down to three to four cars of interest, and

       8      usually, you know, focus on a single or two

       9      subjects.

      10             You know, with all that being said, in March

      11      of last year, March of 2014, the chief of the

      12      department, Steve Skrynecki, and I sat down, and

      13      what we believed, was we could do better in

      14      Nassau County, and we implemented three programs

      15      last year.

      16             First, we took a look at our ethics.

      17             We took a look at a department that, really,

      18      for all purposes, is corruption-free.

      19             It's not to say we don't have our problems.

      20             We have problems, like any large department.

      21      We have 3200 employees.

      22             But we weren't satisfied with being,

      23      virtually, corruption-free.  We weren't satisfied

      24      with very few complaints and very few issues.

      25             We wanted to do better.


       1             So we went out on a request for proposal.

       2             PERF (Police Executive Research Forum) won

       3      that bid, and we are currently going through a major

       4      overhaul of our ethics.

       5             One of the most interesting parts of that

       6      was, we did a survey to gauge the public trust of

       7      the Nassau County Police Department.

       8             That survey was conducted, under the

       9      direction of PERF, by Sienna Polling, a very

      10      reputable polling company.

      11             And what we found was something startling.

      12             What we found is, that even though we have

      13      aggressively policed Nassau County, even though we

      14      significantly reduced the force, what we found was,

      15      we had a high degree of trust from the community.

      16             As a matter of fact, the Nassau County as a

      17      whole, the trust was measured at over 80 percent --

      18      just -- excuse me, just about 80 percent.

      19             As the minority community, we have more work

      20      to do, but we're just about 70 percent positive view

      21      of the Nassau County Police Department.

      22             This is a county with 1.3 million residents,

      23      primarily police -- 1.1 million residents, by

      24      Nassau County Police Department, and the minority

      25      community had a very favorable impression of the


       1      Nassau County Police Department, and as the

       2      community as a whole.

       3             So it can be done; you can balance the public

       4      trust with the objectives of the police department.

       5             Last year we conducted an ethics training, we

       6      conducted a use-of-force training.

       7             In March of last year we overhauled our

       8      completely use of -- excuse me -- our use-of-force

       9      policy.

      10             Chief Skrynecki led a committee, and we,

      11      literally, spent thousands of hours going over our

      12      use-of-force policy for the first time since 1986.

      13             With all those things that are positive in

      14      Nassau County, we do have issues.

      15             Last year there were 550 police officers

      16      injured in the line of duty.

      17             And the other major issue that faces

      18      Nassau County, that is killing people every day, is

      19      the heroin epidemic that faces not only

      20      Nassau County, but Long Island.

      21             Last year 100 people, 100 young people, died

      22      of overdoses, predominately of heroin and opioids.

      23             It is killing kids and it's destroying the

      24      future.

      25             We have had over -- just under 800 heroin and


       1      opioid overdoses reported to the police last year.

       2             It is a significant issue.

       3             And as we move forward, I ask this Committee

       4      to consider a couple of items related to heroin.

       5             First and foremost, it's a difficult drug to

       6      overcome, with a 90 percent relapse rate reported in

       7      some studies.

       8             There are some positives coming about, but

       9      we'll wait and see.

      10             So the first thing that I ask, is that you

      11      consider legislation that would require a 72-hour

      12      hold on victims of overdoses transported to the

      13      hospital.

      14             What we're seeing in Nassau County, and we're

      15      aggressively dealing with this problem, as a matter

      16      of fact, we have actually trained every single

      17      police officer in the department on the use of

      18      Narcan, and it is saving lives.

      19             Last year, since May, we had over 200 people

      20      saved from Narcan.  We had 100 people die.

      21             If not for the Narcan intervention by the

      22      police department, that number surely would have

      23      been well over 200 fatalities.

      24             So what happens is, and what we're finding

      25      is, that when people are responding to these calls,


       1      we save their lives, we transport them to the

       2      hospital, and then they're out of the hospital very

       3      quickly.  They're out of the hospital to overdose

       4      again without any intervention, any treatment,

       5      without any help or assistance.

       6             And we've actually had a case last year,

       7      where we saved a person's life on day one.  By day

       8      four, we saved the person's life a second time.  And

       9      within five days after that, the person died of an

      10      overdose.

      11             So we're getting them the help on the front

      12      end, and what we really need is those hospitals to

      13      hold those individuals and get them the intervention

      14      that they need.

      15             The second item is statistics.

      16             As I stated earlier, you know, we're a model.

      17      We use intelligence-led policing, and what we use is

      18      analytical data to drive our crime deterrents and

      19      crime prevention.

      20             But what we don't know is the full scope of

      21      the heroin, and hospitals are not required to report

      22      that data.

      23             So it would be worthy of consideration to

      24      actually look at the possibility that the hospitals

      25      would be required to report that overdoses by


       1      ZIP code and drug, so that would allow us to target

       2      our efforts.

       3             And we do take a holistic approach to heroin

       4      in Nassau County.

       5             In 2014 we were awarded the Cisco IACP

       6      (International Association of Policing) Community

       7      Policing Award for our heroin initiatives, but, we

       8      can do more.

       9             As a result of that, we would be able to

      10      target our enforcement by looking at where we know

      11      of known overdoses, where we know of arrests, and

      12      work towards alleviating that problem.

      13             It is the single biggest challenge that faces

      14      the Nassau County Police Department, and like

      15      I said, it is killing our young people.

      16             The third item is diversion.

      17             Diversion has been in effect for almost

      18      five years now, and to my knowledge, there hasn't

      19      been a single study to look at diversion in this

      20      state.

      21             And there's some concerning issues with

      22      diversion that we're finding, and the impact of

      23      those are unknown.

      24             The first issue that we're seeing is, on

      25      occasion, there are large quantities of drugs being


       1      held by an individual that is eligible for

       2      diversion.

       3             One case in Nassau County, a person was put

       4      into diversion while he had in his possession

       5      200 decks of heroin.

       6             Think about it, what is 200 decks of heroin?

       7             200 decks of heroin is a street value of

       8      somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 dollars of heroin.

       9             The second item that we're seeing is, in

      10      Nassau County, 34 percent of the people that enter

      11      diversion, their addiction is marijuana.

      12             Throughout this country, experts are saying

      13      over and over again, there's no physical addiction

      14      possibility with marijuana; and, yet, in

      15      Nassau County, 34 percent of the people are going

      16      into diversion with their sole addiction of

      17      marijuana.  Their drug of choice, marijuana.

      18             The third item --

      19             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  No, this is the fourth.

      20             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  What's that?

      21             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  This is the fourth.

      22             We're paying attention.

      23                  [Laughter.]

      24             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Yep.

      25             So it's, uh -- it creates a significant issue


       1      with this.

       2             And, you know, a study by the State, after

       3      five years, would be a worthwhile expenditure, to

       4      see if these problems are widespread.

       5             You know, as far as heroin, it is a

       6      significant impact.

       7             It is affecting thousands of people in

       8      Nassau County.

       9             And thanks to the Senate; specifically,

      10      Senator Skelos, Senator Martins, and Senator Hannon,

      11      they made funding available for the Nassau County

      12      Police Department, and we're seeing that return

      13      investments.

      14             One of the other issues that we face with

      15      heroin diversion is, if you're a heroin dealer in

      16      Nassau County, or, pretty much, anywhere in

      17      New York State, you deal heroin, and it's got some

      18      other substance, or it's a very high level of

      19      purity, what you'll see is a fatal overdose.

      20             If we arrest that individual, that individual

      21      can go into diversion and not be held accountable

      22      for dealing that poison.

      23             Make no bones about it, heroin is poison.

      24      90 percent purity we're seeing in heroin.

      25             When I was a street cop working in Harlem as


       1      a housing cop in 1989, 1990, we would see heroin,

       2      where the lab results would come back, 4, 5, 6, 7,

       3      8 percent.

       4             And now we're seeing 90 percent purity.

       5             It is a major challenge for Nassau County, or

       6      Long Island, for that matter, and I would imagine

       7      the rest of the state.

       8             It is an epidemic and it is spreading.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Commissioner, if I may, we

      10      had -- we do recognize the heroin problems that we

      11      face statewide.

      12             We've actually, separately, put together a

      13      task force, a separate committee of the Senate, to

      14      more fully examine it.

      15             So we would greatly appreciate it, if you're

      16      able to reduce that to writing, so that we can

      17      submit it to them.

      18             And if you're available, we would reach out

      19      to you.

      20             There will be separate hearings on the

      21      heroin.

      22             I just wanted you -- I didn't know if you

      23      were aware of that.

      24             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I wasn't aware

      25      of that, and I would make myself available.  And


       1      I would be more than happy to put that down in

       2      writing.

       3             And, you know, like I said, it is something

       4      that is a priority of not only the department, but

       5      the -- County Executive Mangano, who has established

       6      a task force.  And we are taking a collaborative

       7      approach to heroin.

       8             We don't believe the answer in, you know,

       9      addressing drug issues in the state is directly

      10      related to enforcement.

      11             And the approach we do take is holistic, as

      12      is demonstrated by the fact that the county

      13      executive invested a significant amount of money in

      14      training every single police officer in the use of

      15      Narcan; and to my knowledge, the first major police

      16      department to train every single member in Narcan.

      17             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Great.

      18             Well, we'll look -- if we're able to -- if

      19      you had additional comments beyond the heroin,

      20      I think you're right on, the significant problem

      21      that we face, and we are going to fully examine it.

      22             But, time really precludes us from getting

      23      deep into the heroin issue today.

      24             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Absolutely.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  If you could continue,


       1      please.

       2             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I will

       3      continue.

       4             So the other item is, safety of police

       5      officers.

       6             Paramount to the safety of police officers is

       7      training.  And, they are frequently the victims of

       8      assault.

       9             As a matter of fact, there was 550 police

      10      officers in Nassau County that were injured in the

      11      line of duty in 2014.

      12             Resisting-arrest charges in Nassau County,

      13      and for that matter, New York State, have become

      14      disposable charges.

      15             People are rarely sentenced to any time for

      16      resisting arrests, and those charges are frequently

      17      dismissed.

      18             You know, I would urge this body to seriously

      19      consider making resisting arrest and fleeing a

      20      police officer a felony as a baseline charge.

      21             People have to know they're going to be held

      22      accountable if they resist arrest.

      23             Our police officers are out there every

      24      single day doing the job in Nassau County.

      25             It was very unfortunate, over the last


       1      four years, to have five police officers die in the

       2      line of duty.

       3             We are looking for, you know, some assistance

       4      in that way.

       5             The other item that we're looking for is

       6      training.

       7             You know, what is the most important thing,

       8      not only to the public safety, but the safety of

       9      officers, is an adequate amount of training.

      10             In Nassau County, in late fall, late last

      11      year, making use of the Homeland Security funds, we

      12      conducted an act of duty -- excuse me -- an

      13      active-shooter drill at 5:30 in the morning at the

      14      Roosevelt Field Mall.

      15             We've developed great relationships with the

      16      malls and the business-holders, and we've been doing

      17      those drills.

      18             But, unfortunately, the funding available

      19      through Homeland Security is only a fraction of what

      20      we would actually need to train all the members in

      21      active-shooter drills.

      22             Those drills are paramount.

      23             Active-shooters is probably what we face as

      24      the highest risk to a multi-casualty event in

      25      Nassau County.


       1             And when you actually go into these drills

       2      and you watch what they learn in a real-world

       3      environment, it's priceless.

       4             So what happens is, generally, in

       5      Nassau County, you go through recruit training,

       6      you're trained.

       7             We have trained every police officer in

       8      active-shooter, but what we can't do is get that

       9      regular training in.

      10             Homeland Security funds, you know, increasing

      11      that training block of that money would pay huge

      12      dividends.

      13             The other part of that, where we currently

      14      are in Nassau County, is this country is moving to a

      15      new paradigm in training, and that new paradigm is

      16      scenario-based training.

      17             In Nassau County, we are in a position where

      18      we occupy a grammar school.

      19             We do not have the facilities, nor do we have

      20      the capability, to provide that needed

      21      scenario-based training.

      22             It is the environment that law enforcement is

      23      going to.  It's the best practice in this country.

      24             To that ends, the county executive has

      25      committed to building a new police academy.


       1             The first phase of that police academy, we

       2      expect to have a shovel in the ground, and that'll

       3      be the first-part solution to the problem that we

       4      have in Nassau County with training.

       5             The next will be, to be quite blunt, we don't

       6      have the funding for it yet.

       7             As you move forward and look at the capital

       8      funding in this year's budget, we really would

       9      request that you consider funding a tactical village

      10      in Nassau County.

      11             That training environment will not only be

      12      used by Nassau County, but it will be used in a way

      13      on a regional base.

      14             Nassau County is responsible to train the

      15      19 village police departments.

      16             We partner with federal and state agencies to

      17      provide training on Long Island, but not only

      18      Long Island, but the region as a whole.

      19             So, with that, I'd be more than happy to

      20      answer any of your questions.

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Commissioner.

      22             We've been joined by several other members.

      23             Senator Felder is at the very end.  Next to

      24      him, Senator Comrie, and then Senator Venditto.



       1             Senator Marcellino.

       2             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yeah.

       3             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Oh, and I'm sorry.

       4             And Senator Nozzolio, but he was introduced

       5      earlier.

       6             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Need no introduction.

       7             Thank you, Commissioner.

       8             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yeah, thank you,

       9      Commissioner, for your testimony.

      10             This last issue of the training facilities

      11      and, you know, lack of funding, has there been any

      12      thought given to doing regional a training center;

      13      joining with Suffolk County, perhaps even the

      14      City of New York, in some kind of a regional

      15      facility that could be utilized by all of the

      16      departments locally in the downstate regions, so

      17      that we don't have to burden all of them duplicating

      18      a training facility in Suffolk County, a training

      19      facility in Nassau County, a training facility in

      20      Queens, or Brooklyn, and so forth?

      21             Has there been some thought or some

      22      discussions of that basis?

      23             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Senator,

      24      absolutely.

      25             You know, it's our vision that, you know,


       1      there's a baseline of training that all

       2      law-enforcement agencies have to provide.

       3             What we're asking that you consider funding

       4      of is that tactical village, which would allow us to

       5      do that regional-type approach to training with

       6      Suffolk County and the other downstate agencies.

       7             New York City has a very robust facility, as

       8      you're aware.  They just opened up a new academy, an

       9      $800 million facility.

      10             And we believe that, going forward, this is

      11      not a police academy; it's a training center.  A

      12      training-and-intelligence center.

      13             We'd be looking to bring world-class training

      14      into Nassau County, and make that training

      15      accessible and available to the other agencies in

      16      the region.

      17             We believe that we have to work together.

      18             We believe that the only way that we are

      19      going to deal with a major situation is through

      20      working and partnering together.

      21             We regularly conduct drills with

      22      New York City, we regularly conduct training with

      23      New York City, and in securing the City's grant, and

      24      other training.

      25             And New York City routinely makes their


       1      specialized training available to Nassau County.

       2             They are a great partner.  And, you know, we

       3      have always been there for them, and they've always

       4      been there for us, and we have a great relationship.

       5             Same with the Suffolk County; we have regular

       6      training that, you know, everybody participates in.

       7             You know, you have your baseline recruit

       8      training, and that's a little bit different for

       9      regionalized.  But when you start to get into more

      10      advanced training, it becomes cost-prohibitive for

      11      any single agency to be the keeper of that training

      12      for themselves.

      13             When you start talking training for

      14      emergency-services unit, bureau of special

      15      operations, which is our tactical teams, they

      16      routinely go into New York City and conduct, you

      17      know, engage in, training with them in their

      18      ESU school.

      19             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I hear what you're

      20      saying.

      21             The concern that we have is, Nassau, Suffolk,

      22      obviously butt up against one another.

      23             There are -- we're an island, so we have

      24      that.  We have Queens and Brooklyn on the island,

      25      physically, so that the sharing of, you know, the


       1      facility with all of these communities, and the

       2      utilization and joint expense-sharing might be a

       3      good way to go, and might be worth looking at,

       4      rather than duplicating it.

       5             Because I can see every county in the state

       6      saying, Well, you did it for Nassau County.  Why

       7      can't we get one?  Why can't we get one up in

       8      Chemung or in other counties around the state?

       9             So, if there can be a consolidation, where

      10      police officers can go to get this kind of very good

      11      tactical training that you're proposing, rather than

      12      duplicating it all over the place, centralized in

      13      different parts of the state might be the way to go

      14      on that.

      15             Do you have -- and I'm looking at the other

      16      issue of concern.

      17             We had the police officers that were murdered

      18      in their car.

      19             Do you have vehicles that are properly

      20      outfitted so that they might be bullet-resistant

      21      glass that is -- I don't know about bulletproof, but

      22      bullet-resistant, so it wouldn't be so easy to shoot

      23      them if they were in a car and somebody could sneak

      24      up to them?

      25             Is there some means of -- with -- do you have


       1      enough vests for your officers to -- bulletproof

       2      vests, so that they can have them on deployment?

       3             Are they updated periodically?

       4             I know these things have a tendency to become

       5      outdated and can wear out.

       6             Do you have the wherewithal to provide your

       7      people with that kind of equipment?

       8             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  You know,

       9      the -- as far as the bulletproof glass, or, you

      10      know, armoring a car, there is certain

      11      cost-prohibitions against, you know, armoring a car.

      12             It creates a significant situation, too,

      13      where, generally speaking, once you start putting

      14      bulletproof glass in, those are not going to be able

      15      to go down or up because of the thickness of that it

      16      has to be in order for that to happen.

      17             So there are a significant number of

      18      logistical issues.

      19             There's also, you know, the public

      20      impression.

      21             If you start putting bulletproof glass in all

      22      the vehicles, it's going to remove you to a certain

      23      degree, because now you're not going to be able to

      24      roll down your window, you're not going to be able

      25      to hear what's going on outside.


       1             So it does provide a level of security; but

       2      at the same token is, there are logistical and

       3      cost-related issues.

       4             As far as bulletproof vests, over the last

       5      two years, every single police officer in

       6      Nassau County was -- received a new, uh -- new

       7      ballistic vest.

       8             Thanks, in large a part, to the

       9      State Attorney General who funded about $500,000 of

      10      those vests last year.

      11             So, we have replaced all those vests.  They

      12      were a little bit outside the five-year period,

      13      which is the warranty.

      14             I would say that, you know, please keep in

      15      mind, it's important that this body keeps in mind,

      16      that Kevlar has been around for 40 years, and at

      17      this point, Kevlar doesn't degrade.

      18             There are other issues that arise with Kevlar

      19      after a period of five years.  It starts to wear, it

      20      starts to open up, and it starts to not fit the body

      21      in the same way, which creates significant issues.

      22             So we keep an eye on the body armor.

      23             We've, you know, gotten into a pattern of

      24      regularly replacing that body armor.

      25             And, you know, the State Attorney General


       1      funded it for about 500,000, the County funded it

       2      for another $2 million, for the Nassau County Police

       3      Department.

       4             What's important to realize is, that the

       5      vest-replacement program that has been funded by the

       6      Department of Justice -- United States Department of

       7      Justice, has, for all practical purposes, being --

       8      is defunded.

       9             And when you're talking $700 a vest, it --

      10      depending on the fiscal health of an entity, it can

      11      become a real hardship.

      12             So a State program, in that respect, would,

      13      you know, serve the officers, and probably would be

      14      the single best thing that the State could do to

      15      provide for the safety of the law-enforcement

      16      officers of this state.

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  The -- there have been

      18      calls for a -- and it reverts back to many years

      19      ago, we talked about a civilian review board of

      20      police activities, that was once proposed, and

      21      instituted in the city of New York and other places.

      22             Recently, after recent events, people have

      23      been talking about, potentially, a new form of

      24      monitoring, or a monitor, for the police forces that

      25      might be a level imposed upon the police


       1      departments.

       2             What are your thoughts on this?

       3             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  You know,

       4      there's been a number of civilian-complaint review

       5      boards, but I don't know of anything that would

       6      suggest that it raises the public trust.

       7             And as I stated earlier today, Nassau County

       8      enjoys a very high degree of public trust.

       9             As far as a monitor, I think it's important

      10      to realize that every law-enforcement agency in this

      11      state has a monitor: that is the elected district

      12      attorneys of the counties.

      13             In Nassau County, for instance, the

      14      public-corruption unit reviews each and every

      15      shooting that a police officer is involved in.

      16             They also oversee and monitor every single

      17      investigation of a police officer if it is an

      18      investigation related to a criminal complaint.

      19             In Nassau County, I think we've demonstrated

      20      that we have the ability to police ourselves.  And

      21      I think the district attorney is there as a backstop

      22      to ensure that we do not step out of line.

      23             And if that doesn't work, there's another

      24      little person that floats around the state, and

      25      that's the assistant U.S. attorneys and the


       1      U.S. attorneys that monitor our conduct, and ensure

       2      that the district attorneys are doing their job.

       3             So as far as adding additional layers on it,

       4      I don't know that that's necessary.

       5             What I do know is, we have a system, and, by

       6      all accounts, it appears to be working.

       7             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  The police force of

       8      Nassau County, in my dealings with them, has been

       9      very positive.

      10             I find them to be a well-trained, very

      11      articulate group of men and women.

      12             Do they reflect the community in their

      13      makeup?

      14             Because there have been some statements that,

      15      you know, the police force are like an outside

      16      organization, where they don't -- where they come

      17      into communities and there's -- they're not

      18      reflective of the community that they're designed to

      19      serve.

      20             Do we have a police force that is reflective?

      21             I believe I know the answer to that, but I'd

      22      like to hear you say it.

      23             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  It's a -- I will tell you

      24      that is a significant challenge.  It's also an area

      25      that I've been involved with in Nassau County for


       1      the last 10 years.

       2             It all starts with the recruiting.

       3             In Nassau County, we have spent exorbitants

       4      amount of money; literally, millions of dollars,

       5      every single exam we've given.

       6             And the answer, you know, Senator, is, no, we

       7      do not reflect the community at this point in time.

       8             And we have a little bit of an anomaly in

       9      Nassau County, and that goes to a single test for

      10      all the village police departments and the

      11      Nassau County that we pull off of.

      12             The villages give priorities to their

      13      residents, so we go out and we actively recruit, we

      14      work hard, and we work towards that, you know,

      15      reflection of the community, you know, because we do

      16      believe that's important.

      17             But in our case, you have some villages that

      18      are hiring the minority applicants before we get to

      19      them at a point in time on the list.

      20             And pursuant to law, we are required to go in

      21      list order.

      22             Nassau County is under a federal consent

      23      decree since 1983.

      24             With a little luck, we'll get out of that

      25      consent decree shortly, and we have been working


       1      with the Department of Justice to address that

       2      problem.

       3             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you, Commissioner.

       4             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I'm going to interrupt the

       5      rest of the Panel, just for a second.

       6             Thank you, Commissioner.  Your testimony is

       7      very helpful.

       8             We've got a long list witnesses.

       9             In the interest of time, we're going to

      10      initiate a time for each member, to 7 minutes.

      11             And, Commissioner, and other witnesses, be

      12      mindful of that.

      13             So that we can ask more questions of the

      14      Commissioner, if we could keep the questions as

      15      concise.

      16             The information you provided is invaluable,

      17      but we want to try to narrow our scope so that we

      18      can answer more questions.

      19             With that, our next member.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Venditto.

      21             SENATOR VENDITTO:  Thank you very much,

      22      Senator.

      23             Commissioner, I just want to thank you for

      24      making the trip up here today.

      25             I commend you on the good work that you're


       1      doing.

       2             We've had chance to work together personally

       3      when I was with the county legislature, and I'm

       4      anticipating that we'll continue to do good work

       5      together.

       6             So I commend, of course, you, and, of course,

       7      the men and women of our police force, and those

       8      around the state, sacrificing their lives so that we

       9      can enjoy ours.

      10             You know, one thing I've been noticing around

      11      the areas that I am privileged to represent, is

      12      that, you know, we had a stigma for years, for

      13      decades, when it came to the drug epidemic, and you

      14      were talking about it recently.

      15             Residents seem to be more willing to discuss

      16      the issue now.  And to that end, we've been hosting

      17      many events: Narcan training, seminars, drug-drops.

      18             We've been tying into helping the environment

      19      as well.

      20             Are you finding that you have the manpower

      21      and the resources that you need to help us execute

      22      these events if we wanted to keep them going across

      23      the county?

      24             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Senator, it's

      25      a very valid point, and the answer is, yes, thanks


       1      to a generous grant from the three Senators

       2      I mentioned earlier.

       3             And, any assistance we can provide to you, or

       4      Senator Marcellino, in those drug-drops, Narcan

       5      training, we have available funding available for

       6      that, and we do have the necessary resources.

       7             And, you know, your consideration on

       8      continuing that funding in this budget cycle would

       9      be greatly appreciated.

      10             SENATOR VENDITTO:  I appreciate that.

      11             And we're going to be fighting, here on this

      12      Panel, and throughout the Senate, to get you the

      13      resources that you need.

      14             Residents are also asking about your presence

      15      in and around the schools, in public places like the

      16      county preserves, things like that.

      17             Maybe you can just talk a little bit about

      18      what you've been working on as far as that's

      19      concerned.

      20             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  You know, in

      21      Nassau County, we pride ourselves not only on being

      22      a leader in intelligence-led policing, but we -- at

      23      the very core of the Nassau County Police Department

      24      is community policing, and responding to the needs

      25      of the community and what they deem to be important.


       1             We're an extension of the community; and to

       2      that ends, we have always taken that approach.

       3             One of the major changes is what the precinct

       4      COs have been directed this year, is to hold

       5      community forums, where they're hosting those

       6      community forums, where they are really there to

       7      listen, and just provide information on what's going

       8      on.

       9             But, they're to talk for a very short time,

      10      10 minutes, 15 minutes, and then the rest of the

      11      time is spent to get community feedback, to address

      12      those very problems that you're talking about.

      13             SENATOR VENDITTO:  Yeah, and, just lastly,

      14      you know, obviously, there's been more of an

      15      international awareness as to what's going on around

      16      the world on certain threats.  And, we have several

      17      large malls in county.

      18             Have you been in touch with, you know,

      19      ownership, administration, of these malls, and

      20      certain public places, so that our residents can be

      21      assured that we have a presence there as well?

      22             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Absolutely.

      23             We are constantly monitoring the threats and

      24      risks in Nassau County.

      25             We have a great relationship and open


       1      dialogue, where New York City actually has members

       2      in our intel center.  The federal agencies have

       3      members in our intel center.  We hold regular

       4      briefings.

       5             We are in constant communication with our

       6      critical infrastructure, the malls.

       7             As a matter of fact, Roosevelt Field has

       8      opened their video stream to us, which provides an

       9      added layer of security in the event of an incident

      10      at that mall -- any incident at that mall.

      11             SENATOR VENDITTO:  Appreciate the time,

      12      Commissioner.

      13             And thank you to my fellow Senators.

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Golden.

      15             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you, Commissioner --

      16             Thank you, Commissioner, for being here

      17      today.

      18             Again, I'd like to -- the -- some of the

      19      questions that you propose, obviously, the

      20      bulletproof -- not the bulletproof, but, the

      21      resisting arrest, and the fleeing of a police

      22      officer, this Panel has taken that very seriously.

      23             Obviously, if you're a police officer, you

      24      make an arrest, you take the case into the DA, and

      25      the DA gets his burglary, gets his robbery.  The


       1      resisting arrest is at the bottom of the list, they

       2      just let it go.

       3             And, we're going to ask, and we're talking to

       4      district attorneys across the state, to prioritize

       5      those resisting arrests, and we're increasing the

       6      penalty, that's my bill, as well as fleeing a police

       7      officer.

       8             We had a pursuit two weeks ago, it started in

       9      Jersey, went through Staten Island, came into

      10      Brooklyn.  Six different law enforcements, two cops

      11      hurt, over a robbery that took place in New Jersey.

      12             So we have a bill that's going to also take

      13      care of that.

      14             We got to get the Assembly, hopefully,

      15      online, that they will pass this and see the

      16      importance of this bill, and, the Governor to sign

      17      that bill.

      18             Senator Marcellino pointed out the

      19      bulletproof glass.

      20             This resistant film -- bullet-resistant film,

      21      that's made by several companies across this

      22      country, the film seems to work in resisting the

      23      bullets and deflecting bullets from the car, adding

      24      no weight or no sound issues to that car.

      25             Now, if that were something that were


       1      appropriate, would you change and be open to

       2      something like that?

       3             And the other portion of that would be the

       4      panels on the car doors -- bulletproof panels on car

       5      doors, so that the police officers have an extra

       6      opportunity, in a gun battle, to be able to save

       7      themselves and others.

       8             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I would

       9      strongly support that, and the department, I would

      10      immediately look to acquire that film.

      11             And, you know, as a matter of fact, after

      12      I leave here, we'll be looking into that a little

      13      bit more closely.

      14             You know, the -- one of the top priorities,

      15      obviously, the number one priority, is that we

      16      provide for the safety of our members.

      17             And we have to -- in order to do that, we

      18      have to provide them with the right equipment and

      19      the right training.

      20             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Technology; how is the

      21      technology in your department?

      22             Does each of these members have a telephone?

      23             Do they have a -- an iPad, or a computer,

      24      in the vehicle?

      25             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Every officer


       1      in Nassau County has a computer in the vehicle.

       2             And then the radio system in Nassau County,

       3      thanks to a funding from the State, as well as the

       4      federal government, as well as almost a $50 million

       5      investment by Nassau County, is -- coverage is

       6      remarkable.

       7             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Do they have individual,

       8      when they get out of the -- radios that --

       9             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Every officer

      10      has a -- every car has a car radio.  And every

      11      officer on patrol has a portable radio; a handheld

      12      radio.

      13             SENATOR GOLDEN:  So they don't have a

      14      telephone, though?  It's just the --

      15             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Not a

      16      telephone, no, sir.

      17             SENATOR GOLDEN:  So they don't take iPads

      18      into locations and make a reports.  They're still

      19      doing the reports on paper, and not doing them on

      20      iPads, or anything in that twenty-first-century

      21      type of technology?

      22             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  At this point

      23      in time, it's timing is everything.

      24             And where we're currently at, is we're

      25      implementing a new reporting system that will have


       1      that very field reporting that you're describing.

       2             The -- we use Panasonic Toughbooks.

       3             And we are currently experimenting with a

       4      Panasonic Tab which are coming in.

       5             And when we come online with the new

       6      reporting system, that will -- they will have the

       7      ability to walk into a house with their iPad or

       8      their other tab-like device, or laptop, and do the

       9      reports right in the residence, right in the place

      10      of business.

      11             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you.

      12             I want to thank my colleagues, because that's

      13      important, because I think that's what this Panel is

      14      all about; is trying to find out, with the safety of

      15      our officers, our district attorneys, and to make

      16      sure that we have the resources.

      17             So whatever resources you need, we've got to

      18      know what you need, and how we can help you get

      19      them.

      20             The 550 officers that you said were injured,

      21      have you -- and it's not enough time to do it now --

      22      if you could give us a report on how they were

      23      injured, and how we could participate in getting you

      24      additional resources that would decrease those

      25      injuries.


       1             I'm sure, you know, they acted -- it's

       2      usually in the -- an arrest situation, or a vehicle

       3      accident, which is unfortunate.

       4             But there may be tools out there that we have

       5      not supplied, or your department cannot afford to

       6      get yet, and we can play a role in helping you do

       7      that.

       8             The other area that Senator Marcellino went,

       9      was the monitor that they talked about.

      10             There's a monitor they want to put in the

      11      grand juries that were for police officers only.

      12             Obviously, they changed that somewhat to

      13      doing monitors for all cases.

      14             I believe, anyway.  That's the conversation

      15      that is being had.

      16             Do we need a monitor for -- just for police

      17      officers, a two-tiered system here in the state of

      18      New York: one for police officers, and one for

      19      the -- you know, a separate one for the bad guys?

      20             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Police

      21      officers are held to a higher degree of

      22      accountability than anyone else in this state.

      23             And as I stated before, there is a

      24      checks-and-balances within the system.

      25             It's not -- in Nassau County, and for that


       1      matter, throughout New York State, adding another

       2      tier is -- you know, is redundant.

       3             And, you know, at what point is enough is

       4      enough?

       5             And in this particular case, police officers

       6      in Nassau County are monitored by the department.

       7             If the department doesn't act appropriately,

       8      the district attorney has and can take steps to

       9      address this situation.

      10             And then if the district attorney acts

      11      inappropriately, there is the U.S. attorney and the

      12      federal system that is also monitoring these cases.

      13             SENATOR GOLDEN:  The -- and last question:

      14      Grand juries.

      15             They obviously want to now create -- I'm sure

      16      this is a question for the district attorneys, but

      17      I want to ask you specifically: grand jury reports.

      18             I don't know how the court systems are in

      19      Nassau County.  I'm a New York City guy.

      20             I know that our court systems are extremely

      21      backlogged, and we do have issues.

      22             What does that do to the grand jury, that

      23      we've been so successful over the past 100 years

      24      here in the great state of New York, that we have to

      25      go and change and get a grand jury report done, and


       1      slow this process down even further, and limit the

       2      amount of people that want to come forward to

       3      actually join grand jury pools, knowing that now

       4      they have to do a grand jury report?

       5             And, does the grand jury report help to do

       6      anything that hasn't already been done here in this

       7      great state?

       8             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  As far as a

       9      grand jury report is, I -- you know, I really

      10      haven't -- I don't have an opinion.  I'm not a

      11      lawyer.

      12             Because, I was under the impression the grand

      13      juries can already issue a report.  They can issue a

      14      grand jury report.

      15             SENATOR GOLDEN:  That is correct.

      16             But if they don't choose, they'll be required

      17      to do that now.

      18             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  You know, it's

      19      something that would have to be looked at very

      20      closely.

      21             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you very much.

      22             I appreciate you coming forward.

      23             Whatever we can do to help the police

      24      department, please let us know.

      25             And, Nassau, you're doing a great job.


       1             Thank you.

       2             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Thank you.

       3             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Diaz.

       4             SENATOR DIAZ:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

       5             Commissioner, thank you for being here.

       6             I have a simple question:  Tell me again,

       7      what is the number of the police officers in

       8      Nassau County?

       9             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Currently, the

      10      police officers, about 2200 sworn police officers,

      11      down from 2750 -- 2,750 in 2008.

      12             SENATOR DIAZ:  Can you tell me the breakdown

      13      of the -- the ethnic breakdown: how many White? how

      14      many Black? how many Hispanic?

      15             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I can get you

      16      that, Senator.  I don't have that.

      17             SENATOR DIAZ:  But you don't know that?

      18             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I don't have

      19      that off -- you know, with me.

      20             SENATOR DIAZ:  So there not too many.

      21             2100 police officers, you don't know how many

      22      Black? how many Hispanic?

      23             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  There is --

      24      you know, I would have to get you the specific

      25      numbers, Senator.


       1             SENATOR DIAZ:  I mean --

       2             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I'd be happy

       3      to do that.

       4             I will get you the numbers, sir.

       5             SENATOR DIAZ:  You talk about 500 police

       6      officers were injured.

       7             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Uh-huh.

       8             SENATOR DIAZ:  Right?

       9             You said about -- that the 500 police --

      10             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  550 police

      11      officers.

      12             SENATOR DIAZ:  Were injured?

      13             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  550 injured.

      14             SENATOR DIAZ:  Of those injuries, how many

      15      were related to public violence, or, not related to

      16      personal --

      17             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Between 10 and

      18      15 percent annually are injured in the line of duty.

      19             And as a result of affecting arrests, or

      20      chasing a subject, is another 5 to 10 percent.

      21             SENATOR DIAZ:  But not all 550 injuries were

      22      related to the line of duty?

      23             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Those are all

      24      line-of-duty injuries.  It's just a matter of how

      25      they were injured.


       1             In Nassau County, our police officers also

       2      provide ambulance service, so some are injured while

       3      transporting an ambulance -- you know, transporting

       4      and aiding.

       5             Some are injured as a result of car

       6      accidents.

       7             That's the number of people we've had injured

       8      in line of duty, is 550.

       9             SENATOR DIAZ:  Do you know, Commissioner,

      10      more or less, how many arrests the department does

      11      in a year?

      12             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  In 2014 we

      13      made approximately 20,000 arrests.

      14             SENATOR DIAZ:  Do you know how many -- or,

      15      the ethnic breakdown on those ratios?

      16             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  I don't have

      17      that ethnic breakdown.

      18             SENATOR DIAZ:  You don't know?

      19             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Again, we can

      20      get you that, sir.

      21             SENATOR DIAZ:  Thank you.

      22             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Felder.

      23             SENATOR FELDER:  Good morning, Commissioner,

      24      and thanks for being here.

      25             I wanted to get off on an entirely different


       1      point for a moment, and I was wondering if you had

       2      some information with regards to terrorism and the

       3      public safety in schools, public and non-public

       4      schools.

       5             I'm wondering whether you're aware, as to

       6      whether the public and non-public schools have a

       7      very specific plan in place?

       8             When we were kids, we had fire drills.

       9             I know we always waited for those fire

      10      drills.

      11             But, there was a plan -- at least some

      12      semblance of a plan in place.

      13             And I'm wondering -- I've discussed this with

      14      the city -- police commissioner in New York City.

      15             And I'm curious as well, as whether, in

      16      Nassau County, whether you're aware of specific

      17      plan, whether the teachers are trained, principals,

      18      supervisors, or whatever else?

      19             You know, unfortunately, it's become more

      20      common, whether it's terrorism or a gunman or

      21      somebody coming in, and whether the people in charge

      22      of our kids know what to do when that happens?

      23             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  You know, in

      24      Nassau County, there is approximately 60 different

      25      school districts, and a significant number of other


       1      institutions of higher learning, and, you know,

       2      grammar schools.  There are a number of other, you

       3      know, educational facilities.  We have a number of

       4      college campuses in Nassau County.

       5             And one of the things that I can probably

       6      talk for the next several hours on is all that we've

       7      done working with them as partners in this.

       8             For just some salient points:

       9             The chief of the department, Steve Skrynecki,

      10      sits on the BOCES committee for school safety.

      11             We have worked with them, and continue to

      12      work with them.

      13             They do have plans.  They have lockdown

      14      drills.

      15             They -- Nassau County is rolling out panic

      16      alarms, a panic-alarm system, where they'll have

      17      direct alarms into, with voice and GPS activation,

      18      we're rolling out.

      19             We are also working with the schools,

      20      where -- remember, there are 60 schools.  We have a

      21      significant number of them.  We have access to their

      22      video in the event of an emergency.

      23             So we have done a lot in Nassau County to

      24      address that.

      25             If you would like, I'd be more than happy to


       1      get into the detail, and -- but it would be -- we

       2      could spend the next several hours talking about all

       3      we've done.

       4             SENATOR FELDER:  I would like very much, but

       5      I know that time is limited.

       6             And I just wanted to thank you, and I'm

       7      honored to be here with you today.

       8             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Senator, thank

       9      you very much for your time.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Senator.

      11             Commissioner, you've been very patient with

      12      the questions.

      13             Just a couple more.

      14             Two particular areas, and they are among the

      15      Governor's criminal justice reform proposals.

      16             One of them involves a statewide use-of-force

      17      policy.

      18             So DCJS, municipal police training council,

      19      will be charged with developing the policy that all

      20      agencies statewide would have to follow, at a

      21      minimum.  And then, of course, you could be more

      22      restrict -- stricter at the local level.

      23             Do you have any thoughts on that?

      24             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  In

      25      Nassau County, we -- Chief Skrynecki and I, the


       1      chief of the department, in January of last year,

       2      came in, and we looked at the use-of-force policy in

       3      Nassau County Police Department, which wasn't

       4      updated, overhauled, in -- since 1986; so, close to

       5      30 years.

       6             There was significant changes, and it was a

       7      fragmented policy.

       8             What we turned around and did is, in a very

       9      organized fashion, the Nassau County Police

      10      Department, literally, spent thousands of manhours

      11      in rewriting our policy.

      12             In May and June of 2014 we trained every

      13      single police officer on that new policy.

      14             So we -- you know, the timing of this is what

      15      I'm asking you to look at.

      16             This was well before Ferguson.  This was well

      17      before, you know, we recognized there was a change.

      18             As far as the Governor's proposal, I really

      19      don't know what he's going to do with the

      20      use-of-force policy, so I -- you know, at this

      21      point, I would say I don't really have -- you know,

      22      have an opinion one way or the other.

      23             What I can say is, that we have a very

      24      extensive policy in Nassau County, and we have

      25      trained our officers in it.  And it really is,


       1      I believe, a model for use-of-force policies, you

       2      know, that's out there.

       3             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Fair enough.

       4             The last area, the requiring -- and this is

       5      not exact, but the requiring of a reporting of

       6      certain pedigree-type information, including race,

       7      on arrest, it would include, as I understand it,

       8      traffic stops, things of that nature.

       9             Any thoughts on that; implications for the

      10      officers, the officer on the street, the

      11      practicality of it?

      12             I mean, if you could comment, either way;

      13      practical, not practical, whatever thoughts you

      14      have.

      15             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  It creates a

      16      situation of tracking that data, how you obtain that

      17      data, the accuracy of the data is called into

      18      question.

      19             You pull over someone at a car stop, and it's

      20      a single -- it's a simple car stop.

      21             And now, when you start asking about

      22      demographic data, is, you know, something that you

      23      would have to question the accuracy.

      24             Are you going to look at the appearance of

      25      the person?


       1             You know, so now is the person Caucasian?

       2             Is the person Hispanic?

       3             Is the person African-American?

       4             Are they a mix of all of the above?

       5             I would tell you that that is data that we

       6      actually track in Nassau County, every single car

       7      stop, but the accuracy of the data is, you know,

       8      suspect, at best.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Commissioner.

      10             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I just have one

      11      follow-up.

      12             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Oh, Senator Marcellino.

      13             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yeah, Commissioner, just

      14      one quick question.

      15             You mentioned before, when there is a use of

      16      a firearm by one of the officers, there is a review

      17      of that incident?

      18             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  In

      19      Nassau County, yes.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  By internal people?

      21             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Currently in

      22      Nassau County, every single shooting is investigated

      23      in two ways:  On an administration investigation,

      24      and a criminal investigation.

      25             Criminal investigation is conducted by the


       1      homicide squad, and, overseen and monitored, and,

       2      ultimately, the district attorney will issue a

       3      report in certain cases.

       4             So the district attorney monitors every time

       5      a firearm is used in Nassau County.

       6             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you very much.

       7             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Commissioner.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Very helpful,

       9      Commissioner.

      10             Thank you for your testimony.

      11             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Again,

      12      Senators, thank you very much for this opportunity,

      13      and have a good afternoon.

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.

      15             And we will follow up on the heroin issues.

      16             COMMISSIONER THOMAS KRUMPTER:  Thank you.

      17             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Our next witness is

      18      counsel to the Governor, Alfonso David; and with him

      19      is Mr. Terrence O'Leary.

      20             Would you state your title, Mr. O'Leary.

      21             ALFONSO DAVID:  Good morning.

      22             Deputy secretary for public safety.

      23             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Welcome, gentlemen.

      24             Thank you very much for being here, and we

      25      welcome your testimony.


       1             ALFONSO DAVID:  Thank you very much,

       2      Senator Nozzolio.

       3             Other Senators presented, thank you.

       4             As you may know, the Governor has introduced

       5      a proposal in the budget to reform the criminal

       6      justice system in a variety of different ways.

       7             What I want to focus on this morning is the

       8      $60 million that the Governor has included in the

       9      budget to address body-worn cameras, bulletproof

      10      windows and vests.

      11             Essentially, eligible law-enforcement

      12      agencies, with the Governor's proposal, will have

      13      the ability to choose how to issue grants, and

      14      resulting in the spending that's tailored to their

      15      specific needs.

      16             Now, this approach keeps legal and policy

      17      decisions at the local level, and it ensures that

      18      any ongoing costs are supported by the availability

      19      of other grants and local funding.

      20             Specifically, as we think about providing

      21      resources for local law enforcement, we're focusing

      22      on enhancing safety, of course, for law enforcement

      23      and their communities.

      24             And the $60 million in grants to eligible

      25      law-enforcement agencies will provide the provision


       1      of safety and other related equipment, including

       2      body-worn cameras, bulletproof glass, and

       3      replacement vests.

       4             We will also include dollars in the budget --

       5      or, have included monies in the budget for related

       6      training.

       7             The grants will be developed, pursuant to a

       8      plan that's prepared by the commissioner of Criminal

       9      Justice Services, in consultant with the -- in

      10      consultant -- on consultation, I'm sorry, with the

      11      superintendent of state police, and it's going to be

      12      approved by the director of the budget.

      13             Where the funding, we're also going to be

      14      focused on high-crime areas.

      15             Local law-enforcement areas will submit a

      16      spending plan with eligible uses to access relevant

      17      grant funds.

      18             The proposal that the Governor has

      19      introduced, we worked on for the past few months.

      20             We consulted with the District Attorneys

      21      Association, and, certainly, advocacy organizations

      22      and local law enforcement, on ensuring that whatever

      23      plan we introduce not only supplements the existing

      24      resources that the state and the federal government

      25      provides to local law enforcement, but,


       1      specifically, that we provide additional resources

       2      through state services and monies for those local

       3      law-enforcement agencies.

       4             Terry O'Leary is going to spend a few minutes

       5      talking about the existing resources that we have

       6      provided, and we continue to provide through the

       7      state.

       8             And he's also going to highlight additional

       9      resources that are unrelated to the $60 million that

      10      we have included in the budget for body-worn

      11      cameras, bulletproof vests, and bulletproof windows

      12      as well.

      13             Terry.

      14             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Thank you.

      15             Good morning, Senators.

      16             So as --

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Before you go too far,

      18      is that $60 million actual money?  Or is it money to

      19      be obtained later by grants, and would they be

      20      competitive?

      21             ALFONSO DAVID:  Those would be -- no, the

      22      dollars are available now as a part of a special

      23      infrastructure account that's in the budget.

      24             It's a part of "$115 million" line item in

      25      the budget.


       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

       2             ALFONSO DAVID:  Sure.

       3             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  So it is anticipated that

       4      the $60 million will be dispersed in a similar

       5      fashion to what DCJS has previously done most

       6      recently with the gun -- Gun-Involved Violence

       7      Elimination project, or, "GIVE," which I know

       8      Commissioner Green testified before.

       9             Early results of the GIVE initiative have

      10      been positive.

      11             We've seen a decrease in GIVE jurisdictions

      12      throughout upstate and Long Island, a reduction in

      13      the number of overall crime; a reduction in the

      14      number of shootings, a reduction in the murder rate,

      15      as well as reduction in property crime as well.

      16             Last year the State handed out over

      17      $13 million to these 20 jurisdictions, and it was --

      18      it was competitive, but it was also, more

      19      importantly, it was evidence-based.

      20             We wanted to make sure that what we were

      21      doing actually achieved results, as opposed to just

      22      passing money along to jurisdictions.

      23             And as part of this initiative, DCJS hosted a

      24      GIVE forum, where they put on a presentation about

      25      procedural justice that was extremely well-received


       1      by law-enforcement officers from those GIVE

       2      jurisdictions.

       3             And what procedural justice looks to do is

       4      not only to verify and legitimize officers'

       5      authority, but to also involve an increased

       6      confidence among those in the community.

       7             This is a step that predated any of the

       8      recent events that we've heard about, but it is

       9      something that we think is entirely consistent with

      10      what the Governor is seeking to do with his criminal

      11      justice reform plan.

      12             So, specifically, what we've seen in GIVE

      13      jurisdictions:

      14             Indexed crime was down over 5 percent;

      15             Violent crime was down 7 percent;

      16             Murder was down 8 1/2 percent;

      17             Firearm-related violent crime was down

      18      3 percent;

      19             And property crime was down 5 percent as

      20      well.

      21             One of the Governor's initiatives, as was

      22      asked about before, involves the new use-of-force

      23      policy.

      24             What the statute would require, the proposed

      25      legislation, is just that every police force


       1      actually adopt a use-of-force policy.

       2             As I'm sure the Senators know, not every

       3      police force within New York State has a

       4      use-of-force policy.

       5             So what we would do, under the statute, is

       6      have the MPTC develop a baseline policy that is

       7      derived from Article 35, current existing law, to

       8      give guidance to local departments and to their

       9      members who may not have the resources or the

      10      wherewithal.

      11             You heard Commissioner Krumpter talk earlier,

      12      and we actually met this morning, and he was talking

      13      about the great work that they did in overhauling

      14      their policy.

      15             Not every jurisdiction has the ability to do

      16      that.

      17             I come from a small upstate town, with six

      18      officers.  They can't put together a workforce to

      19      develop a policy.

      20             This would give those resources through the

      21      MPTC, but it would in no way restrict a

      22      law-enforcement department that chose to go above

      23      and beyond what Article 35 currently requires.

      24             So with that brief overview, we'd be happy to

      25      answer any of your questions.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you both for

       2      outlining those issues.

       3             I know the Committee is anxious to talk to

       4      you about a number of questions.

       5             We're going to limit each member to

       6      7 minutes, so if you can be conscious of that, and

       7      we'll engage in our dialogues.

       8             Senator Gallivan.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Chairman.

      10             Thank you both for being here today, and your

      11      testimony.

      12             Mr. David, I wanted to talk about the

      13      Governor's budget; specifically, that 150 million

      14      infrastructure account.

      15             I know, originally, the Governor proposed, if

      16      I remember, in the original budget, $15 million for

      17      state police.  I think it was for vehicles.

      18             ALFONSO DAVID:  Correct.

      19             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And that, along with some

      20      other areas in the 30-day amendments, got wrapped

      21      into that special infrastructure account.

      22             So we heard testimony at our budget hearing

      23      from the two unions representing the members of the

      24      state police out working in the field; the uniformed

      25      force and the investigators.


       1             And what was common in that particular area,

       2      and this has happened in years past, was the

       3      condition of the state police fleet.

       4             And are you going to address that in this

       5      year's budget?

       6             And what are the Executive's plans to replace

       7      the fleet now, or over a period of years, to ensure

       8      that people are safe out there, our protectors,

       9      I mean, can be safe so that they can protect others?

      10             ALFONSO DAVID:  We have had conversations

      11      with the state police, and those discussions are

      12      ongoing.

      13             But I will ask Terry to more specifically

      14      answer your question.

      15             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Sure.

      16             And I believe Superintendent D'Amico

      17      testified to this as well.

      18             The current budget allows for a significant

      19      portion of the state fleet to be replaced this year,

      20      and will be completely up-to-date after next year's

      21      budget.  It's a two-year plan.

      22             I did hear the testimony of the union

      23      representative, and he expressed concerns, which are

      24      shared by us as well, that these vehicles,

      25      particularly in rural areas where they have to cover


       1      large geographic jurisdictions, be safe and

       2      up-to-date.

       3             We will be replacing the fleet, they will be

       4      up-to-date.

       5             And all vehicles, I believe, will be under

       6      either 125,000 miles, or 130,000 miles, by the end

       7      of the '16-'17 fiscal year.

       8             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So I think you both know

       9      that I was a trooper a one point in time.  And if

      10      I remember correctly, both on the road and in

      11      administrative positions, and if I remember

      12      correctly, the cutoff at that time, during my years,

      13      and for a long period of time, was 100,000 miles,

      14      that the experts, whoever they may be, and I'm not a

      15      mechanic, said was the top level to ensure safety

      16      for the police officers.

      17             What's different now that that number is now

      18      125,000 miles versus 100,000 miles?

      19             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Making no comment on the

      20      Senator's age, I do believe that vehicles are --

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And I appreciate that.

      22                  [Laughter.]

      23             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  -- the vehicles -- the

      24      technology is better now.

      25             Cars last longer.  They don't break down as


       1      easily.

       2             The state police do have mechanics that they

       3      work with in other jurisdictions -- in more regional

       4      areas, they also will contract out, to make sure

       5      that the vehicles are in working fashion and in

       6      working order.

       7             But I think it's generally accepted that cars

       8      last longer they used to.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  State police vehicles, are

      10      they inspected, the safety inspection, like all

      11      other vehicles have to be, where you get that

      12      sticker after going through that -- that

      13      multiple-point process, checking the brakes,

      14      emissions, things of that nature?

      15             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  I would certainly hope so.

      16             I'm not aware any -- I don't know your

      17      answer, but I am not aware of any exception in the

      18      law from it being inspected.

      19             But beyond that, the state police do have

      20      mechanics on staff.

      21             And the union, rightfully so, has been

      22      vigilant in making sure that their members are

      23      traveling in safe vehicles.

      24             And when issues do arise and concerns do

      25      arise about specific vehicles, those are shared with


       1      the state police management, and those vehicles

       2      are -- I don't want to use the term "inspected"

       3      because it's a legal term, but they are reviewed to

       4      make sure that they're in working order.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, if I may follow

       6      up on that, again, safety issue:

       7             If I remember correctly, in the past several

       8      years, I'm not sure specifically this year, again,

       9      those two unions representing members of the state

      10      police also testified about the condition of their

      11      vests.

      12             And you have the 60 million that's available

      13      for the local agencies.

      14             Are there -- what provisions are there to

      15      ensure that the troopers, investigators, have vests

      16      that are up-to-date?

      17             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  So the superintendent and

      18      I spoke on this issue specifically when we went

      19      through the proposals.

      20             They do rotate their vests out at five years.

      21      They don't to go six or seven years as other

      22      departments have done.

      23             It's within existing budget, and they're

      24      continuing to rotate vests out at 5 years,

      25      20 percent each year.


       1             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks.

       2             I was not aware that -- regarding the

       3      use-of-force policy, that some agencies in the state

       4      did not have that.

       5             You may or may not be aware, but you've got

       6      organizations, like the International Association of

       7      Chiefs of Police, and others, have model policies

       8      that are already in existence, that, based on

       9      experience, extensive research, and those are

      10      available.

      11             I don't know necessarily by statute is the

      12      proper way to go about doing this, but I would

      13      suggest that the Municipal Police Training Counsel,

      14      at this point in time, at the very least, can be

      15      offering up securing those policies, and offering

      16      them up as a service to those agencies, without

      17      completely redoing them.

      18             You can comment on that.

      19             That was really not a question, but if you'd

      20      like to comment on that, go right ahead.

      21             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  No, understood.

      22             And the MPTC currently does training.  And

      23      through DCJS, they fill in all the gaps in doing

      24      training of police and peace officers throughout the

      25      state where agencies may not have their own


       1      academies or their own resources.  And through that

       2      they do train on use-of-force policy.

       3             But this is certainly something that the MPTC

       4      will be working on.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.

       6             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you,

       7      Senator Gallivan.

       8             We've been joined by Senator Tom O'Mara.

       9             Thank you, Senator.

      10             Senator Golden.

      11             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      12             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Oh, pardon me,

      13      Senator Golden.

      14             Also joined by Senator Bonacic.

      15             Thank you, Senator.

      16             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you.

      17             And thank you for referring to

      18      Senator Gallivan's age.

      19                  [Laughter.]

      20             SENATOR GOLDEN:  The -- I'm sure the --

      21      Superintendent D'Amico would put claims to that

      22      $60 million, and probably could use that in the

      23      first six months of -- or the next six months of

      24      this year.

      25             I think it's a good start, but I think you


       1      need something that's going to be ongoing, something

       2      that's going to be annually, to be able to get these

       3      police departments up to snuff across the state of

       4      New York.

       5             I believe that our police departments do not

       6      have the equipment they need, not just to keep them

       7      safe, but to keep the people that they represent

       8      safe, and they need more dollars.

       9             I know New York City could eat that money up

      10      in a heartbeat.

      11             And my colleagues would have a stroke as

      12      I say that right now.

      13             But they could.

      14             , technology is not included in that;

      15      correct?  Just bulletproof glass, or is technology

      16      included in that?

      17             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Part of it includes

      18      body-cameras.

      19             Should a police department choose to

      20      implement body-cameras, they can apply for funding

      21      from DCJS --

      22             SENATOR GOLDEN:  But no other type of

      23      technology, just the body-cameras; right?

      24             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Those are the main three

      25      things that we're focused on.


       1             ALFONSO DAVID:  Bulletproof glass.

       2             Body-cameras, and bulletproof glass.

       3             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Okay.  And is --

       4             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  And when we say

       5      "bulletproof glass," I heard -- Senator, I heard

       6      your question earlier, it would include technology.

       7             So it's not only bulletproof glass, but also

       8      the film that you talked about that could be applied

       9      to windows; which, obviously, depending on the

      10      glass, there are issues.

      11             If it weighs down the car, the life of the

      12      car may become shorter, and the film is less

      13      resistant.

      14             Those things that we're looking at, and we'll

      15      be open to working with the departments for their

      16      applications.

      17             SENATOR GOLDEN:  And you'll set a criteria up

      18      for the police departments, or the police

      19      departments set their own criteria?

      20             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  The criteria for, what?

      21             Technology they're going to want to use?

      22             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Correct.

      23             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Certainly, we're going to

      24      want to make sure whatever they choose to use is

      25      something that has been shown to be efficacious;


       1      that it will actually protect officers.

       2             But, the specifics will be laid out in DCJS's

       3      request for proposals.

       4             SENATOR GOLDEN:  And, again,

       5      Senator Marcellino asked some good questions this

       6      morning.

       7             Again, backing up on one of his questions:

       8             With the criteria that's being placed into

       9      circulation, how long will that take?  And how soon

      10      before that money gets out the door to these police

      11      departments?

      12             ALFONSO DAVID:  Well, I think our position

      13      is, as quickly as we can get through and sign off on

      14      an executive budget.

      15             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Great answer.

      16             The --

      17                  [Laughter.]

      18             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  We will -- our plan is to

      19      move forward as quickly as possible, to make sure

      20      that we create criteria, implement a plan, have the

      21      money accessible to police departments.

      22             And, again, this is not mandated.

      23             This will be available to police departments

      24      across the state.

      25             SENATOR GOLDEN:  This is something that this


       1      Panel has been striving for; and that's making sure

       2      that the resources are available for our district

       3      attorneys, for our police departments, our

       4      corrections facilities, to make sure that they have

       5      the tools that they need to be able to get the job

       6      done.

       7             So we are thankful for this amount of money

       8      that's coming out, but I think if there's a way of

       9      increasing that.

      10             And, of course, doing it, I think you have to

      11      do an actual five-year plan that gets these police

      12      departments up to snuff across the state of

      13      New York.

      14             And the sooner we do that, the safer this

      15      city will be, meaning the city of New York; and the

      16      other cities -- other big five cities, and the towns

      17      and villages across the state.

      18             Right now, in New York City, shootings are

      19      up.

      20             Are shootings up across the state?

      21             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  Shootings were down in

      22      2014 across the state.

      23             Not outside of New York City, violent crime

      24      was down 6 percent; indexed crime, overall, was down

      25      6 percent; murder was down 16 percent; and property


       1      crime was down 6 percent.

       2             I do not have the actual number of shootings,

       3      but we can get a report to you --

       4             SENATOR GOLDEN:  I believe shootings are up.

       5             And I believe that the technology that we

       6      have in our hospitals are keeping these people

       7      alive.

       8             And over the past 20 years, all the laws and

       9      resurgencies that we've had across the countries,

      10      we've been able, from the battlefield, to bring that

      11      expertise to the hospitals and keep these trauma

      12      rooms going and keeping these people alive.

      13             But I got to tell you, it's only a matter of

      14      time before that trend changes.

      15             I know that homicides and shootings are up in

      16      the city of New York, and that's a bad trend.

      17             So I'm hoping that -- I think the police

      18      commissioner is doing a great job in the city of

      19      New York, but the -- he needs the tools and the

      20      assets, as well, to be able to keep a handle on

      21      crime.

      22             But once shootings are up, it's only a matter

      23      of time before homicides start to go up again.

      24             So we're hoping that there is a reversal of

      25      that, and that shootings come down, as well as


       1      homicides.

       2             And I thank you, and the Governor for his

       3      approach.

       4             ALFONSO DAVID:  Thank you, Senator.

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  The panel has been joined

       6      by Senator Lanza.

       7             Next up, Senator Marcellino.

       8             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

       9             Let me just go back to the issue of

      10      competitiveness.

      11             The money that we're talking about, the

      12      $60 million, good start.  Like it.  Like what you

      13      want to spend it on.

      14             What I don't like is the thought that a

      15      community or a police department would have to

      16      compete with another police department for money, so

      17      we then generate winners and losers in this

      18      situation.

      19             I can see justifying the need for an amount

      20      of money, and then dealing with the justification

      21      for it, but, the idea of competing bothers me.

      22             Again, is it a competitive grant?  Or is it

      23      a -- back where the department would have to justify

      24      need, and the amount of money requested based on the

      25      justification of need?


       1             ALFONSO DAVID:  I think we're saying both

       2      things.

       3             We want to make sure that police departments

       4      have the resources they need, but there's a

       5      recognition that not every single police department

       6      will want bulletproof glass, not every single police

       7      department will need bulletproof vests.

       8             So we need to make sure that we have the

       9      resources available, and allow those police

      10      departments to apply for the resources they need,

      11      and have the specific criteria, the minimum

      12      standards, of course, outlined, so those police

      13      departments can meet those standards.

      14             And we will work with the Division of Budget,

      15      the Criminal Justice Division, to make sure we

      16      develop those standards.

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  See, I would call that

      18      justifying.  I wouldn't call that a competitive

      19      situation.

      20             ALFONSO DAVID:  Correct.

      21             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Okay?

      22             Good.  At least we're on the same page on

      23      that.

      24             Thank you.

      25             ALFONSO DAVID:  Sure.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you,

       2      Senator Marcellino.

       3             I have questions, gentlemen.

       4             First of all, thank you for coming.  Thank

       5      you for being here.

       6             Secretary O'Leary, you mentioned you're from

       7      a small town in upstate where there's a six-person

       8      police force.

       9             TERRENCE O'LEARY:  That was an approximation.

      10             It may be a little bit smaller, even.

      11             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  That's a big police force

      12      in most of the towns in my district, if they have a

      13      police force at all.

      14             So, that's in line with Senator Marcellino's

      15      comments, that we implore you to reach out,

      16      ascertain need, and help those smaller police forces

      17      that don't have a professional grantsman on staff,

      18      that don't understand, or can't take the time,

      19      really, to understand.

      20             It's the role of DCJS.

      21             And the Governor's Office could do good work

      22      in that regard.

      23             You have already in many cases, but, focus on

      24      the smaller police forces, and I appreciate your

      25      willingness to do that.


       1             ALFONSO DAVID:  Absolutely.

       2             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  You heard, the

       3      commissioner, and the last testifier, talk about, in

       4      response to questions of a so-called "independent

       5      monitor."

       6             I'd like to you address the Governor's

       7      intentions in the Article 7 language that

       8      accompanies his budget proposals.

       9             Discuss for me, and for the Panel's benefit:

      10      The Governor we know already has the opportunity to

      11      appoint a special prosecutor, he has the authority

      12      to do so.

      13             In your recollection, has he ever supported;

      14      and, in effect, nominated a special prosecutor,

      15      under his authority?

      16             ALFONSO DAVID:  No.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  That -- what check --

      18      then, as I understand the Article 7 proposals, that

      19      the Governor will decide the independent monitor.

      20             And what triggers that deployment?

      21             ALFONSO DAVID:  Sure, maybe we can start with

      22      the executive law.

      23             So under Executive Law 632 and 633, the

      24      Governor has statutory authority to appoint a

      25      special prosecutor where the district attorney fails


       1      to prosecute or is unable to prosecute.

       2             We've had a number of instances in the past

       3      where former governors appointed special

       4      prosecutors.

       5             Governor Pataki appointed a special

       6      prosecutor in the past.  And certainly Governor

       7      Cuomo did, Mario Cuomo, appointed a special

       8      prosecutor as well.

       9             In both of those cases, the first, the

      10      special prosecutor was appointed, in part, because

      11      the district attorney indicated that he was

      12      unwilling to assign the death penalty in one of

      13      those cases.  And as a result, the Governor

      14      concluded that a special prosecutor should be

      15      appointed.

      16             In another case, the special prosecutor was

      17      appointed because the victims were unwilling to

      18      cooperate with the district attorney.  As a result,

      19      it met the standard of unwilling or unable to

      20      prosecute the case.  And as a result, the special

      21      prosecutor was appointed by the Governor.

      22             So that's the current law.

      23             The problem with the current law is, the

      24      Governor is appointing a special prosecutor, in many

      25      instances, in a vacuum, without any information.


       1             So what the Governor is proposing in his

       2      executive budget is to allow the district attorneys

       3      to provide him with information in two cases:

       4             The first case is where there is a fatality

       5      and the district attorney fails to prosecute;

       6             And the second is, where there is a fatality,

       7      and the district attorney prosecutes, but there is

       8      no indictment.

       9             In both of those cases, the Governor could

      10      appoint a special prosecutor under existing law.

      11             But, again, the problem is, the Governor has

      12      no information as to what happened in the

      13      grand jury, what happened during the course of the

      14      investigation.

      15             And so he's asking for the information to be

      16      provided to an independent monitor, an advisor, of

      17      sorts, that will review the documentation and

      18      information, and inform him as to whether or not

      19      it's appropriate to appoint a special prosecutor.

      20             The reason why that's critically important is

      21      because, otherwise, the Governor is simply reviewing

      22      information that's in the press as to what people

      23      may think, whether or not it's appropriate to

      24      appoint a special prosecutor.

      25             And we think it's critically important not


       1      only for accountability, but also transparency.

       2             Many advocates will ask the Governor, in

       3      certain types of cases, to appoint a special

       4      prosecutor, and this allows him to make an informed

       5      decision.

       6             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Under what would trigger

       7      that Governor decision; not necessarily this

       8      governor, any governor in the future, if this was

       9      established?

      10             What template or protocols are there that

      11      provides this authority?

      12             ALFONSO DAVID:  Well, there's a specific

      13      standard that's outlined in the Article 7 bill, and

      14      what it says is:  If the independent monitor

      15      determines that there were substantial errors of

      16      such magnitude that there exists a reasonable

      17      probability that an indictment would have resulted

      18      but for these errors, and that the presumption of

      19      regularity afforded to such proceedings can no

      20      longer apply, or, there exists newly discovered

      21      evidence of such magnitude that there exists a

      22      reasonable probability that such evidence, had been

      23      presented to the grand jury, an indictment would

      24      have resulted.

      25             That's, essentially, the existing standard of


       1      what we would think of as misconduct, or, new

       2      information.

       3             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And that certainly goes

       4      beyond the gubernatorial authority to appoint a

       5      special prosecutor.

       6             This almost allows the Governor, a governor,

       7      to appoint another one-person grand jury.

       8             ALFONSO DAVID:  Well, actually, we think that

       9      the Governor's power under 6312 is untouched.

      10             In the Article 7 proposal, we mention -- we

      11      do not mention 6312.

      12             The Governor is simply appointing an

      13      independent monitor to advise him.

      14             It in no way inflates his existing statutory

      15      authority under 633 or -2.  That power is untouched.

      16      It's not inflated in any way.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  It -- what about a time

      18      frame?

      19             And this is something that we hear from many

      20      police officers and police officer representatives.

      21             We heard it frequently during the budget

      22      hearing we had two weeks ago -- held two weeks ago,

      23      that there's no end to this process, there's no

      24      finality to this process.

      25             And, before you answer in that area, Counsel,


       1      could you also deal with the issues of layer upon

       2      layer of review already existing, from federal,

       3      community, other state, and local?

       4             ALFONSO DAVID:  Sure.

       5             Well, under existing law there is no time

       6      frame that currently exists.

       7             So, in a given case, let's just assume the

       8      grand jury issues no indictment in a case in

       9      November of last year, or October of last year.

      10             The Governor could appoint a special

      11      prosecutor in that case into the future.  There is

      12      no restriction under existing law.

      13             And we're not changing that.  We're in no way

      14      affecting existing law.

      15             We're simply informing existing law, so that

      16      the Governor can, when he does, or is forced to make

      17      a decision, he makes an informed one.

      18             The other question that you're raising, in

      19      terms of the time frame, we've included some

      20      additional parameters, so that the district attorney

      21      has sufficient time to provide the information to

      22      the independent monitor.  And we've included that in

      23      the chapter amendment, or in the 30-day amendments,

      24      in the Article 7.

      25             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much for


       1      your testimony, and your clarity on some of these

       2      provisions.

       3             One last question that I have, and that was

       4      raised, first by Senator Diaz, and then by

       5      Senator Marcellino:  The requirement that a police

       6      officer become a census-taker.

       7             In effect, when -- not necessarily an arrest,

       8      but an apprehension, or a traffic stop, or some type

       9      of formal process that the police engages in,

      10      demographic data is going to have to be extracted.

      11             And police officers are trained to do a lot

      12      of things, but, they're also trained not to ask

      13      questions of race or origin.

      14             Now we're -- this proposal appears to be

      15      directly contrary toward what a police officer has

      16      been trained to do.  And, frankly, it seems to be

      17      outside the scope of what a police officer should be

      18      required.

      19             Please comment on that.

      20             ALFONSO DAVID:  Sure.

      21             So the proposal that the Governor is

      22      advancing will require local police departments and

      23      officers to provide data along the lines of race and

      24      gender and ethnicity, and, we have included specific

      25      provisions for criminal violations, misdemeanors,


       1      and arrests.

       2             In many of those cases, the information or

       3      the documentation that police departments use

       4      already has that information.

       5             To the extent it doesn't, we will be creating

       6      model documents for police departments to use so

       7      that we minimize any burden that may exist for the

       8      local law-enforcement agencies.

       9             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  It's not -- it's a lot

      10      easier said than done.

      11             That I went through information from the

      12      Department of Corrections, that required an

      13      analysis, post conviction.  And that this was in

      14      line with the -- the -- those incarcerated, and

      15      counting those incarcerated, for redistricting

      16      purposes, at the place of their incarceration.

      17             That the Corrections Department had had to

      18      upheave its normal census-taking processes.

      19             And whether this proposal gets accepted or

      20      not, I do not know, but, we need to even look at

      21      what Department of Corrections is doing, because,

      22      now, that data is akin to census data, for purposes

      23      far beyond the original intention of taking a count

      24      and an approximation of those incarcerated.

      25             ALFONSO DAVID:  No, Senator, your point is


       1      well-taken.

       2             I think that we have to be careful that when

       3      we compile data, we're using the data for the

       4      intended purposes.

       5             Right now, the federal government compiles

       6      data based on race and ethnicity and gender, but

       7      it's inaccurate, to a large degree, because they

       8      have to compile the information from local

       9      law-enforcement agencies, and they're utilizing

      10      different mechanisms to obtain that information.

      11             So what our objective is, is to create some

      12      type of uniform system within the state, that we can

      13      actually rely on the data that's being relied -- in

      14      many instances, relied on, either by the Legislature

      15      or by the executive, not only for funding purposes,

      16      but also for training, and, potentially, for

      17      creating policy.

      18             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much,

      19      gentlemen.

      20             Any other questions from the Panel?

      21             Yes, Senator Lanza.

      22             SENATOR LANZA:  Thank you, Chairman.

      23             Counsel, obviously, the proposals before us

      24      from the Executive were prompted by a number of

      25      notable grand jury decisions.


       1             Is it the Governor's position that those

       2      grand jury decisions were wrong?

       3             ALFONSO DAVID:  The Governor has not taken a

       4      position on those decisions.

       5             And that's -- I think when you look at the

       6      proposal, I would advise to look at the proposal

       7      through that prism.

       8             The problem that I think the Governor is

       9      faced with, is we have a decision, at least in the

      10      Eric Garner case, that many have concluded is wrong,

      11      in part, because there is a video, and the public

      12      has viewed the video.

      13             But the problem is, the public was not a part

      14      of the grand jury process.

      15             No one knows whether or not the instructions

      16      were proper or not.

      17             No one knows whether or not there was a

      18      problem with specific grand jurors.

      19             And I think that is, I think, the tension

      20      that we're trying to resolve here.

      21             The Governor is not opining on those cases,

      22      in part, because he doesn't have sufficient

      23      information.

      24             SENATOR LANZA:  Well, if the Governor did not

      25      disagree with those decisions, why would we even


       1      have proposals for so-called "reforms"?

       2             ALFONSO DAVID:  Because there is --

       3             SENATOR LANZA:  Because the grand jury system

       4      has been -- has been the -- the process has been the

       5      same for a long time in this country.  And now, all

       6      of a sudden, we have these radical reforms.

       7             So one can only imply that it is because the

       8      Governor believes that the grand jury decision, in

       9      that case, and others, was wrong.

      10             And I'm asking, based upon what would the

      11      Governor believe that those decisions were wrong?

      12             ALFONSO DAVID:  The Governor recognizes that

      13      there is a perceived, or, in some instances, actual,

      14      lack of trust in the system.

      15             I think we can agree to disagree on several

      16      cases.  Whether or not we agree with the outcome in

      17      the Garner case or in the Ferguson case.

      18             And I think that's from, our perspective,

      19      beside the point.

      20             What we're focused on is that, New Yorkers,

      21      to a large degree, depending on race or ethnicity or

      22      location or geographic -- or residency, I should

      23      say, may have lost trust in the criminal justice

      24      system.

      25             And what we're seeking to do with this


       1      proposal is provide greater transparency and

       2      accountability.

       3             We are not changing the grand jury system

       4      per se; but, instead, allowing the Governor to make

       5      an informed decision when he's asked --

       6             SENATOR LANZA:  Well, I would have to

       7      disagree.

       8             ALFONSO DAVID:  -- to appoint a special

       9      prosecutor.

      10             SENATOR LANZA:  You are suggesting that we

      11      change the grand jury system.

      12             So, part of the American way, from its

      13      beginning, has been the notion that we will have a

      14      jury of peers --

      15             ALFONSO DAVID:  Uh-huh.

      16             SENATOR LANZA:  -- and that there is a

      17      presumption of innocence.

      18             And so what you're saying now, though, is

      19      when we disagree with a decision, that we're going

      20      to have politics enter the equation.  We're going to

      21      have someone other than the grand jury and a jury of

      22      the peers.

      23             We're going to have, for instance, a governor

      24      then look at the evidence that was part of the grand

      25      jury.


       1             So tell me how that does not fundamentally

       2      change the grand jury procedure when you're dealing

       3      with certain cases where you disagree.

       4             Because my understanding is, only when, a

       5      governor.

       6             And -- and a two-part question:

       7             In this case, the Governor happens to be a

       8      lawyer.

       9             So you might argue that the Governor has the

      10      expertise to actually look at what happened in the

      11      grand jury and make some type of legal determination

      12      or opinion.

      13             There is no requirement that a governor be a

      14      lawyer.

      15             So really what's happening here, is we're

      16      inserting, aren't we, politics into the situation,

      17      that any governor who disagrees with a grand jury

      18      can then trigger this new procedure that you're

      19      suggesting?

      20             ALFONSO DAVID:  Well, Senator Lanza, we

      21      actually may have spoken about this before you

      22      walked in, so I'll just briefly --

      23             SENATOR LANZA:  I'm sorry.  There are lots of

      24      budget hearings going on.

      25             ALFONSO DAVID:  Yeah, I know, so I'll briefly


       1      restate, I think, just the framework.

       2             Under Executive Law 632 and 633, current law,

       3      the Governor can appoint a special prosecutor where

       4      the district attorney fails to prosecute or is

       5      unable to prosecute.

       6             A very broad statute.

       7             So when you think about, and your point

       8      regarding politics --

       9             SENATOR LANZA:  I was here, by the way, when

      10      you said that.

      11             ALFONSO DAVID:  Oh, okay.  I'm sorry.

      12             You know, right now, the Governor could

      13      appoint a special prosecutor, in many cases, simply

      14      because he believes that the district attorney was

      15      unable to prosecute; or, because the victims are

      16      unable to or unwilling to cooperate with the DA; or,

      17      because the DA makes a public statement that

      18      suggests that they're unwilling to, effectively,

      19      prosecute the case.

      20             So that standard is not being affected at

      21      all.

      22             Instead, what we're doing, again, is

      23      informing the process, so that when the Governor is

      24      asked, or has to make a determination on his own,

      25      whether or not it's appropriate to appoint a special


       1      prosecutor, he does so in an informed way.

       2             He has no idea what happened in the

       3      grand jury room.

       4             We don't have the grand jury minutes, we

       5      don't have the instructions, we don't have the

       6      charges, so he has no way --

       7             SENATOR LANZA:  So isn't that the same as

       8      saying, that whenever our governor disagrees with a

       9      grand jury decision, the governor will decide, for

      10      whatever reason, usually politics, because that's

      11      what drives the executive and the legislative

      12      branch, that's how our system is based, so, wouldn't

      13      the case be, that whenever a governor disagrees with

      14      a decision, that's when the governor, under this

      15      suggestion, would step in and overturn, in effect,

      16      that decision, or attempt to overturn that decision?

      17             And isn't that contrary to everything we

      18      believe in as Americans, where we wanted to separate

      19      the procedure regarding criminal prosecutions from

      20      politics?

      21             Would we not be doing precisely the opposite

      22      of what we're supposed to be doing as Americans?

      23             ALFONSO DAVID:  Well, I actually respectfully

      24      disagree on that, Senator, because I think the focus

      25      here, again, is informing the process, as opposed to


       1      changing existing law.

       2             Existing law is, the Governor can appoint a

       3      special prosecutor tomorrow, in many cases.  And the

       4      standard, again, is very broad.

       5             That is not being affected in any way.

       6             So the question of whether or not the

       7      Governor is second-guessing the grand jury, we tend

       8      to think the Governor is actually informing his

       9      determination as to whether or not to appoint a

      10      special prosecutor.

      11             Because, the contrary, which is, under the

      12      existing framework, if he were to make a decision

      13      tomorrow, is really going to be based on what he

      14      read in the "New York Post," or what he read in

      15      "New York Times."

      16             SENATOR LANZA:  Which would make for an

      17      irresponsible decision.

      18             So --

      19             ALFONSO DAVID:  Right.

      20             SENATOR LANZA:  -- but what you're saying

      21      now, is that the Governor would like to look at the

      22      testimony and the proceedings of the grand jury, and

      23      then make his own political decision as to whether

      24      or not the right or wrong thing happened.

      25             ALFONSO DAVID:  I don't think it's a


       1      political decision, I think it's a legal one,

       2      because the standard is outlined not only in 632 and

       3      -3, but it's also outlined in the Article 7.

       4             It's not --

       5             SENATOR LANZA:  If the grand juries, for

       6      instance, on Staten Island; so, those members from

       7      the community, those peers, of that defendant, that

       8      accused, is there any suggestion that they, all

       9      those members, ignored the law?

      10             ALFONSO DAVID:  No, not at all.

      11             SENATOR LANZA:  Is there any suggestion that

      12      any of them acted based upon any bias?

      13             ALFONSO DAVID:  No.

      14             SENATOR LANZA:  So why these radical

      15      suggestions to change what has been the most

      16      respected criminal process in the entire world?

      17             Why now?

      18             ALFONSO DAVID:  Again, I think because there

      19      is a perceived lack of trust, or an actual lack of

      20      trust, by many community members.

      21             And I think in this day and age, where we

      22      have information and documentation that's provided

      23      to the public outside of the grand jury process, and

      24      there is, in some instances, a lack of alignment --

      25      or at least a perceived lack of alignment, I should


       1      say, between the actual outcome and what's publicly

       2      available, we need more information to assess

       3      whether or not it's appropriate, in certain

       4      instances, to appoint someone else to review that

       5      process.

       6             I think if we ignore that, what we do is

       7      further erode the public's trust in the system.

       8             The public currently -- and I think when you

       9      look at the polls, the public currently does not

      10      have the trust in the system that we would like the

      11      public to have.

      12             And this proposal will hopefully engender

      13      trust in the system, but also provide greater

      14      accountability.

      15             SENATOR LANZA:  Well, we're just going to

      16      have to leave off disagreeing.

      17             You know, there was a time -- when I was a

      18      prosecutor in Manhattan, there was a time when there

      19      was a perception within the public that too many

      20      criminals were getting off, if you will --

      21             ALFONSO DAVID:  Absolutely.

      22             SENATOR LANZA:  -- and escaping conviction.

      23             And there was talk about the technicalities

      24      that exist in our criminal justice system.

      25             I tell you those protections are the greatest


       1      the world has ever known, and part and parcel of the

       2      American way.

       3             There was no rush to judgment then to say

       4      we're going to eliminate the presumption of

       5      innocence because we feel too many guilty people are

       6      getting away with committing crimes.

       7             And in the same way, we should not be

       8      engaging in knee-jerk reactions now to change a

       9      tried-and-true process, that makes it difficult.

      10             And while it was frustrating to me as a

      11      prosecutor then, I wouldn't want to live in any

      12      other country except ours, where we make it

      13      difficult for the king, the queen, the executive, to

      14      decide, based upon politics, when someone is guilty

      15      and when someone isn't.

      16             Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Senator Lanza.

      18             Senator Bonacic.

      19             SENATOR BONACIC:  I think Senator Lanza spoke

      20      quite eloquently on what is perceived as an attempt

      21      to politicize, or give opportunity to politics to

      22      intervene with, a grand jury system.

      23             Many years ago I also made presentations to

      24      the grand jury as an assistant district attorney.

      25      We did several of them.


       1             Now, I want to ask you, though, specifically,

       2      some questions.

       3             You talk about this independent monitor;

       4      right?

       5             ALFONSO DAVID:  Uh-huh.

       6             SENATOR BONACIC:  Who would appoint the

       7      independent monitor?

       8             Where would his qualifications?

       9             Could be another DA?

      10             Could it be?

      11             ALFONSO DAVID:  Yes.

      12             SENATOR BONACIC:  Should it be?

      13             ALFONSO DAVID:  Yes.

      14             SENATOR BONACIC:  I think this Governor is up

      15      to his ears with taking care of state business and

      16      budgets and laws.

      17             And, now, he wants to take the time to get

      18      involved in grand jury processes throughout the

      19      state of New York?

      20             That to me seems a reach, all in the quest of

      21      public trust, the perception of public trust, just

      22      like he wants to make Albany more ethical.

      23             And these are noble quests, don't get me

      24      wrong, but, extremely difficult, always elusive,

      25      and, do you ever get the result that you're hoping


       1      to get in improved trust?

       2             So I just -- it's like Don Quixote chasing

       3      windmills.

       4             But let me come back to the qualifications.

       5             District attorneys, as I understand it, are

       6      not allowed to talk about what the grand jury did.

       7             ALFONSO DAVID:  Correct.

       8             SENATOR BONACIC:  Okay.

       9             So, do you think a step in the right

      10      direction for transparency would be to allow a

      11      district attorney to talk about the process?

      12             ALFONSO DAVID:  That's actually a part of the

      13      Governor's proposal, exactly right.

      14             SENATOR BONACIC:  Well --

      15             ALFONSO DAVID:  Under the proposal, the

      16      Governor is advising -- or, a part of the proposal

      17      would be to allow a district attorney to release

      18      relevant documentations, redacted, of course, in

      19      appropriate places, relevant information to the

      20      public, advising on a specific type of case.

      21             And, again, these are only limited to

      22      fatality cases, where there's a fatality and there

      23      is no indictment or there's no presentment to the

      24      grand jury.

      25             The district attorney would have the


       1      authority to issue a statement, or to issue actual

       2      minutes or charges, to the public for review.

       3             That currently does not exist, and that is

       4      now going -- that is a part of the Governor's

       5      proposal.

       6             SENATOR BONACIC:  Well, as I understand it,

       7      the district attorneys may embrace that proposal, to

       8      be able to talk, bringing more transparency to the

       9      process.

      10             What I always marveled at with the grand jury

      11      system, was that it was the peers that made the

      12      decision.

      13             In those cases that were controversial, there

      14      were minority people in the grand jury.

      15             ALFONSO DAVID:  Uh-huh.

      16             SENATOR BONACIC:  An assortment of

      17      African-Americans, assortment of Hispanics, and

      18      women, and Caucasians, from the community, judging,

      19      you know, whether something should go forward or

      20      not.

      21             So, what this Governor is suggesting by this

      22      proposal, is that he is giving an opportunity to

      23      create a political situation -- respond to a

      24      political situation, whether it's media hype, and

      25      you know how the media is today, and whether it's


       1      mob justice as a result of community activists that

       2      get a lot of attention, trying to distort or get an

       3      edge in the grand jury system.

       4             But these are all of those emotions that are

       5      in play by this proposal, and I'm concerned that it

       6      doesn't have a good ending.

       7             But let's say it got traction, let's talk out

       8      loud a minute.

       9             Why wouldn't the independent monitor, if it

      10      ever got that far -- and I for one don't think it

      11      should get that far -- why wouldn't it be another

      12      DA?

      13             ALFONSO DAVID:  It could be.

      14             SENATOR BONACIC:  Well, why wouldn't it be

      15      mandated, another DA?

      16             ALFONSO DAVID:  Why mandate --

      17             SENATOR BONACIC:  I mean, why don't we say a

      18      district attorney from another county, if you had to

      19      have an independent monitor, someone that knows the

      20      business, that's not involved in politics?

      21             ALFONSO DAVID:  Absolutely.

      22             That is exactly what the Governor is

      23      considering.

      24             The independent monitor is not outlined in

      25      the Article 7, because we thought it may be a


       1      retired judge, a criminal court judge.  It may be a

       2      district attorney who is retired.  It could be

       3      another district attorney who is actually active.

       4             The concern with using an active district

       5      attorney is you may, potentially, create a conflict

       6      in the future if that district attorney ends up

       7      serving as a special prosecutor in another case or

       8      in a similar case.

       9             But, there's no opposition to using a

      10      district attorney as the independent monitor.

      11             SENATOR BONACIC:  Well, you're saying there's

      12      no opposition, but the chances -- I mean, it's so

      13      broad, anything can happen.

      14             It could be, a community activist could be a

      15      monitor, under the definition.

      16             Am I right?

      17             ALFONSO DAVID:  It's not defined in the --

      18             SENATOR BONACIC:  Right, it's not defined.

      19             ALFONSO DAVID:  So we could, essentially,

      20      define it to create parameters to address that

      21      concern.

      22             SENATOR BONACIC:  One of the concerns that

      23      I see happening at the national level and the state

      24      level, is that political decisions are determining

      25      public policy, when that shouldn't be such a strong


       1      and overpowering factor, and that's where this

       2      proposal is going.

       3             So, I thank you.

       4             You spoke very well, by the way, in the

       5      proposal.

       6             But for one that's watched this grand jury

       7      system for almost 50 years, I think it works.

       8             Nothing is perfect.

       9             Nothing is perfect.

      10             But, for the most part, it works very, very

      11      well, and it's not politicized.

      12             I like the idea of a DA being able to have

      13      more transparency to talk about it, and -- but it's,

      14      always, the decision is made by the peers of the

      15      community, without the political process.

      16             And whether the perception of trust or not

      17      trust is out there, I think it will always be out

      18      there, but I want the peers deciding whether someone

      19      is guilty or not.

      20             And I thank you very much.

      21             ALFONSO DAVID:  And thank you, Senator.

      22             I'll just briefly postscript to that, I think

      23      we agree.

      24             There's no -- again, and I want to make sure

      25      that we're being crystal clear about what this


       1      Governor's -- what the Governor's proposal does.

       2             You know, the attorney general will have the

       3      proposal that he's advanced.  The chief judge has

       4      advanced a proposal as well.

       5             And, objectively speaking, I think that the

       6      Governor's proposal is well-balanced, because it

       7      increases transparency and accountability; allows

       8      the district attorneys to release information as

       9      appropriate; and, also, informs the Governor's

      10      process, without inflating the process, or without

      11      providing additional powers to the Governor.

      12             Otherwise what we have is, you know, in my

      13      opinion, a much more politicized process, an

      14      uninformed process as well.

      15             SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you.

      16             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Any other questions,

      17      members of the panel?

      18             Hearing none, thank you very much for your

      19      participation.

      20             ALFONSO DAVID:  Thank you.

      21             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Bruce McBride.

      22             Thank you.

      23             Good morning.

      24             R. BRUCE MCBRIDE:  Good morning.

      25             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  It's still morning.


       1             Please be so kind as to state your full

       2      title, and name.

       3             R. BRUCE MCBRIDE:  Good morning.

       4             My name is Bruce McBride.

       5             I am the commissioner of police for

       6      State University of New York, and in my capacity,

       7      I coordinate law-enforcement operations for the

       8      university, that consists of 28 departments of

       9      police, and also our community colleges.

      10             I'm also a serving member of the

      11      Municipal Police Training Council, and a member of

      12      the New York State Chiefs Association, as well as

      13      many other law-enforcement agencies -- professional

      14      groups.

      15             My comments today, as outlined in the

      16      testimony, will deal with the role of police, the

      17      notion of community infrastructure and protection of

      18      officers, relationships and bias, technology,

      19      staffing, and, the need for what I call

      20      "strategic funding."

      21             I'm going to just simply capsulize the

      22      salient points in the document, and then look

      23      forward to questions.

      24             Let me give, though, a very broad scope of

      25      policing in New York State.


       1             At this time we have 585 state, local, and

       2      county departments of police, and they are augmented

       3      by, roughly, 1,700 peace officer departments.

       4             SUNY, as itself, consists of 587 sworn

       5      personnel and they are dispersed at the various

       6      28 campuses.

       7             In the notion of community and my comments,

       8      we -- I talk about the role of the police and the

       9      notion of crime-fighter, the traditional role, also

      10      versus the service provider.

      11             And this is what police officers do in and

      12      day out: they provide services 24 hours a day.

      13             In terms of protection of officers and

      14      infrastructure, I believe that, for officer

      15      protection, departments have to be trained, they

      16      have to be equipped, and they have to be staffed, to

      17      do the job.

      18             The measures for this are outlined in the

      19      accreditation program that exists with the

      20      Municipal Police Training Council, which is under

      21      the Office of Public Safety, New York State Division

      22      of Criminal Justice Services.

      23             Departments that are accredited must meet

      24      130 operational standards, and this includes use of

      25      force, evidence collection, staffing, equipment,


       1      et cetera.

       2             Only 23 percent of our departments are

       3      accredited.

       4             The reason for this vary, but we believe, in

       5      SUNY, that all university police departments will be

       6      accredited.

       7             At this time we have eight departments who

       8      have achieved accreditation.

       9             One is what we call "on the way," and

      10      eleven others are on the listing.

      11             We believe that within five years all of our

      12      departments will be accredited.

      13             With regards to community relationships and

      14      bias, the police departments, no matter large or

      15      small, as alluded to by the commissioner of

      16      Nassau County, they have to assess their services

      17      through both quantitative and qualitative ways; and

      18      this includes citizen satisfaction, complaints,

      19      trends, and review of the use-of-force incidents.

      20             We are looking, at SUNY, with regards to

      21      community relations, at two programs.

      22             One is the idea of procedural justice that

      23      was cited before, and also a program called

      24      "Fair and Impartial Policing."

      25             There is the question of bias that does


       1      occur.  And as outlined in some of the questions,

       2      there is a need for data.

       3             At the University of Albany, and some other

       4      campuses, they have been collecting data on traffic

       5      stops and arrests for the past 10 years.

       6             We are also looking at our partnerships with

       7      academic institutions, particularly the School of

       8      Criminal Justice here in Albany.

       9             With regards to technology, one of the issues

      10      that has come up is the body-worn camera.

      11             The college at Oneonta has been using cameras

      12      for the past two years.  We have five other

      13      departments that are piloting the cameras.

      14             I want to say that, basically, they have to

      15      be used, viewed, as an important tool, but not a

      16      panacea.

      17             They are helpful, especially when you have

      18      citizen complaints, but, there is a number of issues

      19      that arise with regard to operational policies:

      20      When they're turned on, when they're turned off.

      21      Footage; storage of footage at the end of the shift

      22      in the cloud, and the costs associated with that.

      23             There are many expensive issues that arise

      24      with these cameras.

      25             The digital revolution that I allude to


       1      continues.

       2             Students today have apps that can summon

       3      help.

       4             Apple yesterday announced the new wristwatch.

       5             So, I believe that we and the police have to

       6      adapt to these new technologies.

       7             We've seen also an explosion of social media.

       8             We've had positive results with our own use

       9      of social media, in getting information out with

      10      regards to threats, with regard to personal safety,

      11      but we've also had terrorist attacks -- not attacks,

      12      but, threats at one campus, at the Canton Campus,

      13      where people use a social media called "Yik Yak," to

      14      say that they're going to commit serious crimes.

      15             And I'm happy to report that, in several

      16      cases, those persons have been apprehended.

      17             Let me now switch to hiring and staffing.

      18      I know there's been some questions that have been

      19      raised already.

      20             There's a general trend I see in

      21      New York State for 60 college credit hours.

      22             The general trend right now, the -- for most

      23      municipal agencies is a high school degree.  For

      24      most state agencies, it's moving to the

      25      60 credit hour.


       1             Yet, in many communities, especially in

       2      Upstate New York, we have very little diverse

       3      representation in the departments.

       4             The reasons for this are complex, but I will

       5      say that the traditional civil-service model, with

       6      regards to the written test, needs to be reviewed.

       7             And in my comments I point out that, years

       8      ago, there was an idea of the police cadet program,

       9      whereby qualified persons were allowed to enter the

      10      police service if they passed all the requisite

      11      background, physical agility, psychological tests.

      12             Related to this is staffing.

      13             It takes, roughly, 5.5 people to staff one

      14      patrol post 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

      15             This is an issue faced by many departments

      16      because, if they don't have enough staff, they

      17      cannot do community-policing programs.  They're just

      18      simply responding to patrol calls and basic duties.

      19             It's the issue being faced by the

      20      State University.

      21             At this present time we are losing officers

      22      because of an inequity to the pension program.

      23             Right now our members are in the

      24      New York State Employee Retirement System.

      25             Newer members cannot retire until age 62.


       1             And once they receive their police

       2      certification, they are moving on to other

       3      departments.

       4             And we are asking for a 20- or 25-year

       5      retirement plan.

       6             And I want to thank Senator Golden and others

       7      for the support of this.

       8             But in the next 5 years, we think we'll -- we

       9      estimate that we're going to lose about $10 million

      10      in terms of replacement.

      11             So the bottom line is funding, as alluded to

      12      earlier.

      13             And what I would suggest, outside of

      14      competitive grants, is strategic funding; and that

      15      is, put money where it can serve police officers the

      16      best, in both a statewide and regional basis.

      17             We've seen that in many police academies

      18      around New York State because, many departments,

      19      especially smaller departments, cannot afford their

      20      own police training.

      21             And, we also have seen the need for new

      22      delivery systems for training.  It does not always

      23      require that officers are in a classroom.

      24             So funding is needed for those agencies,

      25      state agencies, that can help the best.


       1             I mention in my comments the Office of Public

       2      Safety that has seen reductions over the last

       3      10 years.

       4             There are others that could help police

       5      departments throughout the state.

       6             I'll conclude my oral comments, and I look

       7      forward to your questions.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Commissioner.

       9             Any questions from members of the panel?

      10             Thank you very, very much for your testimony.

      11             We appreciate your work, and to thank you for

      12      your career in law enforcement.

      13             R. BRUCE MCBRIDE:  Thank you.

      14             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thomas Mungeer, president,

      15      the Police Benevolent Association of the

      16      New York State Troopers.

      17             President Mungeer, would you mind if --

      18      I guess he just left the room.

      19             Proceed, please.

      20             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Chairmen Golden,

      21      Gallivan, Nozzolio, Marcellino, Senators Bonacic,

      22      Lanza, it's an honor to be here.

      23             My name is Thomas Mungeer.  I'm president of

      24      the New York State Troopers PBA.

      25             I'm honored to represent over 6,000 active


       1      and retired troopers.

       2             I've spoken to many of you -- all of you in

       3      the past.

       4             Myself and my fellow president from the

       5      investigators union have been extremely proactive

       6      fighting for the rights and for our members.

       7             I want to hit on a couple of things.

       8             You have brought up numerous issues which are

       9      relevant to the police community as a whole, for

      10      both police and public protection.  Also, some more

      11      things that are more poignant to the New York State

      12      Police.

      13             You know, overall, the global issues, you

      14      know, as police officers, you have mentioned about

      15      the increased penalties for crimes against police;

      16      assaulting police officers.

      17             But, also, I want to add one thing:  There

      18      should probably be stiffer sentencing guidelines for

      19      these crimes once they're committed, to possibly

      20      make somebody think twice about committing crimes

      21      against police.

      22             The other thing, at length, you spoke to

      23      Mr. David just before, about the two-tiered system

      24      that's created under this new grand jury proposal.

      25             We are against such a system as it was


       1      proposed.

       2             By creating a two-tier system, that police

       3      officers have to go through a separate process than

       4      everybody else, kind of, you know, goes against what

       5      the system, how -- when it was created when our

       6      country was created.

       7             We are open to possibly more transparency, a

       8      grand jury report, but, as far as singling out

       9      police officers, only just based on their

      10      occupation, that they'll have to go through this

      11      monitor system, I think needs to be looked at again.

      12             And we appreciate-- I heard the comments from

      13      everybody up there, and I appreciate, that I believe

      14      that it's a large issue for you also.

      15             Thank you.

      16             As far as New York State Police, it's -- we

      17      are a large police agency.

      18             But as commissioner of Nassau County,

      19      Commissioner Krumpter, had said before, they have

      20      2200 police officers.

      21             We have a little over 2800 on the road

      22      throughout the whole New York State.

      23             We do need more people.

      24             As the statistics that were just provided,

      25      that it takes 5.5 officers to patrol a post within


       1      these communities in New York State, we would need

       2      at least over another 1,000 people.

       3             We have a little over 450 posts, and we do

       4      not have enough officers right now to man those

       5      effectively, especially when you have special

       6      details.

       7             The Governor has tasked us with extra --

       8      extra things that we have to take care of.

       9             We are patrolling New York City now.

      10             We have 50 officers down there in

      11      Grand Central Station and Penn Station.  And then,

      12      soon, there will be 50 troopers permanently assigned

      13      down there.

      14             Also, with heroin-related investigations,

      15      that's another duty that has been added to our

      16      plate.

      17             So, given that, we do need more manpower.

      18             How do we ensure that we have that?

      19             We went through a period of 3 1/2 years,

      20      Governor Cuomo's predecessor didn't put any classes

      21      into the state police academy, and we were in a

      22      proverbial hole in regards to manpower.  It was --

      23      it created unsafe situations on the road for the

      24      troopers and the public.

      25             To remedy this --


       1             And I will say, Governor Cuomo has been

       2      pretty good about putting in classes, extremely

       3      good.  We have one in currently, right now.

       4             -- is that there should be a minimum staffing

       5      within the State Police.

       6             There is no such thing right now.

       7             A governor can go in, you know, somewhere in

       8      the future, and not put a class in and we'll end up

       9      in that again.

      10             So somewhere within, if you put in that

      11      there's a minimum staffing, possibly one trooper per

      12      post, at least, we won't fall into that again.

      13             There's many places within New York State, as

      14      you all well know, that we do supplement the local

      15      police departments and sheriffs' departments.  But a

      16      lot of places, we are the only law enforcement

      17      within those areas.

      18             Another thing is, is the proverbial tools of

      19      the trade for police officers, and you hit on

      20      numerous items, some of them the Governor is

      21      proposing.

      22             One is, you know, beside rifles and tasers

      23      that, you know, a police officer will need in his

      24      everyday duties, we do need, but, patrol vehicles.

      25             I know Senator Gallivan spoke at length


       1      before.

       2             I also testified, as well as President Kaiser

       3      of the investigators, that we -- right now,

       4      currently, along with the -- as -- you know, not the

       5      BCI cars, but the marked cars, 30 percent of our

       6      cars are over 125,000 miles.

       7             We have given a little ground, as a union.

       8             We did want our cars to be, you know, changed

       9      out at 100,000 miles, but, we gave a little ground,

      10      and will accept the 125,000-mile mark, since we now

      11      have a large number of cars over 150,000 miles, and

      12      some, a select few, up over 180,000 miles.

      13             And when you're going from --

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  The younger guys don't

      15      remember the 100,000 miles.

      16             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Yeah.

      17             Yeah, I do.  So when I did come on, it was

      18      100,000 miles.

      19             You are right.  I'll back you up on that one.

      20             But as far as vehicles, I do appreciate,

      21      Superintendent D'Amico has a plan to switch that out

      22      within the next two years.

      23             I would like to see that accelerated, only

      24      because, again, I do appreciate it, but, what cost

      25      to safety, especially for my police officers, my


       1      troopers, who are out there every day, I would like

       2      to see that rectified this year instead of over a

       3      two-year plan.

       4             But, I do appreciate that they are addressing

       5      that.

       6             I'm open for any questions from the Panel.

       7             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  President Mungeer, this

       8      majority supports very much your concern and the

       9      Governor's proposal to establish classes.

      10             The additional deployment of police officers,

      11      an additional class that the Governor put in his

      12      30-day amendments, are something that we are

      13      aggressively supporting.

      14             And we certainly appreciate the need, and,

      15      your comments.

      16             During a budget hearing, we went through a

      17      number of these issues.

      18             But, for this matter, I would just like to

      19      ask a question, to focus on, you heard the

      20      Governor's counsel and the secretary discuss the

      21      issues of an independent monitor.

      22             You testified already that you have concerns

      23      with that.

      24             Could you be more specific?

      25             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Yeah, I believe the


       1      monitor, the way it was proposed, only applies to

       2      police officers, based in -- it's creating a

       3      separate system based on our occupation.

       4             If, in fact, if we are to come to some sort

       5      of compromise, it was also put in there that a

       6      grand jury report, or some more transparency.

       7             But I believe just based on a -- creating a

       8      system based on one's occupation, you know, will be

       9      a constitutional issue.

      10             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

      11             Senator Marcellino.

      12             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you for coming

      13      down, and appreciate your time, and your service.

      14             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Thank you, Senator.

      15             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  The -- you mentioned

      16      that the Governor had assigned, or has requested, an

      17      assignment of about 50 troopers to downstate in the

      18      city of New York?

      19             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Yeah, that's correct.

      20             We do have a -- we currently have a detail

      21      right now, and it's terrorism-based.

      22             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Is that what they're --

      23      are they augmenting the City's activities on

      24      terrorism, or are they doing something on their own?

      25             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  No, no, it's augmenting.


       1             They're working with the MTA.  Also the NYPD.

       2             We do have a very good relationship, you

       3      know, with those agencies.

       4             You know, my superintendent is a former

       5      New York City police officer himself.

       6             But we are -- currently have troopers

       7      assigned down in New York City, within Penn Station

       8      and Grand Central Station, and it's terrorism-based.

       9             It started, I believe, right before

      10      Thanksgiving, and is currently ongoing.

      11             The Governor's plan is to permanently assign

      12      50 troopers down there, and I believe in that sort

      13      of capacity, and it's to supplement the New York

      14      City MTA and other agencies down there.

      15             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Are these requested by

      16      the City, or this is just the Governor's thinking on

      17      it?

      18             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  I do not know that.

      19             That would be better posed to my management.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

      21             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

      22             Senator Gallivan.

      23             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Chairman.

      24             I only have one follow-up.

      25             You did comment on the cars, and there was


       1      some earlier testimony about replacement vests.

       2             Do you have any comments?

       3             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  I've got to say, with

       4      the -- this administration, both with the Governor's

       5      Office and the superintendent, has been very good

       6      about replacing our vests.

       7             So, I don't have that on my list of my

       8      Chinese menu, if you may.

       9             The vest situation has been changed every

      10      five years.  And if -- they have been very proactive

      11      about this.

      12             You know, if there are any cases that have

      13      slipped through the cracks, if it's brought to their

      14      attentions, it's quickly rectified.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.

      16             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Senator Golden.

      17             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      18             And thank you for being here today.

      19             Obviously, we've spoken about the monitor.

      20             The monitor is something that is -- that hits

      21      a nerve in all of this Panel, and rightfully so.

      22             You know, all of our families came from

      23      different countries to this -- to form this great

      24      nation over 200 years ago; specifically, England,

      25      and because of their overreach in the government,


       1      into the lives of the people that lived in that

       2      country, and that's what we fled.  That's what we

       3      fought.

       4             That's what the red, white, and blue is all

       5      about.

       6             And now we're looking to add more steps, and

       7      infringement on the rights of individuals.  And we

       8      don't believe that that's correct, and we're trying

       9      to do the best we can to make sure that this does

      10      not become law.

      11             But we are, obviously, in a negotiation with

      12      the Assembly and with the Governor, and -- but we do

      13      not want to impact the infringe -- or infringe upon

      14      the grand jury, because the grand jury has done, and

      15      worked, over 200 years.

      16             And so putting a monitor in there, and

      17      requiring the grand jury to release more information

      18      than it has to, to correct something that doesn't

      19      need to be corrected, is something that we're not

      20      very fond of, or looking to do.

      21             But I will tell you that, isn't the -- don't

      22      you guys have the -- state troopers, aren't you on

      23      the organized-crime task force, aren't you guys on

      24      the terrorist task force, in the city and across the

      25      state?


       1             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Absolutely, yes.

       2             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  You're on each one of

       3      those task forces, correct, and other task forces as

       4      well?

       5             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Absolutely.

       6             SENATOR GOLDEN:  I got a question for you.

       7             There seems to be -- I don't know if you read

       8      "The Post" the other day.  There was an arrest of an

       9      individual, and we see these arrests on a regular

      10      basis.

      11             He was [unintelligible] $800,000, and he was

      12      going into another nation in the Middle East and

      13      delivering that money, we believe, to terrorism.

      14             We see that on a regular basis.

      15             Is there any task force within the state

      16      troopers, when it comes to going after the illegal

      17      cigarette contraband, which seems to be as

      18      lucrative, if not more lucrative, than that of the

      19      drug trade?

      20             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Yeah, we did have a

      21      detail that -- manned by investigators, the other

      22      union.

      23             But, we did see, and I will comment, that it

      24      was formed a number of years ago, due to the

      25      trafficking of the cigarettes, what have you,


       1      upstate, by the Canadian border especially.

       2             So, they were quite active in that.

       3             You know, the state police, over my career,

       4      there's been numerous details created, based on, you

       5      know, what society -- what is going on in society;

       6      whether it's untaxed cigarettes, whether it's

       7      terrorism.

       8             Right now it's the heroin, a push on heroin.

       9             And because there has been reactions, as

      10      such, within the agency to throw manpower and

      11      resources at those particular problems in society.

      12             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Well, I don't want to take

      13      away from heroin.  Obviously, heroin is killing our

      14      kids, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, so we do need that

      15      task force.

      16             But we do need the task force, for those

      17      supplying the drugs.

      18             And we need the task force, that's bringing

      19      money into terrorists' hands; and that's going after

      20      the contraband of cigarettes, to the tune of

      21      billions of dollars to the State and to City of

      22      New York.

      23             So, I would like to know if that task force,

      24      or that group, is still active.  And if you could

      25      get back to me with some of that --


       1             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Yeah, absolutely.

       2             And, again, my counterpart with the

       3      investigators' union might be able to provide a

       4      little more light on that -- shed more light.

       5             I guess my push would be, you know, I think

       6      we should have a bigger group, and they should be

       7      manned by uniformed troopers -- no, I'm just

       8      kidding -- instead of investigators.

       9             But, no, the more manpower the better.

      10             And I will get back to you after I speak to

      11      my counterpart.

      12             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Well, the funny part about

      13      this, these cigarettes are coming in in trucks --

      14      truckloads, I-95, so it's uniform that's going to be

      15      pulling these trucks over and these cars over.

      16             And especially the cigarettes coming in, in

      17      some of the places upstate, by barge, coming in from

      18      China, these are -- that would be investigators.

      19             But the guys in the uniforms would be the

      20      guys getting the cigarettes off of the streets, or

      21      off the I-95.  That's the pipeline for guns, and

      22      that's the pipeline for illegal cigarettes, and

      23      illegal drugs.

      24             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Yeah, they're in the

      25      Northway on 87, and that goes down to my argument


       1      with more manpower.

       2             My uniform troopers are out there proactively

       3      looking, whether it's guns, you know, wanted people,

       4      drugs, and other contraband such as cigarettes.

       5             So, to adequately man the posts out there so

       6      we have enough troopers that -- to -- because, when

       7      you have a car pulled over, or a tractor-trailer,

       8      how many more go by with -- if you don't have the

       9      adequate manpower to man the roads?

      10             So that argument goes back to, that we do

      11      need more uniformed troopers out there.

      12             SENATOR GOLDEN:  We agree, and that's why

      13      this Panel came together, is to formulate a thought

      14      process on how we can get more resources to the

      15      police departments and the district attorneys and

      16      our correction institutions across the state of

      17      New York, to make sure that we have a

      18      twenty-first-century system here in the state, the

      19      greatest state in the nation.

      20             And we should.

      21             The $60 million is a good start with the

      22      Governor.  We would like to see, obviously, more.

      23             Just listening to the conversation between

      24      you and Senator Gallivan right now, I was right

      25      before; Superintendent D'Amico could use that


       1      $60 million without even going outside of the state

       2      troopers.

       3             So it's a need.

       4             I think it should be a five-year plan, and

       5      I think it should be a plan that gets all of our

       6      police departments across the state up to the

       7      twenty-first century.

       8             Thank you.

       9             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Thank you, Senator.

      10             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Senator Golden.

      11             Senator Lanza.

      12             SENATOR LANZA:  Thank you, Chairman.

      13             Tom, it's great to see you.

      14             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Good to see you, Senator.

      15             SENATOR LANZA:  Tom, sadly, it seems to me

      16      that it has becoming increasingly politically

      17      incorrect to express gratitude and admiration toward

      18      police, not only in our state, but across the

      19      country.

      20             And I have to tell you, I believe that the

      21      people who advanced that sentiment are as dangerous

      22      as any terrorist out there.

      23             And so I simply want to say to you, that

      24      I admire and commend, and thank, New York State

      25      troopers for keeping all of us, my family, and


       1      families across New York State, safe, and for the

       2      sacrifices you make in order to make that happen.

       3             I don't have a question; just a statement.

       4             I want to speak, of course, about this

       5      two-tiered system being proposed, which, to me, is

       6      not only offensive, but very dangerous to public

       7      safety.

       8             The notion that constitutional protections

       9      don't apply to police officers is disgusting and

      10      obscene.

      11             And I feel blessed that I'm in a position,

      12      together with my colleagues here, to make sure that

      13      that doesn't happen.

      14             So, Tom, once again, thank you.

      15             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  And we appreciate your

      16      support, especially the support of everybody up on

      17      this Panel.  Again and again you're there for us.

      18             And I want to thank you on behalf of the men

      19      and women of the New York State Police.

      20             Thank you.

      21             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Senator Bonacic.

      22             SENATOR BONACIC:  Tom, I happen to think the

      23      state police in this state is the best state police

      24      force anywhere in the country, from watching them

      25      over my time --


       1             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  And I have to say I'm

       2      very biased also.  I believe the same thing.

       3                  [Laughter.]

       4             SENATOR BONACIC:  I'm just curious, and

       5      I don't know enough about it, the new concern is

       6      cybersecurity and hackers.

       7             Does the state police, as part of your

       8      mission, involved in any of that?  Or that's left --

       9      or are you allowed to talk about it?

      10             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Well, I can talk about

      11      it, but I'm not going to talk at length.

      12             Again, we do have a computer-crimes unit.

      13      They're very good at what they do.  It's mostly

      14      manned by investigators.  There are some of my

      15      people in there also.

      16             I do not have the numbers, but I believe

      17      they're undermanned also.

      18             Just like anything else, it's -- the

      19      twenty-first-century crimes are committed mostly on

      20      computers now, or largely on computers.  And, you

      21      know, they could always use more manpower.

      22             But we do have such a unit.

      23             The state police, you know, has been in the

      24      last -- especially in the last decade or so, been

      25      very proactive instead of what we viewed as mostly


       1      reactive.  And, they are going after a lot of these

       2      different things that are -- you know, that you

       3      would never think two decades ago that you would

       4      even have to worry about.

       5             SENATOR BONACIC:  Is this an area where you

       6      could use more manpower?

       7             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  I believe we could use

       8      more manpower across the board.

       9             Again, my chief -- being here, I'm, you know,

      10      head of the uniformed troopers.

      11             The men and women out there who, mostly by

      12      themselves, are patrolling the roads, they need

      13      adequate backup.

      14             But I will say that they do need more, across

      15      the board; whether it's in these details,

      16      investigators.

      17             But I guess my primary request is, first and

      18      foremost, the men and women who out there patrolling

      19      the roads.  They're the first line of defense.

      20             SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you for keeping us

      21      safe.

      22             Thank you for being here.

      23             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Thank you, Senator.

      24             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

      25             Any other questions of the panelists?


       1             Hearing none, thank you very much.

       2             THOMAS H. MUNGEER:  Thank you.  I appreciate

       3      it.

       4             UNKNOWN SPEAKER:  [No camera pan.]

       5             Likewise.

       6             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Kevin Mulverhill.

       7             Sheriff, good afternoon.

       8             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Good afternoon,

       9      sir.

      10             How are you?

      11             I can draw a crowd.

      12             I'm Kevin Mulverhill.  I'm the

      13      Franklin County Sheriff.

      14             So, greetings from the Great White North.

      15             It's a pleasure to say that the windchill's

      16      30 today, and not referenced 30 below.

      17             So, I'll give you a little history of myself.

      18             I was a corrections officer in the

      19      New York State Department of Corrections for

      20      4 years.  I was a New York State trooper for

      21      23 years.  I retired as a traffic supervisor in

      22      Troop B.

      23             And I've been the sheriff for Franklin County

      24      for almost five years now.  Just recently had a

      25      reelection.


       1             Obviously, I come from a rural county with a

       2      number of budget issues, which I know the state is

       3      going through as well.

       4             Just to let you know, it costs us in the

       5      county, roughly, $6 million a year to operate the

       6      county jail.

       7             Franklin County, as I said, is a rural

       8      county.  It is one of only two or three counties in

       9      the state that does not have an active road patrol,

      10      so my primary duties in the country is the operation

      11      of the county jail.

      12             However, I'm here on behalf to speak, in

      13      part, for the sheriffs across the state.

      14             I would like to speak about some

      15      jail-operation issues, and some 911 dispatch issues,

      16      that are not particularly germane to the budget

      17      issues that have been discussed here today, if you

      18      would allow me to indulge you for a short time.

      19      I promise I'll be short.

      20             I was told a long time ago never to be the

      21      speaker just before or just after lunch, so, like

      22      I say, I'll keep this as short as I can.

      23             Since becoming the sheriff, I think the big

      24      difference between being a state trooper and a local

      25      sheriff or the county sheriff is the ability to


       1      affect your community, and to be able focus on

       2      issues that are important to the county, and

       3      I think, in turn, become important to the state.

       4             One of the issues that has come to light

       5      since I've been the sheriff, particularly with the

       6      county jail, are mental-health issues.

       7             We are -- the county jail, we're the end of

       8      the line for all the systems, and in particularly,

       9      the mental-health system.

      10             It's heartbreaking, to be honest with you, to

      11      be a county sheriff, and have an individual end up

      12      in the county jail that has obvious mental-health

      13      issues, and not be able to get them help.

      14             Those particular individuals, not only do

      15      they need help, but being in the county jail where

      16      my staff is not trained and we don't have the tools

      17      available to treat this individual, you know, causes

      18      a security risk to the staff and to fellow inmates.

      19             And, you know, I will briefly give you a

      20      couple of examples, and these happened just since

      21      the first of the year.

      22             A 76-year-old male, who was a U.S. veteran,

      23      had a history of multiple psychiatric

      24      hospitalizations, had been in resident placements,

      25      has actually had signs of dementia, suffered from


       1      what they refer to as "sunset syndrome," and just

       2      about the time it gets dark, he has a number of

       3      episodes, ends up in the county jail as a part of an

       4      arrest, which I think was for petit larceny.

       5             Actually, it was for entering the dwelling of

       6      another.

       7             We get him as much help as we can in the

       8      county jail.  We deal with him as best we can.

       9             Like I say, at times he's violent, and not of

      10      his -- it's not of his own nature.

      11             It's not like, when he's in the jail, we can

      12      issue him a ticket because -- you know, or issue him

      13      a discipline because he is not following the rules.

      14             I mean, the rules mean absolutely nothing to

      15      him, only because he can't comprehend them.

      16             A number of mental-health evaluations, he

      17      gets disability and SSI.  He has funds available to

      18      him, but he doesn't have anybody to budget his

      19      money.

      20             You know, he falls in love with one of the

      21      jail nurses and starts buying a whole bunch --

      22      buying her a whole bunch of gifts, and whatnot.

      23             I mean, obviously, we returned them to him,

      24      but he has obvious mental-health issues.

      25             He's released from jail, and he's found about


       1      two weeks later on a rural road outside the village

       2      of Malone, suffering from hypothermia.

       3             And it was one of those, it was lucky he was

       4      found alive.  Another hour, he could very well have

       5      been deceased.

       6             Didn't know where he was.  Didn't know where

       7      he was going.

       8             It just seems to me that we could develop

       9      some sort of system, where the courts can make a

      10      referral to a mental-health facility.

      11             And the State recently, or appears to have

      12      been, abandoning the mental-health facilities.

      13             As a result of that, these people are ending

      14      up in the county jail.

      15             There again, one more -- one more.

      16             An 18-year-old male, with a dual diagnosis of

      17      mental retardation and mental illness, and multiple

      18      inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations.

      19             He becomes violent in a residence, and his

      20      mother is forced to have him arrested and forced to

      21      send him to jail, because there's an 11-year-old

      22      child in the house as well.

      23             And social services threatens to take away

      24      the 11-year-old child if she continues to allow the

      25      18-year-old male with mental-health issues to live


       1      in the household.

       2             He has no place to go.

       3             He gets arrested for attempted assault in the

       4      household and he comes to the county jail.

       5             It takes us several weeks of evaluations to

       6      finally get him moved out of the Franklin County

       7      Jail into a psychiatric facility in Augsburg [ph.].

       8             It's just -- and like I say, as the county

       9      sheriff, that's frustrating.  It's heartbreaking to

      10      see that.  There's nothing we can do for this

      11      individual.

      12             I mean, he gets up in the morning, he spreads

      13      feces on the walls.

      14             He just -- it's obvious that he has

      15      mental-health issues.

      16             And there, again, it's not something we can

      17      correct on the discipline side of the house.

      18             It's not something that is safe for my staff

      19      or safe for fellow inmates or safe for the nurses.

      20             It just seems to me that we could have a

      21      better process to take care of this.

      22             So that's my stuff, necessarily, on the

      23      mental-health issues.

      24             And I would appreciate it if you would

      25      consider that in budget proposals that come up in


       1      the future.  It's an issue.

       2             And I have a small county jail.  I can house

       3      127 inmates, you know.  But at any given time,

       4      there's always one, two, maybe even three, that have

       5      obvious mental-health issues.

       6             The second topic I would like to address is

       7      911 dispatch.

       8             And I think the general public is under the

       9      impression that when you call 911 anywhere in the

      10      state, that you talk to a dispatcher that has direct

      11      access to a police agency.

      12             And I am here to tell you that, in

      13      Franklin County, and soon to be St. Lawrence County,

      14      and in Clinton County, that is not the case.

      15             If you call 911 dispatch -- if you call 911

      16      in Franklin County right now, you get the emergency

      17      services 911 dispatch located on 55 Bear Hill Road

      18      in Malone, New York.

      19             If you have a request for police, or you need

      20      a police officer, the New York State Police are the

      21      primary police agency for Franklin County.

      22             Like I say, I don't have a road patrol.

      23             There are three villages, Tupper --

      24      Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Malone, and also the

      25      tribal PD, are the outlying police agencies.


       1             So you need a trooper, if you're outside any

       2      one of those villages, when you call 911 in

       3      Franklin County, the dispatcher has to take that

       4      information down, and then transfer your call, at

       5      this point, to Plattsburgh, New York, so that that

       6      dispatcher can then dispatch a state police vehicle.

       7             And it's soon to be the state police are

       8      abandoning the 911 in St. Lawrence County, and all

       9      their state police dispatch is going to be in Lewis,

      10      New York.

      11             So there, again, you're in Franklin County,

      12      you have an emergency, you need a police officer,

      13      you call Franklin County, it rings in 911, 911 then

      14      calls the state police in Lewis, New York, who takes

      15      down that information, and then dispatches a car.

      16             Gentlemen, there's got to be a better way.

      17             There's got to be a better way.

      18             Either we need to put state police dispatch

      19      in our 911 centers so that we can dispatch those

      20      cars directly, or, those dispatch centers need

      21      access to the state police frequency so that they

      22      can dispatch those cars in cases of emergency.

      23             It's -- we're not servicing the public.

      24             And I'm a firm believer, the government's

      25      primary responsibility is the safety of our


       1      citizens.

       2             And I don't think we're doing -- we're not

       3      doing the best job we can do in Upstate New York,

       4      and I think we can do better.

       5             And I think it's small changes.  I don't

       6      think it's necessarily big-budget items that are

       7      going to change this.

       8             It comes from policy from here in the state,

       9      working with the counties, interoperability.  And

      10      we're ready to make that step forward.

      11             We've been telling people for the last 10 or

      12      15 years:  If you need help, call 911.

      13             But, yet, when we set up the 911 system, we

      14      put a block between the 911 dispatcher and police

      15      services.

      16             And I think it's time to remove that.

      17             So I appreciate you hearing me out on that.

      18             And I apologize for not coming with written

      19      testimony.

      20             The Pony Express didn't arrive until just

      21      recently.

      22                  [Laughter.]

      23             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  So I know a lot of

      24      the discussion has been about the grand jury, and

      25      whatnot, and I would be happy to answer your


       1      questions on that.

       2             We can talk a little bit about troop cars.

       3             Like I say, you know, I'm 23 years there, and

       4      I'll back you up on 100,000 miles as well, sir.

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

       6             Any questions?

       7             Senator Gallivan.

       8             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Sheriff.

       9             A couple questions.

      10             So let's stay in your county correctional

      11      facility, the holding area, as well as -- the

      12      sentenced inmates as well.

      13             Do you have a use-of-force policy in the

      14      correctional facility?

      15             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  No.

      16             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  You don't.

      17             Do minimum standards address use of force?

      18             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Yes.  Yes, they

      19      do.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  How so?

      21             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Well, the

      22      commissioner of corrections has -- as you say, in

      23      the -- minimum standard addresses, you know, you can

      24      only use forces equal to the force that is being

      25      used against you.


       1             You know, in the cell extrication, you know,

       2      we have the ability to use pepper spray before we

       3      use -- before it's actual physical hands-on

       4      altercation.  And those decisions are made by the

       5      supervisor.

       6             Pepper spray has been a real big help in

       7      dealing with the inmates.

       8             Some jails, not mine, also have gone to

       9      tasers, and whatnot.

      10             That's something we may look at in the

      11      future.

      12             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So the minimum standards,

      13      then, in effect, are the policy --

      14             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Yes.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- that you adhere to?

      16             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Correct.

      17             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  You just don't have an

      18      additional one of your own?

      19             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Right.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  The 911, you talked about

      21      Franklin County, I think you mentioned Clinton, but,

      22      the one that struck me, "the soon to be," same

      23      situation in St. Lawrence County, what is changing

      24      there?

      25             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Right, and I hate


       1      to speak for St. Lawrence County.  I think Kevin --

       2      Sheriff Wells and I are pretty well acquainted.

       3             St. Lawrence County currently has a dual

       4      dispatch set up in Canton, where the

       5      St. Lawrence County dispatchers sit side by side

       6      with the state police dispatchers.

       7             The state police is abandoning that 911 --

       8      that post as a dispatch center and moving that

       9      dispatch to Lewis, New York.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Understood.

      11             That's all.

      12             Thank you.

      13             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  One question, Sheriff.

      14             You served in such a multitude of

      15      law-enforcement roles, from your days as a

      16      correction officer, to state police officer.

      17             Put your officer hat on and tell us candidly

      18      what you think of the establishment of an

      19      independent monitor for those types of grand jury

      20      proceedings that you may have heard presented

      21      earlier today.

      22             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Well, I can tell

      23      you, on behalf of the sheriffs association, we are

      24      opposed to this two-tiered grand jury system.

      25             Myself, personally, I think here -- here are


       1      the issues:

       2             Okay, social media is an issue because,

       3      during an investigation, the investigators have to

       4      keep that information close to their vests.

       5             And in the event of a police shooting, as

       6      public -- as many people would like it to be, it has

       7      to be kept close to the vest, to protect the rights

       8      of the victim, and protect the rights of the police

       9      officer.

      10             Police officer -- just the fact that you're a

      11      police officer for the state of New York does not

      12      mean you have given up your rights, as far as I'm

      13      concerned.

      14             What has happened here, and the reason the

      15      Governor has called for this two-tiered system, is

      16      I think we have gone away from trust versus

      17      knowledge.

      18             You know, a police officer, when I grew up,

      19      was somebody you could trust.

      20             And, there's been a whole lot of, what

      21      I believe, misinformation out there about how we

      22      can't trust the police anymore.

      23             And not just any police.  I mean, it's

      24      rolling out into small towns and villages.

      25             How do we combat that?


       1             We don't combat with it a two-tiered jury

       2      system.

       3             We combat that with educating the public on

       4      what the jury system is, and how great it is.

       5             And I've heard the Senators today comment on

       6      how great our grand jury system is, and our jury

       7      system as a whole; and I firmly believe that, and

       8      I agree 100 percent.

       9             But the problem isn't that we need to reform

      10      the jury system.  The problem is, we need to inform

      11      the public what's being done with the grand jury

      12      system.

      13             And, you know, a couple of Senators made

      14      comment about how it's a jury of your peers, and

      15      that's the way it should be.

      16             I mean, I sat on a grand jury.  You know,

      17      from the time I was retired to the time I was

      18      elected sheriff, I was appointed to a grand jury.

      19             Grand juries are fantastic.

      20             I don't think people realize that the

      21      grand jury has the opportunity to ask questions, and

      22      they have the opportunity, when somebody comes in

      23      and testifies, to dig into it a little bit deeper.

      24             And the grand jury I was part of, the people

      25      were happy to do that.


       1             You know, it's the one jury where you can

       2      actually take your personal curiosity and ask those

       3      questions of the witnesses that come before you.

       4             There is no need for a two-tiered system in

       5      this state, or any other state.

       6             The grand jury system has served us for

       7      hundreds of years, and will continue to serve us for

       8      hundreds of more.

       9             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

      10             Appreciate your testimony, and best wishes in

      11      your endeavors.

      12             SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL:  Okay.  Thank you.

      13             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thomas Czyz.

      14             Good afternoon -- or, afternoon.

      15      I apologize.

      16             THOMAS CZYZ:  Good afternoon, Senator.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

      18             We have your written testimony.

      19             And could you, for the record, though,

      20      indicate your name, where you're from, and -- and

      21      that would be very helpful.

      22             THOMAS CZYZ:  Okay.

      23             I'm Tom Czyz.  I'm from Syracuse, New York.

      24             I'm currently a detective with the

      25      Onondaga County Sheriff's Department.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Would you pull the mic

       2      just a little closer to you, if you can.

       3             THOMAS CZYZ:  Closer?

       4             Is that better?

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Yes.

       6             THOMAS CZYZ:  I'm a detective with the

       7      Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, and, I own a

       8      business called "Armoured One."

       9             We do school security now across the nation,

      10      mainly New York, where we harden glass to make it

      11      bullet-resistant to slow down attackers.

      12             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

      13             THOMAS CZYZ:  Yep.

      14             Why I'm here today?

      15             I'm here, we have a product, it's a security

      16      laminate that goes on glass that makes it

      17      bullet-resistant.

      18             This application has been done now in schools

      19      for 2 1/2 years, that we created, and what it does,

      20      it takes glass to a Level 2 bullet-resistance.

      21             So police officers, their vests, are Level 2

      22      bullet-resistance; means it stops the majority of

      23      handguns, minus the .44 Magnum, and that's 3 rounds

      24      tested in about a 5-inch pattern, that it will stop

      25      the bullets.


       1             And our glass stops it at a half-inch thick.

       2             So after the shooting on December 20th in

       3      New York City, we began to apply laminate to car

       4      glass, and we've been in the testing phases for

       5      that, to make windows bullet-resistant in cop cars

       6      without really changing the functionality of the

       7      police car.

       8             So I brought -- I did bring some samples for

       9      you guys, too, to feel -- to see, feel the weight of

      10      it.

      11             I know that there were tests done in NYPD,

      12      where they did heavily-armored police cars, and had

      13      officers -- patrol officers test those, and it came

      14      back with a very negative rating because of officer

      15      safety; everything that you're taking away by making

      16      the vehicle bullet-resistant.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

      18             Senator Golden.

      19             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      20             The -- I want to thank you for being here.

      21             Obviously, there is a perception out there

      22      that the only way to armor a vehicle is by putting

      23      in bullet-resistant or bulletproof glass, which,

      24      obviously, would weigh the vehicle down, would make

      25      it more difficult and heavier, and would avoid your


       1      being able to hear outside conversations going on.

       2             This particular science that you have there,

       3      would not put any weight on these windows, would not

       4      shadow the windows, and would allow for the

       5      conversations to be heard outside of the vehicle; am

       6      I correct?

       7             THOMAS CZYZ:  Yes, sir.

       8             SENATOR GOLDEN:  And how far are you into

       9      testing?  And how far is this --

      10             THOMAS CZYZ:  I believe we're about two to

      11      three months out.

      12             Our testing phase right now is to make sure

      13      that the mechanisms of the door work the same.

      14             So my suggestion, 12 years on patrol as a

      15      patrol guy before becoming a detective, a majority

      16      of cars that do have cages, I know state trooper

      17      cars, a lot of them don't, but if you put a cage

      18      behind the police officer, that you would make it

      19      bulletproof, so that the officer's 100 percent

      20      protected from behind if somebody was to open fire

      21      on them from behind.

      22             The front windshield, as a company owner with

      23      liability insurance, my insurance has told me, no,

      24      that if we laminate the front windshield it's going

      25      to harden it.  There's way more accidents in a


       1      police car than there are attacks on police officers

       2      and police cars.

       3             So, you could up the death rate by making the

       4      windshield.

       5             It's a one-way laminate.

       6             So, to understand our product, if you hit a

       7      deer and the deer hits the windshield, it doesn't --

       8      the majority of the time it doesn't come in.

       9             It has, I've seen it, but, the majority of

      10      the time it will bounce off and go off.

      11             SENATOR GOLDEN:  And not land on your lap?

      12             THOMAS CZYZ:  Yep.

      13             So, if you get in an accident, you know,

      14      people get ejected out of the front windshield.

      15             And I've been on many accidents where people

      16      lived through being ejected.

      17             That glass is made to go one way, out, and

      18      not in.

      19             So our bullet-resistant glass is made that

      20      same way.

      21             We would take the existing glass, and the

      22      officer could return fire at the bad guy.

      23             If he's outside the car, shooting at them, he

      24      can shoot out of the car at him and still be

      25      protected, to have that protection, because it's


       1      made to go out, not to come in.  All the laminate is

       2      placed on the inside.

       3             So if we laminate the front windshield,

       4      liability insurance says, no, because if the

       5      officer's head and neck hit, it could kill more

       6      officers than do help.

       7             So the thought process was, with the company

       8      and doing our research, is to get the passenger --

       9      driver's side and passenger door.

      10             So, the officers that were attacked in

      11      New York City were attacked from the passenger side.

      12             And the idea would be to laminate both driver

      13      side, passenger side, and have bulletproof cage

      14      behind them.

      15             SENATOR GOLDEN:  So this would have a

      16      twofold; not only just for bullet-resistance, but

      17      also have, in case of an accident, it would allow

      18      for the -- either protruding object coming into the

      19      car to be deflected, and, vice versa, the individual

      20      in the vehicle from being tossed out of the vehicle?

      21             THOMAS CZYZ:  Correct.

      22             SENATOR GOLDEN:  The -- and have you worked a

      23      cost analysis on this yet?

      24             THOMAS CZYZ:  We're in the process of working

      25      that now.


       1             We've done test-fires.

       2             We've done five test-fires on our product,

       3      and it stopped 9-millimeters, .40-cal, and .45-cal

       4      guns.  Stopped at least three rounds.

       5             SENATOR GOLDEN:  But the -- the continued

       6      analysis, obviously, would be much cheaper than that

       7      of putting a bulletproof glass into a vehicle, and

       8      would reduce, obviously, the ability to -- for the

       9      officers to do their work, because the car is too

      10      heavy, and the windows are now tinted, the vehicle

      11      becomes -- you can't hear the conversations going on

      12      outside, you have people sneaking up on top of you.

      13             This gives you the ability to do all of that?

      14             THOMAS CZYZ:  Yes, sir.

      15             SENATOR GOLDEN:  And the panels on the side

      16      of the door, you said you were doing, what, with the

      17      panels?

      18             THOMAS CZYZ:  We have been testing those.

      19             But we are also familiar that, Ford, the

      20      police-interceptor models of the Ford police cars,

      21      state police have some in D Troop that are

      22      bullet-resistant doors that are built in, and the

      23      agencies are able to purchase those.

      24             SENATOR GOLDEN:  And that gives us an extra

      25      tool -- or, the police officers an extra tool, to be


       1      able to -- if engaging in a battle -- a gun battle,

       2      to have the -- that door as a -- something to go

       3      behind when you're in a gun battle.

       4             Obviously, you want anything that can help

       5      you, and --

       6             THOMAS CZYZ:  Absolutely, sir.

       7             And I'm sure you know, from your years at

       8      NYPD, that what you're observing in front of you is

       9      a lot more obvious than attacks from the sides.

      10             So getting the protection on both sides, the

      11      officer at least is aware of what's going on in

      12      front of him, can duck behind the engine compartment

      13      and get down, if he had to, from a front attack.

      14             SENATOR GOLDEN:  There are other companies

      15      out there as well that are trying and have some

      16      similar scientific studies and scientific products

      17      that are equal to yours and/or working at the same

      18      level as yours?

      19             THOMAS CZYZ:  As far as I know, there's no

      20      other companies in the U.S. that are manufacturing

      21      bullet-resistant laminate that you can shoot back at

      22      the suspect.

      23             So there are companies that will make your

      24      car, they call it "bulletproof," but just like a

      25      bulletproof vest, they're bullet-resistant to a


       1      Level 2 bullet-resistance.  So, that's stopping

       2      handguns.

       3             So, as far as I know, I'm not -- I have not

       4      heard of any other companies making this product

       5      yet.

       6             SENATOR GOLDEN:  The -- if you could, we --

       7      this Panel would be very interested in getting the

       8      science on this, the cost on this, and, obviously,

       9      the data to the tests, as soon as you can give that

      10      to us, so that we can give this and work with the

      11      Governor and the Assembly, and making sure we

      12      allocate funding for the police departments across

      13      the state, that if this is -- the product proves to

      14      be what it's, and we believe it will, or from what I

      15      have read and studied so far on it, the -- it looks

      16      like it will be a successful product.

      17             We would like to, obviously, take more of a

      18      deep analysis of it so that we understand it

      19      completely.

      20             THOMAS CZYZ:  Yes, sir.

      21             We are -- we're sending our product out next

      22      month to Intertek.  It's an international testing

      23      company.  They test everything, from iPhones, to

      24      bullet-resistance, they do everything.

      25      Hurricane-resistant glass, all that stuff.


       1             So we are sending it off to them to get an

       2      independent testing.

       3             That's what we've done with our school glass

       4      that we sell.

       5             So, we're going to be doing the same with the

       6      car windows, the eighth-inch windows that are in

       7      police cars.

       8             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Who did -- so the same thing

       9      as a deer -- the same thing as a tree limb that

      10      falls and hits the car, or something along those

      11      lines, it would help that -- that windshield would

      12      do the same thing?

      13             THOMAS CZYZ:  Yeah, they're protected.

      14             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Well, I want to thank you

      15      for coming here, and thank you for your testimony.

      16             And as soon as you can get that to us it, we

      17      would greatly appreciated it.

      18             THOMAS CZYZ:  Certainly.

      19             And I'll leave these with you guys, too, the

      20      samples, so that you can see them.

      21             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

      22             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Can you bring them up?

      23             THOMAS CZYZ:  Sure.

      24             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Jeffrey Kayser.

      25             Jeff, we talked about many issues during the


       1      budget-hearing process.

       2             And Senator Gallivan you may have heard

       3      earlier today talked about the fact that vehicles

       4      may be antique, and that he is an antique too.

       5             So, appreciate, as always, your input, and

       6      thank you for being here today.

       7             JEFFREY KAYSER:  Thank you,

       8      Chairman Nozzolio, Senator Gallivan, Senator Golden.

       9             As you know, my name is Jeffrey Kayser.  I'm

      10      president of the State Police Investigators

      11      Association.  It's a union that represents the

      12      1100 investigators and senior investigators of the

      13      New York State Police Bureau of Criminal

      14      Investigation, more commonly referred to as the

      15      "BCI."

      16             I'm also a regional vice president of the

      17      International Union of Police Associations, an

      18      international union that represents over

      19      40,000 active law-enforcement officers in this

      20      country.

      21             It's an honor for me to speak today on behalf

      22      of the men and women of the BCI, and I would like to

      23      thank you gentlemen for affording me the opportunity

      24      to testify here today.

      25             The New York State Legislature has always


       1      been supportive of the State Police Investigators

       2      Association and the work that our men and women do

       3      each and every day.

       4             On behalf of our members, I'd like to thank

       5      you for your support.

       6             Being a police officer is a dangerous

       7      profession without any guarantee that an officer

       8      will come home safely at the end of his or her

       9      shift.

      10             Our goal is to identify areas where there are

      11      problems and advocate to improve them in order to

      12      make this job as safe as possible.

      13             There are four core areas, if addressed, will

      14      enhance officer safety, and those four core areas

      15      are: adequate staffing levels, availability of

      16      up-to-date technology, proper safety equipment, and

      17      having the safest police vehicles available.

      18             Most governing bodies recognize the

      19      importance of these core issues for their

      20      law-enforcement agencies, but they sometimes fail to

      21      provide enough attention to or provide the proper

      22      level of funding for these core issues.

      23             Most often, funding is the root of the

      24      deficiencies in these areas.

      25             I have 28 1/2 years with the state police,


       1      and I cannot recall a time in my career where the

       2      state police was afforded an annual budget that was

       3      adequate enough to provide for the proper equipment

       4      and vehicles necessary to equip our members in the

       5      field.

       6             The State Office of Budget simply does not

       7      recognize the importance of the state police budget,

       8      and how leaving the state police with a no-increase

       9      budget year after year simply does not cut the

      10      mustard.

      11             The state police vehicle fleet is in

      12      deplorable condition.

      13             And some of you here today have heard my

      14      testimony for the past two years at your joint

      15      budget hearings on the need for more staffing,

      16      better equipment, and the gross shortcomings of our

      17      vehicle fleet in the state police.

      18             Over 50 percent of the BCI vehicle fleet has

      19      over 125,000 miles.  They have up to 211,000 miles.

      20             In addition to these core issues that I've

      21      just mentioned, I'm deeply disturbed over the

      22      anti-law-enforcement sentiment that seems to be on

      23      the increase.

      24             Most alarming is the increase in fatal ambush

      25      attacks on police officers across this country.


       1             There are some members of society that have a

       2      misplaced belief that all police officers are rogue

       3      or racist, and that these unprovoked attacks upon

       4      police officers are of great concern to all members

       5      of the law-enforcement community.

       6             In 2014 there were 124 law-enforcement

       7      officers killed in the United States in the line of

       8      duty, and that's a 24 percent increase from the

       9      preceding year.

      10             In the United States last year, 15 police

      11      officers were shot and killed in ambush attacked.

      12             And we all remember the most recent

      13      assassinations of the New York City Police Officers

      14      Liu and Ramos in December of last while they sat in

      15      their patrol car parked along the street in a

      16      high-crime area in Brooklyn.

      17             We should not forget the assassination of

      18      Las Vegas Metro Police Officers Beck and Soldo back

      19      on June 9th of last year.

      20             Nor should we forget that, on November 29th

      21      in 2009, four officers with the Lakewood,

      22      Washington, Police Department were ambushed and

      23      killed.

      24             There have been many other less-publicized

      25      attacks on police officers across this country, but


       1      those three ambush killings seem to get the most

       2      media attention.

       3             Another troubling issue for me is the media

       4      coverage of police-involved shootings, or the use of

       5      force against criminals who have disobeyed lawful

       6      orders of a police officer or resisted arrest, and

       7      that have resulted in the suspect's death.

       8             When these incidents are very often

       9      sensationalized and unjustly magnified by media

      10      outlets, that, obviously, has a very negative effect

      11      on the public's perception of law enforcement in

      12      general.

      13             The public seems to feed off of

      14      sensationalized media reports, and, quite frankly,

      15      for some people, perception becomes reality.

      16             There are so many sources of media today

      17      that, very often, less-reputable media sources

      18      unfairly represent the facts to further

      19      sensationalize an event or antagonize their viewers

      20      and improve their ratings.

      21             Unfortunately, many of the media's on-scene

      22      interviews with eyewitnesses have no mandate to be

      23      completely truthful or support their version of the

      24      event with anything other than their own opinion of

      25      what may have occurred at that incident.


       1             There are, too often, instances of media

       2      outlets reporting a story in a manner that presents

       3      unsupported facts, conjecture, or even outright lies

       4      from public eyewitness sources, and those stories

       5      just stoke the fuels of anti-law-enforcement

       6      sentiment.

       7             No law-enforcement professional comes to work

       8      on any given day hoping to use deadly physical

       9      force.

      10             The use of deadly physical force is a

      11      life-altering event for the police officer involved

      12      in any such instance, and the mental and physical

      13      demands placed on police officers and service to

      14      their respective communities are monumental.

      15             The primary mission for a police officer is

      16      to protect and save life, and no officer ever wants

      17      to take a life.

      18             Police officers are forced to make

      19      life-altering decisions in split seconds that the

      20      rest of the world can take months and years to

      21      dissect and pronounce judgment on.

      22             I suspect that any of you here today would

      23      agree there seems to be an increasing level of

      24      public distrust towards law enforcement.

      25             And, now, I would suggest consideration be


       1      given to some sort of public-relations platform that

       2      positively promotes law enforcement, illuminates the

       3      dangers that police officers face; while at the same

       4      time, educates the public on the dangers of

       5      noncompliance to a lawful order of a police officer

       6      or physically resisting arrest.

       7             I believe that this media campaign should be

       8      done at the state level on behalf of all law

       9      enforcement in general.

      10             And to go one step further, New York State

      11      should be the first state in this nation to embrace

      12      such a platform, so that other states, and even our

      13      national government, can follow our lead.

      14             The need for up-to-date technology and proper

      15      safety equipment is paramount to the needs of every

      16      police officer.

      17             And I believe that each of you understands

      18      these basic law-enforcement needs.

      19             I'm looking at two past police officers,

      20      I know you understand.

      21             The need for the safest police vehicles that

      22      are well-maintained to police-fleet standards is a

      23      matter that the safety of the public, as well as the

      24      safety of the police officers operating this

      25      vehicle, demands.


       1             And, finally, the need for a statewide

       2      government-funded public-relations campaign aimed at

       3      educating the public on the dangers of noncompliance

       4      to a lawful order of a police officer or physically

       5      resisting arrest; at the same time, promoting a

       6      positive image of law enforcement, would be a

       7      thoughtful approach to fostering a better

       8      relationship between the citizens of New York and

       9      law enforcement in general.

      10             The New York State Police Investigators

      11      Association has always enjoyed a positive and

      12      cooperative relationship with both Houses of the

      13      Legislature, and we look forward to cooperating with

      14      you in any arenas in the future.

      15             Thank you again for affording me the

      16      opportunity today to testify, and I'll take any

      17      questions that you may have.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Go ahead.

      19             SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      20             And thank you, Jeffrey, for being here.

      21             The -- your testimony is similar to the

      22      previous testimony, that we need more manpower, we

      23      need better equipment, we need more equipment.

      24             The Governor has announced he is going put

      25      $60 million towards vests, and -- what were the


       1      other two? -- vests, cameras, and bulletproof glass

       2      and paneled cars.

       3             We believe that is good first step in moving

       4      towards making and giving opportunities to our

       5      police departments across the state, and making them

       6      safer, and giving the communities what they need to

       7      get done to get -- and do the job that they've been

       8      paid for to do.

       9             It's becoming more and more difficult,

      10      obviously, because, in certain cities, states, there

      11      is a -- I guess, a tendency to -- for the press to

      12      emphasize what may be a -- high-profile situations.

      13             And we see a number of high-profile

      14      situations across this nation over the past

      15      several -- past year, year and a half, and more so

      16      over the last several months, where the profile of

      17      these incidents have, you know, driven distrust for

      18      police officers to a -- in certain areas, to a

      19      higher level, which is completely wrong.

      20             And, it's up to the media to -- obviously, to

      21      point out that, but they don't.  They go for the

      22      high-profile cases, and they have, you know,

      23      demeaned police officers and their police forces

      24      across this country by doing that.

      25             This is the greatest country in the world,


       1      the greatest nation in the world.

       2             There are millions of encounters by police

       3      officers each and every day with civilians, and we

       4      see a very, very, very small percent of -- 1 percent

       5      that are engaged where you see an outcome of deadly

       6      physical force, and you see the deadly physical

       7      force questionable as to whether it was done legally

       8      or beyond the legality of what that police officer

       9      or policewoman should have done.

      10             So we understand here -- this Panel

      11      understands, and that's why we've been formed, is to

      12      be able to put dollars into our police departments,

      13      increase our police departments, give them the

      14      proper tools and the technology that they need to be

      15      able to do the job.

      16             We are still in the twentieth century when it

      17      comes to technology and equipment.

      18             We need to get into the twenty-first century.

      19             And we're urging the Governor and the state

      20      legislators to come together on a five-year plan

      21      that brings us into the twenty-first century and

      22      gives us the ability to move forward.

      23             Having said that, you brought in a very

      24      interesting comment, and it's something that we

      25      should really focus on, this Panel and the Governor


       1      and the state, and that's similar to what you would

       2      see in the commercials of a tax-free New York, and

       3      how we're doing economic development in this great

       4      state, and creating jobs, and giving opportunity for

       5      people to get jobs.

       6             We should have that similar program on

       7      policing in the state of New York, and how the

       8      police departments across this state are keeping us

       9      safe, and keeping us the greatest, safest state in

      10      the nation, with 19 1/2 million people.

      11             I think that's a focus that, not only the

      12      PR program, but other programs where -- you know,

      13      there's nobody that doesn't like a fireman.  Right?

      14             Everybody loves a fireman.  Right?

      15             A fireman doesn't do anything wrong.  That

      16      fireman's there to help and to protect.

      17             But a police officer is there to help and

      18      protect as well, but doesn't have the same kudos

      19      that a fireman would have.

      20             We need to change that.  We need to -- and we

      21      don't have the access.

      22             We don't go into these schools anymore.

      23             We had the DARE program years ago, where

      24      police departments across the state would go into

      25      the schools and work with the kids.


       1             Instead, we've cut back on and cut these

       2      programs out, and we've done away with programs that

       3      could put police and kids together, and police and

       4      families together, in a positive role.

       5             The YMCAs, the Big Brother, you don't see

       6      enough of them out there helping and getting

       7      involved in community with policing and with the

       8      kids.

       9             So I think we need to take a further

      10      approach.

      11             And some of the testimony that you've given

      12      here this morning, in trying to attempt to do that.

      13             And anything you can do to help us, Jeffrey,

      14      would -- any ideas that you can come up with, we

      15      would, you know, take them strongly, and try to move

      16      on them, to put a positive face and a positive spin

      17      on public safety here in the state of New York.

      18             Thank you.

      19             THOMAS CZYZ:  Thank you, Senator.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks, Jeffrey, for your

      21      testimony.

      22             I wanted to follow up on the point about the

      23      public distrust and the negative things that we've

      24      seen in the news.

      25             Are your members -- are your members seeing a


       1      difference in the public, in their daily

       2      interactions with citizens?

       3             I mean, has it changed over the years, as

       4      reported to you?

       5             THOMAS CZYZ:  I believe that, overall, most

       6      people -- there's -- like I said earlier in my

       7      testimony, I think there's an increased level of

       8      distrust of law enforcement, back from 15 years ago,

       9      or 20 years ago, or 30 years ago.

      10             I believe a lot of that has to do with the

      11      media, and, you know, Facebook, and those outlets.

      12             And I just believe that law enforcement, as a

      13      whole, hasn't been afforded a good face by public

      14      relations.

      15             And I just think it's something,

      16      unfortunately, when we have to fight for equipment

      17      and vehicles and staffing, public relations falls by

      18      the wayside.

      19             But, yes, I believe, and I think any police

      20      officer would tell you that's been on long enough,

      21      that there's a greater sense of anti-law-enforcement

      22      sentiment than there has been in the past.

      23             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Which -- maybe not exactly

      24      this minute, but it would logically follow that that

      25      ultimately become a police-safety issue.


       1             THOMAS CZYZ:  Oh, absolutely.

       2             Absolutely.

       3             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right.  Thank you.

       4             Mr. Chairman.

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

       6             I only have a comment, not a question, Jeff.

       7             My comment is, that we certainly have

       8      benefited from your advocacy on behalf of the brave

       9      men and women who are in the state police force, and

      10      thank you for your tenure during that.

      11             I know you have a variety of dynamic steps

      12      you're going to be taking in the future, and that we

      13      definitely wish you all the best.

      14             Thank you very much.

      15             It's been an honor to work with you.

      16             THOMAS CZYZ:  Thank you, Senator, and

      17      I appreciate that a great deal.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks, Jeff.

      19             THOMAS CZYZ:  Thank you, gentlemen.

      20             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  The Honorable

      21      Frank Sedita.

      22             Good afternoon, Mr. District Attorney.

      23             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Good afternoon, sir.

      24             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much for

      25      your participation.


       1             And if you may, when you're settled, for the

       2      record, indicate who you are and where you're from.

       3             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Yes, sir.

       4             I just need one second to set up here.

       5             My name is Frank Sedita III.  I'm a

       6      professional career prosecutor, and currently the

       7      Erie County District Attorney.

       8             Over the course of the past 25 years, I've

       9      represented the People of the State of New York.

      10             I have taught extensively, having been a

      11      member of the State University of New York at

      12      Buffalo Law School, a faculty member at the U.S. --

      13      the United States Naval Justice School, the National

      14      Prosecutors School, and the State Prosecutors

      15      School.

      16             And, I have received some awards, including

      17      being named by my colleagues as the top trial

      18      prosecutor in New York State; and as recently as

      19      2014, having been named the outstanding prosecutor

      20      in New York State by the New York State Bar

      21      Association.

      22             Of course, it's a distinct honor and a

      23      privilege to appear before this body today, and

      24      I gratefully appear before you in my capacity as

      25      president of the District Attorneys Association of


       1      the State of New York.

       2             And in response to your invitation to address

       3      two questions; namely, one:  What state or local

       4      actions must be taken to improve the safety of local

       5      and state law-enforcement agencies?

       6             And, two:  How the criminal justice system

       7      can better protect public safety?

       8             With your indulgence, Senator, I would like

       9      to make some preliminary remarks in an effort to

      10      more thoughtfully address the two matters for which

      11      you have asked me to testify, and, I would add,

      12      parenthetically, I think it will really add and

      13      piggyback to many of the comments that I've heard

      14      from so many members of law enforcement today that

      15      have testified before you.

      16             To borrow a phrase from the medical

      17      profession, the most important thing, in my opinion,

      18      our elected leaders can do for the criminal justice

      19      system right now is to do no harm.

      20             The desire for dramatic change is largely

      21      premised upon the notion that something is

      22      fundamentally amiss in the criminal justice system,

      23      and that two of its most important servants, police

      24      officers and prosecutors, cannot be trusted to

      25      perform their lawful duties.


       1             Nearly every day the national media, and

       2      especially some elements in the New York City media,

       3      portray police officers and prosecutors as routinely

       4      abusing our powers and violating the rights of our

       5      fellow citizens.

       6             According to this narrative, the criminal

       7      justice system is broken and society is in desperate

       8      need of reforms that will make it fair.

       9             In my view, this narrative is wildly

      10      misleading, and is offered as the basis to advance

      11      an agenda that, if enacted, will jeopardize public

      12      safety and will undermine public confidence in the

      13      integrity of the criminal justice system.

      14             To be sure, there have been failures in the

      15      history of our jurisprudence.

      16             Wrongful convictions, for example, have

      17      occurred and citizens have been wrongly imprisoned

      18      for crimes which they did not commit.

      19             Wrongful convictions are to the criminal

      20      justice system what plane crashes are to the

      21      aviation system: they are disastrous, which grab the

      22      public's attention, and rightly so.

      23             They are also, however, exceedingly rare.

      24             What is much more common, in fact, is that

      25      criminals get away with crimes, and they get away


       1      with them all the time under the criminal justice

       2      system.

       3             This is so for a number of reasons, including

       4      witness non-cooperation, witness intimidation,

       5      interpretation of statutes that almost require

       6      impossible degree of proof, procedural rules

       7      designed to perfect -- protect the defendant and the

       8      accused, and even more rigorous rules of evidence

       9      which frequently result in the suppression of the

      10      prosecutor's evidence.

      11             To put this in perspective, I will quote a

      12      man much smarter than I.

      13             The Honorable Robert Smith, recently retired

      14      from the New York Court of Appeals, recently

      15      observed in a speech, and I quote, "Although

      16      wrongful convictions are 100 times worse than

      17      wrongful acquittals, wrongful acquittals are

      18      100 times more common than wrongful convictions."

      19             I'm not making this point to whine or in

      20      defense of wrongful convictions.

      21             And, indeed, I agree with the sentiment

      22      expressed by the eighteenth-century legal scholar,

      23      William Blackstone, and often repeated by our

      24      Founding Fathers:  It's better that ten guilty

      25      persons escape than one innocent person suffer.


       1             I am making this point, because the

       2      misinformation about wrongful convictions is so

       3      illustrative of how some have taken rare and

       4      isolated injustices out of context, and have

       5      conducted -- or, constructed a misleading narrative

       6      about what actually occurs on a day-to-day practice

       7      of law in our criminal courts.

       8             To borrow from the medical profession once

       9      more:  We are routinely curing diseases today that

      10      were routinely fatal 25 years ago.

      11             Consequently, it would be unfair and unwise

      12      to judge the current day-to-day practice of medicine

      13      with what we know the mistakes to be of 25 years

      14      ago.

      15             The metaphor holds true, I think, for the

      16      legal profession, and especially the prosecutorial

      17      vocation.

      18             We are routinely doing it better today than

      19      we did it 25 years ago; and, thus, it would be

      20      unfair and too unwise to evaluate us on what was

      21      occurring 25 years ago.

      22             I've had a front-row seat to it all, Senator.

      23             Okay?

      24             I've been at my office for 26 1/2 years, the

      25      last 6 1/2 as the district attorney.


       1             For example, knowing that misidentifications

       2      are the chief reason for wrongful convictions,

       3      New York prosecutors have taken it upon themselves

       4      to develop identification-procedure guidelines to

       5      prevent misidentifications, convincing most police

       6      agencies -- there's 550 of them in New York -- to

       7      adopt them.

       8             We've taken similar initiatives with respect

       9      to videotaped interrogations.

      10             DASNY is the first, if not one of the first,

      11      if not the first, to form the Committee for the Fair

      12      and Ethical Administration of Justice and our

      13      subcommittee for best practices.

      14             These committees not only develop the

      15      identification and videotaped-interrogation

      16      protocols that I talked about, but we've also

      17      developed written ethical guidelines for prosecutors

      18      that are more rigorous and more detailed than what

      19      is required by the Code of Professional

      20      Responsibility that governs all lawyers who

      21      practice.

      22             Our ethics manual has been adopted by all

      23      62 district attorneys' offices in this state.  It

      24      has also been adopted, right now, by 37 other states

      25      in this nation, and county.  And our work has been


       1      recognized by the United States Department of

       2      Justice as the state-of-the-art when it comes to

       3      best practices in modern prosecution.

       4             You know, there are those who would wish

       5      others to believe that prosecutors are in bed with

       6      the police, that we thoughtlessly prosecute based

       7      upon accusation and summary arrest, and we routinely

       8      pump out so called "ham sandwich" indictments.

       9             These two are myths.

      10             The truth is, that modern-day New York

      11      prosecutors believe the exoneration of the innocent

      12      is as important as the conviction of the guilty.

      13             Although prosecutors rely upon police

      14      agencies to do underlying investigations, the truth,

      15      is that the modern-day New York prosecutors

      16      independently and critically review the evidence for

      17      both its legal and factual sufficiency before we

      18      agree to prosecute.

      19             And perhaps the most underreported truth, is

      20      that modern-day New York prosecutors -- not defense

      21      attorneys, not advocacy groups, not social

      22      activists, not editorial boards -- but, prosecutors

      23      exonerate more citizens than anyone.

      24             Even more important, is that nearly every one

      25      of these exonerations occurs before trial, before


       1      there is an innocent person convicted, and before an

       2      innocent person languishes in prison; and we do it

       3      all without fanfare and without publicity.

       4             This, Senators, is what is currently

       5      occurring in the field of criminal prosecution, but

       6      it doesn't tell the whole story, especially when it

       7      comes to the specific subject matter of what this

       8      body is considering today; that being public safety.

       9             New York is the fourth-safest state in the

      10      nation, behind Idaho and the two Dakotas, and the

      11      safest large state in the nation.

      12             Are we doing this by engaging in mass

      13      incarceration of our citizenry?

      14             There are those who wish to perpetuate that

      15      fiction, but it's really quite different.

      16             In New York the incarceration rate is

      17      plummeting, and we have, amongst large states, the

      18      lowest rate of incarceration in the United States of

      19      America.

      20             In New York drug offenders and non-violent

      21      felons are much more likely to get diversion and

      22      probation than jail sentences.

      23             In New York, 95 percent of 16- and

      24      17-year-olds who commit crimes not only avoid a jail

      25      sentence, they have their arrest records permanently


       1      sealed.

       2             This is the reality.

       3             Not the myth, not the spin, not the story,

       4      not the fallacy; this is the reality of the current

       5      criminal justice system in New York State, the

       6      safest large state in the nation:

       7             Low and decreasing incarceration rates;

       8             Prosecutors taking it upon themselves to

       9      develop the highest ethical standards;

      10             Prosecutors taking a hard look at cases and

      11      making sure, without publicity or

      12      self-congratulatory fanfare, that injustices do not

      13      occur.

      14             Despite these realities, we hear a far

      15      different narrative designed to justify solutions to

      16      problems that either do not exist or that have been

      17      grossly exaggerated.

      18             Despite the enviable successes of the

      19      modern-day New York criminal justice system, we have

      20      those who wish to put witnesses lives in danger;

      21      while at the same time, reducing accountability for

      22      violent offenders.

      23             This is why I say to you, the most important

      24      thing we can do is no harm.

      25             I would now, with your permission, like to


       1      address your two questions:

       2             What state or local actions must be taken to

       3      improve the safety of law -- of local and state

       4      law-enforcement agencies?

       5             And, two:  How can the system can better

       6      protect public safety?

       7             Regarding the safety of law enforcement,

       8      I think the first issue is best addressed by the

       9      police chiefs, the sheriffs association, the state

      10      police, the NYPD, among other professionals.

      11             But from a prosecutor's perspective, and

      12      especially in light of the false narrative we hear

      13      about police officers, both I and most of my fellow

      14      prosecutors are advocates of body-worn cameras.

      15             Many police agencies around the state have

      16      been working hard to get the funding and the

      17      technology so that body-worn cameras can be part of

      18      everyday policing.

      19             And although they aren't the solution to

      20      police safety, cameras have the potential to,

      21      I think, address a multitude of issues.

      22             First, they have the potential to deescalate

      23      tense citizen-police encounters.

      24             Secondly, body-worn cameras will enable the

      25      police to accurately capture events and evidence,


       1      both incriminating and exonerating, in real-time;

       2      thus, providing critical corroboration or

       3      contradiction to eyewitness claims.

       4             You can look at the last two officer-involved

       5      fatal shootings that have been in the national news.

       6             They -- you saw it was on the body-worn

       7      camera, the cameras of the officers, and there's no

       8      controversy.

       9             And, third, and from my -- this is my

      10      philosophy, and, perhaps most importantly, is public

      11      education.

      12             Every day officers encounter situations that

      13      are viewed on a TV show would be ridiculed as

      14      unbelievable.

      15             Prosecutors want the public to see this.

      16             We want the public to see the often

      17      disrespective and bellicose behavior of citizens, as

      18      well as the often measured and respectful conduct of

      19      the police in response.

      20             Prosecutors, in short, want the public to see

      21      what prosecutors see, that the vast majority of

      22      police officers, even in the face of extraordinarily

      23      stressful and volatile encounters, comport

      24      themselves with professionalism and with integrity.

      25             The second question is:  How can the criminal


       1      justice system better protect public safety?

       2             As I said in my earlier remarks, overall,

       3      I think the best thing to do, especially in today's

       4      current environment, is to do no harm.

       5             But given my limited time, I would like to

       6      discuss two current -- or, I think soon-to-be

       7      current, legislative proposals:  One, raising the

       8      age of criminal responsibility; and, two, witness

       9      intimidation.

      10             With respect to Raising The Age:

      11             Current New York law is relatively clean and

      12      it's transparent when it comes to prosecuting

      13      teenage offenders.

      14             The age of criminal responsibility is 16,

      15      which means a 16-year-old can be prosecuted an

      16      adult -- can be prosecuted in adult criminal court

      17      for misdemeanors, non-violent felonies, and violent

      18      felonies.

      19             Younger defendants have their cases

      20      adjudicated in family court unless they commit

      21      certain designated felony offenses, like murder and

      22      rape.

      23             In that event, they can be prosecuted as an

      24      adult in criminal court or adjudicated as a juvenile

      25      offender, in the DA's discretion.


       1             In short, New York follows a straightforward,

       2      comprehensible, and balanced scheme where there are

       3      categorical exclusions from family court

       4      jurisdictions.

       5             There's just some crimes that are not going

       6      over there.

       7             Or, if they're eligible to go over there,

       8      they need prosecutorial consent to go over there.

       9             The Juvenile Justice Act appended to the

      10      Governor's proposed budget is an enormously complex

      11      and experimental piece of legislation, which is

      12      based upon a report from the Governor's hand-picked

      13      commission, setting forth 38 major proposals,

      14      including raising the age of criminal responsibility

      15      to 18.

      16             The chief justification for the proposed

      17      legislation is the claim that New York's teenage

      18      criminals are victims of an embarrassingly

      19      regressive juvenile system that victimizes them.

      20             Proponents of this narrative repeatedly

      21      emphasize that New York is one of only two states

      22      that prosecute 16- and 17-year-old defendants as

      23      adults.

      24             This narrative, like so many others, is

      25      extremely misleading.


       1             First, every state in our nation has laws

       2      that mandate and regulate the adult criminal

       3      prosecution of 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, as

       4      well as those even younger, in adult criminal

       5      courtrooms.  Every one.

       6             Second, 16- and 17-year-old defendants in

       7      New York are rarely prosecuted to the fullest extent

       8      of the law, incarcerated, and saddled with a

       9      criminal record.

      10             In reality, 95 percent of 16- and 17-year-old

      11      defendants have their cases sealed.

      12             In other words, 95 out of every 100 cases

      13      results in an outright dismissal; an adjournment in

      14      contemplation of a dismissal, commonly known as an

      15      "ADC"; a plea to a non-criminal violation or

      16      offense, usually a "DISCON," that's short for

      17      disorderly conduct; or a youthful-offender

      18      adjudication, or, a "YO."

      19             In New York, prison is usually the last

      20      resort reserved for the worst of the worst.

      21             Third, some of the most dangerous and

      22      sociopathic criminals we prosecute are under the age

      23      of 18.

      24             To cite one of many examples, my office is

      25      currently prosecuting a 14-year-old defendant for


       1      anally sodomizing a 13-year-old as he strangled him

       2      to death.

       3             The complex legislation proposed not only

       4      seeks to fix a problem that doesn't really exist, it

       5      also relies upon esoteric ideas that will have very

       6      non-esoteric and practical effects, like

       7      overwhelming an already overwhelmed -- overburdened

       8      family court system, dramatically reducing offender

       9      accountability, and endangering public safety.

      10             For example, 16- and 17-year-old offenders

      11      who have committed violent felonies can have their

      12      cases transferred to family court over a

      13      prosecutor's objection.

      14             This is critical for public safety because,

      15      in criminal court, a judge is called to -- on to

      16      evaluate a number of factors, including the nature

      17      of the crime, the concerns of the victim, and the

      18      impact upon the community and public safety.

      19             When a violent felony case is transferred to

      20      family court, the sole focus becomes, and I quote,

      21      the best interest of the child, with little regard

      22      for the victim or public safety.

      23             Another example is 16- or 17-year-old

      24      offenders would have their potential sentences

      25      dramatically reduced regardless of whether they were


       1      adjudicated in family court or prosecuted in

       2      criminal court.

       3             In Buffalo we recently prosecuted a

       4      16-year-old serial rapist who abducted and sexually

       5      assaulted three women in the Allentown neighborhood

       6      in Buffalo.

       7             Under the Juvenile Justice Act, this serial

       8      rapist could have received as little as one year

       9      local time in county jail.

      10             As another example, it is completely unclear

      11      whether 16- and 17-year-old offenders, including

      12      murderers, rapists, gang members, where they're

      13      going to be housed.  What are we doing with them?

      14             Given current trends, incredibly dangerous

      15      criminals would likely be placed in non-secure group

      16      homes, like pens.

      17             Contrary to the current narrative, New York

      18      does not routinely prosecute and incarcerate 16- and

      19      17-year-old kids and throw away the key.  In fact,

      20      the opposite is true.

      21             So the record is clear, I'm not saying the

      22      Legislature should reform from carefully examining

      23      and carefully debating whether 16- and 17-year-olds

      24      who commit relatively minor offenses should be

      25      prosecuted differently than they are now.


       1             And my association actually has a lot of

       2      ideas regarding how that can be accomplished without

       3      posing significant risk to public safety.

       4             But what I am saying is this:  Because

       5      New York's current laws and prosecution practices

       6      routinely differentiate between those who engage in

       7      youthful indiscretions and those who commit violent

       8      felonies, there's no pressing and immediate need to

       9      raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 in a

      10      budget bill, despite propaganda to the contrary.

      11             I'm also saying this:  If we are to come up

      12      with new rules for prosecuting teenage criminals,

      13      and if we are going to raise the age to 18,

      14      prosecutorial consent for the transfer of any

      15      violent felony offense from criminal court to family

      16      court or categorical exclusions from the family

      17      court jurisdiction are the only ways to ensure that

      18      the rights of victims and public safety are not

      19      sacrificed at the altar of ideology and sociological

      20      experimentation.

      21             Witness intimidation:

      22             We believe that some of the so-called

      23      "discovery reform" proposals out there that are

      24      floating around will grant license for defendants to

      25      tamper with and intimidate witnesses.


       1             If one is to believe the proponents of

       2      so-called "discovery reform," New York prosecutors

       3      are allowed to play hide-the-ball, routinely bury

       4      exculpatory evidence, and keep defendants in the

       5      dark until the last possible second.

       6             In reality, prosecutors do not behave in this

       7      manner, and we perform out duties pursuant to a fair

       8      and balanced system of criminal discovery.

       9             In order to prosecute somebody for a felony

      10      in New York, the prosecutor must first present her

      11      evidence to a grand jury.  The grand jury minutes

      12      will then be reviewed by a judge for both legal

      13      sufficiency and factual sufficiency.  And if the

      14      case is both legally sufficient and factually

      15      sufficient with non-hearsay evidence --

      16             We differ from a lot of states and the

      17      federal system with how rigorous the grand jury

      18      standard is in New York.

      19             -- it's set for trial.

      20             Well before a trial, the defendant is

      21      entitled to a bill of particulars, compelling the

      22      prosecution to outline its case; pretrial hearings

      23      where the defendant can challenge the admissibility

      24      of evidence; and a wealth of discovery, including

      25      physical evidence and forensic evidence.


       1             Additionally, prosecutors are under an

       2      affirmative ethical obligation, it's called "Brady,"

       3      to supply the defense, upon discovery, with any

       4      evidence, including witness statements or testimony

       5      that would tend to exculpate, or, exonerate, the

       6      defendant.

       7             Remarkably, the defense, with very limited

       8      exceptions, has no such reciprocal obligations.

       9             The one area of discovery that waits until

      10      the time of trial is information, including

      11      statements, concerning civilian witnesses who will

      12      actually take the witness stand and provide

      13      testimony that incriminates the defendant.

      14             In practice, most prosecutors turn over such

      15      material earlier when there's no prospect of witness

      16      tampering.  And even when we don't, defense counsel

      17      is given incredibly wide latitude to confront the

      18      witness with any prior inconsistent statements the

      19      witness may have made, at time of trial.

      20             I know this because I've tried hundreds and

      21      hundreds of --

      22             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I apologize for

      23      interrupting, Mr. District Attorney.

      24             We want to ask you a lot of questions.

      25             So, we've been at this, we've heard your


       1      testimony, for about 20 minutes.

       2             Could you summarize and list the other issues

       3      that you're interested in discussing, and, then,

       4      let's engage in a dialogue.

       5             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  I'll just say one more

       6      thing on witness intimidation, take 20 seconds, and

       7      I'm done, and I'll answer all your questions,

       8      Senator.

       9             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Great.

      10             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Police and prosecutors

      11      have to deal with the harsh reality, witnesses, with

      12      increasing frequency, are reluctant to speak to us,

      13      let alone to testify, especially if they reside in

      14      the same communities as the defendant.

      15             And, often, the only way to guarantee their

      16      cooperation is to guarantee their non-exposure until

      17      it's absolutely necessary at time of trial.

      18             And that's the principal reason why

      19      grand jury secrecy is so important to the criminal

      20      justice system.

      21             If these so-called "reforms" are passed, all

      22      that's jeopardized, and, we won't have the kind of

      23      cooperation.  We have limited -- it's limited right

      24      now.  It will get ten times worse.

      25             And that's the big point I'm trying to make.


       1             I'm sorry I took so much time, Senator.

       2             I'm certainly here to answer all your

       3      questions.

       4             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Excellent testimony.

       5             SENATOR GOLDEN:  It was excellent.  Thank

       6      you.

       7             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Questions from the Panel?

       8             Go ahead, Senator Golden.

       9             SENATOR GOLDEN:  The -- thank you very much

      10      for being here today.

      11             We have similar concerns, this Panel, when it

      12      comes to Raise The Age.

      13             There are, obviously, issues with Raise The

      14      Age.

      15             I am from New York City.

      16             I have no idea where this money comes from

      17      that allows you to do this in setting up this

      18      process.

      19             What was it, Massachusetts, or Connecticut,

      20      or something, it took like seven years for this to

      21      take place, in raising the age?

      22             It took them a seven-year period to get to

      23      where they are.

      24             We're trying to do it overnight.

      25             First of all, I don't believe it should be


       1      done, never mind take seven years to get it done,

       2      but we are leaving out here, the victim.

       3             What is the feeling of the district attorneys

       4      across the state of New York?

       5             They're very similar to yours, I -- because

       6      you represent the association.

       7             There's got to be very few, if any, naysayers

       8      in this organization.

       9             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  What I -- what I do

      10      know is, that when the panel was put together, that

      11      were -- that did the report, there were two

      12      members -- there were two district attorneys from

      13      throughout New York State that were on the panel.

      14             And proponents of Raise The Age have misled

      15      some people to say that, therefore, the

      16      District Attorneys Association supports this.

      17             The District Attorneys Association has not

      18      had a debate on this yet, because it was proposed

      19      after we had our last board-of-directors meeting

      20      which was in January.

      21             I can say this:

      22             I have spoken to many district attorneys

      23      throughout the state.  They do not like this, not

      24      only because of its substance, but I think the --

      25      even the larger looming issue here is the incredible


       1      complexity of the statute.

       2             Right now, my association has assigned

       3      12 assistant district attorneys to go through this

       4      statute.  That's how complicated it is to figure out

       5      what it means; what are the consequences?

       6             What we've been able to figure out so far, is

       7      there's some pretty negative stuff in there, such

       8      as, as we've been talking about, violent criminals

       9      can have their cases sent over to family court, and

      10      other issues like that which I've identify.

      11             So we're in that process right now.

      12             I've written a letter to Senator Nozzolio,

      13      under my own signature, only because, given our own

      14      internal ways of doing things in the

      15      DA's Association, I don't think it's appropriate for

      16      me to yet represent the whole DA's Association, but

      17      we're in that process right now.

      18             My sense is, most, if not all, of the members

      19      of the association are against it.

      20             SENATOR GOLDEN:  My concern, and, of course,

      21      the concern of the Panel, would be, I can't -- if we

      22      were to do this, I would imagine, the day it was

      23      done, the very next day, when that 16-year-old

      24      assaults a senior citizen in my community, I would

      25      have to, obviously, respond to that senior citizen


       1      and their family as to why we've moved this out of

       2      the jurisdiction where it should be; and why is this

       3      person getting a pass for assaulting a senior?

       4             So I got to tell you right now, I am dead-set

       5      against this Raise The Age.

       6             I cannot speak for my colleagues, but my

       7      colleagues, I'm pretty sure, are with me on this.

       8             There is a negotiation going on.  We'll see

       9      how that negotiation finishes up with the Assembly

      10      and with the Senate.

      11             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  I agree with you,

      12      Senator.

      13             SENATOR GOLDEN:  I thought you would.

      14             And my two colleagues, I'm sure, agree as

      15      well.

      16             The -- I want to run over -- because I have

      17      to leave, and I want to give opportunity for my

      18      colleagues to ask questions, and they have a number

      19      of questions, I'm sure.

      20             The other one is funding.

      21             The indigent fund, obviously, gets a

      22      tremendous amount of money on fee -- on the -- for

      23      the appeal process.

      24             You guys are getting, what?  What is the

      25      funding coming to the DAs for this?


       1             And how are you managing your offices to be

       2      able to deal with this?

       3             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  I'll tell you a story

       4      that illustrates it.

       5             I -- we have a lot of specialty courts in

       6      New York State.  OCA calls them "problem-solving

       7      courts."

       8             And I -- there was one that I thought was

       9      particularly useless and redundant in my county, so

      10      I asked -- because I have a county budget, I asked

      11      OCA to help me fund the position.

      12             They said, No, we can't give any money to one

      13      side or the other.

      14             That's when I started to research the OCA

      15      budget, and saw that they get 25 -- OCA gets

      16      $25 million a year to give to defenders of indigent

      17      defendants.

      18             Okay?

      19             Chief Judge Lippman wants another $28 million

      20      on top of that to effectuate Hurrell hearing,

      21      statewide, without giving one single penny to

      22      prosecutors.

      23             I think that's grossly unfair, because if

      24      there's going to be money provided to defense

      25      attorneys, whether in the form of assigned counsel


       1      or public defenders, to go to all these town and

       2      village courts, and there's hundreds, if not

       3      thousands of them, throughout New York State, we

       4      should be able to appear in those courts too.

       5             We don't right now.  We just don't have --

       6      I have the Buffalo City Court, plus 37 other town

       7      and village courts, in my county.

       8             The only way I could cover arraignments in

       9      those courts, is I'd have to have my prosecution --

      10      my justice-court-bureau staff at least double.

      11             So, if there's going to be money given to the

      12      defense side for this, I think it's only fair and

      13      just the prosecutors get the same amount of money,

      14      because we'd like to be able to appear in court,

      15      too, to be able to say to this judge, why this

      16      defendant, for example, shouldn't be released on

      17      bail; or why this victim, for example, should have

      18      an order of protection so he doesn't come back next

      19      week and kill her.  Those kinds of things.

      20             SENATOR GOLDEN:  I have to go to another

      21      meeting.

      22             I'm sure that my colleagues are going to ask

      23      you questions on the monitor and the grand jury.

      24             I personally believe that that should not be

      25      touched either.


       1             I believe most of my colleagues believe the

       2      same.

       3             But, again, it's negotiation with the

       4      Assembly, and with the Governor.

       5             And I know that you have had your own meeting

       6      on this issue, and I believe it's -- I don't know if

       7      you went willingly, or unwillingly, into this area

       8      of monitor, but, we think a monitor -- I think a

       9      monitor is beyond the threshold of the whole process

      10      of -- grand jury process.

      11             So, the Governor has the right to put in a

      12      special prosecutor if he believes something is

      13      wrong, well, let him do that; but not change the

      14      system that has worked here for so many -- over

      15      100 years -- almost 200 years.

      16             So I'm going to leave the rest of the

      17      questions to my colleagues.

      18             And I want to thank you, and the other

      19      district attorneys, for being here today.

      20             Make sure you get your message out to us

      21      before this budget is closed down, so that we don't

      22      make mistakes and put bad people back on the street,

      23      and -- because we want to do a budget on time.

      24             Thank you, sir.

      25             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Thank you, Senator.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Senator Gallivan.

       2             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Chairman.

       3             Thanks, Frank, for being here.

       4             And I will note that you are my

       5      district attorney, and have served the county

       6      extremely well for many, many years.

       7             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  And you were my sheriff

       8      for many years.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I'm now your Senator.

      10             I actually share Senator Golden's thoughts,

      11      and we, essentially, are of a common mind up here

      12      with concerns raised and already articulated.

      13             I just want to focus on one area, and then

      14      I'll defer the rest of the time to Senator Nozzolio

      15      who will address a couple different areas; but, the

      16      grand jury report, and seen some of your

      17      correspondence, and some public accounts of your


      19             And, certainly, we agree about any change in

      20      the grand jury process, ensuring the confidentiality

      21      of witnesses, because of the significant problem of

      22      the reluctant witness.

      23             But there is -- there was one public account,

      24      where you were interviewed, and talked about the

      25      potential for a report that could be issued


       1      revealing credible evidence that was considered.

       2             Obviously, while respecting the

       3      confidentiality, could you talk about that a little

       4      bit?

       5             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Sure.

       6             We -- DASNY had a -- my association has been

       7      going forth -- back and forth a little bit with the

       8      Governor's Office.

       9             Our first proposal had that

      10      grand jury-transparency component to it, in that we

      11      could -- a prosecutor could have the grand jury

      12      issue a report.

      13             The independent-monitor segment also did as

      14      well.

      15             And DASNY has voted to support the Governor's

      16      independent-monitor scheme, except for one big

      17      exception:  We never -- it never -- part -- it never

      18      was part of that scheme, was releasing of the grand

      19      jury minutes.

      20             That is, apparently, in that right now.

      21             And if the grand jury minutes are going to be

      22      released, if that's part of the legislation, DASNY

      23      won't -- can't support.

      24             But I understand that that's going to be

      25      removed from the legislation, release of the grand


       1      jury minutes.

       2             Right now, under the criminal-procedure law,

       3      the grand jury can issue a report of what happened

       4      before the grand jury, under very specific and

       5      limited circumstances; otherwise, it will be a

       6      felony to discuss what happened in the grand jury.

       7             And it basically has to do with grand jury

       8      presentments into, like, agencies, and

       9      recommendations for public entities, or public

      10      agencies, to do better.

      11             There's no provision in the

      12      criminal-procedure law to allow the grand jury to

      13      report what went on in a fatal police-citizen

      14      encounter.

      15             How a grand jury report would work in that

      16      situation would be like it works in other

      17      situations, would be an addition to the statute, and

      18      it would permit the grand jury to report the

      19      evidence that was before it in a way similar to what

      20      the -- I guess, the DA did in Missouri.

      21             The report would talk about -- would give a

      22      synopsis of the evidence, give a synopsis of the

      23      law, explain the reason for the grand jury's

      24      decision.

      25             That report before it would have to become a


       1      report would then have to be voted on by the grand

       2      jury and approved by the grand jury, and then it

       3      would have to go to a judge for his approval and

       4      release.

       5             So, that whole grand jury-reporting mechanism

       6      has a number of legal steps in it that really gives

       7      added legitimacy to the grand jury report.

       8             In other words, it's not just the prosecutor

       9      sitting there and writing out an essay about what

      10      happened in the grand jury.

      11             What we're proposing would be consistent with

      12      what's in law now; which is:

      13             The report is drafted, usually by the

      14      prosecutor, because I don't think any of the grand

      15      jurors are going to want to write the thing.

      16             The report is drafted, and then it goes to

      17      the grand jury for review and comment and approval.

      18             Then the report is put together.  Then the

      19      report is taken -- voted on.

      20             Taken, then, to the Court for its approval,

      21      especially for dissemination.

      22             So there's a lot of steps in the process.

      23      There's -- it's not just the prosecutor; it's also

      24      the citizens, and it's also the judiciary.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is that something --


       1      I mean, would that in any way, in your opinion,

       2      enhance public safety, hurt public safety, as it

       3      relates to the so-called "witness" --

       4             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  It would --

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- [unintelligible] --

       6             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  It would enhance --

       7      here's -- I think a couple of the witnesses

       8      testified to this in response to some of your

       9      questions.

      10             Here's one of the things that I see going on

      11      right now, and I think we had the most extreme

      12      example of it, but maybe the most illustrative

      13      example of it, with the two officers who were

      14      assassinated in New York City:

      15             When the public invective is what it was just

      16      before that, because of the Garner case, becomes --

      17      then it becomes more palatable for certain "nuts" to

      18      shoot cops.

      19             Okay?

      20             So the narrative that's out there is

      21      important.

      22             I think, for example, if Dan Donovan in

      23      Staten Island had had this option, that would have

      24      really helped, because it would have gotten the

      25      facts out to the public and there could have been a


       1      more measured and rational debate.

       2             There was a pretty one-sided debate in this

       3      thing, and it was all about how terrible this

       4      decision was, how awful it was, how a cop got away

       5      with murder, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

       6             The district attorney in Richmond County

       7      couldn't report all the evidence that was before

       8      those 23 grand jurors.

       9             I don't know what that evidence was, but

      10      I think it would have been very important for the

      11      public to know what it was.

      12             You could see -- you could -- I would

      13      analogize it a little bit to what happened in St. --

      14      or, in Ferguson, because if you read the

      15      Department of Justice account of what happened,

      16      those witnesses, once they were compelled to testify

      17      in a grand jury, gave versions, gave testimony, that

      18      was consistent with both the forensic evidence, the

      19      physical evidence, and the officer's account of what

      20      happened.

      21             I think it's important for a prosecutor,

      22      particularly in a controversial case, to have the

      23      ability to transmit that information to the public.

      24             You know, I guess the word to use is

      25      "transparency."


       1             And I think that's the best method by which

       2      you can achieve transparency.

       3             I think releasing the grand jury minutes

       4      would be a horrible, horrible mistake.

       5             I think it's the worst method to do it.

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So if we just follow on

       7      the report the way that you've articulated, where

       8      should a line be drawn?

       9             Should it just be -- you talk about

      10      controversial cases, but, certainly, there could be

      11      other areas where it might serve a useful purpose.

      12             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Well, the impetus right

      13      now is in the fatal police-citizen encounters.

      14             Should it be extended to cases beyond that?

      15      I don't know.

      16             I mean, I haven't thought that one through,

      17      and it hasn't been debated by my association.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, for the sake of

      19      time, I -- for the sake of time, I will defer to the

      20      Senator, but I do thank you for your testimony.

      21             And if the association did have anything in

      22      writing, just regarding the grand jury report, would

      23      you be able to provide it as a follow-up?

      24             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Sure.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks, Frank.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

       2             Mr. District Attorney, thank you very much

       3      for your letter to me of March 6th of this year.

       4             I read it, reread it, reread it again, and

       5      your testimony, which reflected a lot of that

       6      letter, let's focus on Raise The Age and your

       7      immediate concerns.

       8             Eliminating all district attorney discretion

       9      is my biggest concern of the proposal, that you

      10      outlined -- which I'm going to make part of the

      11      record, of this group, this hearing -- you outlined

      12      the perils of eliminating that discretion.

      13             Would district attorneys sign off -- let's --

      14      sign off to -- removal to the jurisdiction of

      15      family court?

      16             Would that satisfy some, or many, of your

      17      concerns, bringing back the district attorney

      18      discretion, and giving it complete, so that the DA

      19      would be required to sign off before a transfer of

      20      the case could be made?

      21             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  I think so, yes,

      22      especially with respect to violent felonies, and

      23      several other felonies that probably should be

      24      violent but are not; for example, manslaughter.

      25             You know, before those cases would go to the


       1      adjudicative process, where the sole focus is the

       2      best interests of the child in family court, I think

       3      prosecutors should have that option to present that

       4      case in a real criminal court.

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  It -- the second-largest

       6      county in the state, largest upstate county, that

       7      you represent, what would the proposal that the

       8      Governor put forward do?

       9             And in order to do the job, let's assume it

      10      was put into effect, tell me of its impact to

      11      Erie County, and the court system, and other dynamic

      12      systems in the criminal justice process.

      13             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  One of the things that

      14      we're seeing in my county, and I'm sure they're seen

      15      in other counties, is younger and younger and more

      16      violent and violent defendants.

      17             There's always been young offenders.

      18             What I've seen in the 26 1/2 years of me

      19      being a prosecutor is not necessarily a quantitative

      20      difference in teenage offenders.

      21             What I've seen is a remarkable difference in

      22      the quality of crimes.

      23             We see younger and younger defendants

      24      committing more and more violent felonies.

      25             Criminal possession of a weapon in the second


       1      degree; in other words, carrying an unlicensed and

       2      concealed handgun, we're seeing that all the time.

       3             We're seeing armed robberies all the time.

       4             We're seeing gang assaults.

       5             And we're seeing more and more and more

       6      murders and sexual assaults.

       7             I think one of the consequences -- I'm

       8      already seeing 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds murder.

       9             I've got a 14-year-old right on right now.

      10             We convicted somebody last year, a

      11      14-year-old, of committing a murder.

      12             We committed, I think, two more cases of

      13      16-year-olds.  One was a particularly vicious rape

      14      and murder last year.

      15             We're seeing that more and more.

      16             And I think if you -- if word gets out into

      17      the criminal element that 16- and 17-year-olds, or

      18      15-year-olds, are getting a pass in family court for

      19      these kinds of crimes, I think these offenders,

      20      particularly the gangs, will hand the gun to the

      21      youngest member of the gang to do the job.

      22             We saw that -- we saw that a couple years ago

      23      in a case in Erie County, where the ring leader, we

      24      don't have enough evidence to go after him, although

      25      we're prosecuting him for something else, got a


       1      couple teenage offenders, teenage associates, they

       2      were members of a gang, not like the Crips or

       3      Bloods, but these neighborhood gangs, and they took

       4      another would-be gang member, a teenage kid, to some

       5      isolated railroad tracks in north Buffalo and they

       6      stabbed him to death and they set him on fire.

       7             That's the kind of stuff that we're seeing,

       8      and that is precisely the kind of conduct that we

       9      don't want to see going over to family court.

      10             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Are our family courts --

      11      and speak to Erie County, are Erie County's family

      12      courts in any way equipped to handle these --

      13             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Absolutely not.

      14             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- types of kids --

      15             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Absolutely not.

      16             They are tremendously overwhelmed as it is.

      17             I mean, one of the problems in family court

      18      is there's no filing fees.

      19             So everybody with a gripe, and everybody --

      20      well, I shouldn't be so trite about it.

      21             The amount of filings over there are just out

      22      of sight.  The caseloads are incredible.

      23             I've talked to family court judges about

      24      this.

      25             My dad was a family court judge for many


       1      years.

       2             Putting these cases in family court I think

       3      would be a disaster, for a number of reasons.

       4             Just the quantity of them, the overburdening,

       5      but, also, it's the focus.

       6             And also, family court's, essentially, a

       7      secret court.

       8             And these are the kinds of -- criminal court

       9      judges already have the tools to differentiate

      10      between offenders who really need the rehabilitative

      11      process and really need programs, and those kinds of

      12      remedies, and those who don't.

      13             The most important one is YO (youthful

      14      offender) treatment.

      15             And youthful-offender treatment is given out

      16      all the time, but it's given out by criminal court

      17      judges and it's supervised by criminal court.

      18             And if you violate your youthful-offender

      19      treatment, you could be resentenced to either local

      20      or county time -- or, county or state time.

      21             So that's a tremendous tool for criminal

      22      court judges.

      23             I mean, one of the things I think should

      24      happen, if I was going to write the law, is there

      25      should be a diversion system that lets criminal


       1      court judges keep control of the cases.

       2             But for misdemeanors and non-violent

       3      felonies, for example, we could divert -- you know,

       4      the person pleads guilty, and we divert that person

       5      to a program; and if they succeed in their program,

       6      then we do something more lenient and rehabilitative

       7      with that person.

       8             But I think the best person to make those

       9      decisions, and I don't want to be in any way

      10      disrespectful to family court, are criminal court

      11      judges, because they balance a whole number of

      12      factors, not just the best interests of the child.

      13             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  You mentioned

      14      incarceration a bit.

      15             Let me explore some more.

      16             It -- the proposal's really absent in

      17      discussing, necessarily, the modality of

      18      incarceration, and who will be governing it.

      19             Have you had, in your professional

      20      experience, experience with the Office of Children

      21      and Family Services in the state of New York?

      22             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Yes.

      23             After -- for example, after 17 years of

      24      giving us a domestic-violence grant, they,

      25      essentially, cut it without giving us, in my mind, a


       1      sufficient justification for it.

       2             So, it has not been positive.

       3             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  In your opinion, would

       4      that agency be someone that you would entrust to

       5      incarcerate those offenders, particularly the

       6      violent offenders?

       7             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  No.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  It -- let's move to the

       9      issue of, and we can spend all day on this --

      10             I appreciate your leadership.

      11             I appreciate your memo.

      12             -- the violent offender at a youthful age is

      13      someone that I think is someone that has yet to be

      14      dealt with appropriately.

      15             What you didn't mention today, but you

      16      mentioned very graphically in your letter, about the

      17      reduction -- automatic reduction in penalties for

      18      violent crime.  Even though the criminality is

      19      there, the -- just the simple transfer of the case.

      20             Would you explore that for the record?

      21             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Well, I think I gave

      22      one example of the rape case.

      23             Under -- if this law were to pass, this

      24      rapist who abducted and sexually assaulted

      25      three women, he got -- he could have got up to


       1      50 years.

       2             He got 22 years.

       3             He could get as little as one year under this

       4      system.

       5             We have -- whether the case would be

       6      adjudicated in family court or prosecuted in

       7      criminal court, it's just these across-the-board

       8      reductions in criminal sentences.

       9             And, also -- and we haven't -- we haven't

      10      completed our study of the statute.

      11             But also, on the bottom end, a lot of

      12      people -- a lot of kids right now that are younger

      13      offenders that would be eligible for

      14      juvenile-delinquent treatment in family court, are

      15      locked up.

      16             So, you know, they're also lowering the

      17      age -- they're also raising the age to be treated as

      18      a juvenile delinquent.

      19             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Well, I wanted to add that

      20      footnote.

      21             It's kind of glossed over in the whole

      22      process, but you get a one-strike opportunity for

      23      YO status from 18 and 19, I believe.

      24             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Well, that's another

      25      one.


       1             I mean, they want to extend youthful-offender

       2      status to 20 years old.

       3             So, you know, my question is:  How many bites

       4      does the criminal have at the apple?

       5             You don't -- you're not eligible to be

       6      prosecuted in a real court until you're

       7      18 years old.  It's all family court adjudications.

       8             And then once you turn 18, you got another

       9      2 years of eligibility to get YO.

      10             When do we start holding people accountable

      11      for their crimes?

      12             I mean, Senator, don't get me wrong, I'm not

      13      all for incarcerating 18-year-olds.

      14             I mean, my son is 18 years old.

      15             You know, I think most teenage kids that have

      16      contact with the criminal justice system don't

      17      deserve to go to jail.  Most of the offenses are

      18      relatively minor.  You know, they usually have to do

      19      with drugs or petty theft, or things like that.

      20             But when you're talking about, you know,

      21      shooting people, and gang assault, and rape, and

      22      murder, and -- you know, and we see the armed

      23      robberies, where they surround another weaker kid at

      24      a bus stop and they beat the heck out of him, to

      25      steal his -- you know, to steal his cell phone,


       1      I mean, to my mind, that's a different kind of --

       2      that's a different kind of classification of

       3      offender that needs to be dealt with differently.

       4             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Let me shift very quickly

       5      to the issue of independent monitor.

       6             Should we require prosecutors to serve as

       7      independent monitors?

       8             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  That never came up in

       9      the discussions with the Governor, but, I wouldn't

      10      have a problem with that at all.

      11             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  What would we have to do

      12      to ensure prosecutorial -- or, independent-monitor

      13      independence if it was to be a prosecutor?  Anything

      14      special?

      15             Or, let me ask the broader question:  What

      16      should we insist on to secure genuine independence

      17      of the independent monitor?

      18             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  I think you want -- if

      19      somebody's going to hold that kind of position of

      20      power, and that kind of -- that's going to be called

      21      upon on to review grand jury minutes, and look at

      22      the whole case fairly, I think you want to put

      23      somebody in there, number one, who has experience in

      24      doing that, who has reviewed a lot of grand jury

      25      minutes in their career.


       1             And I also think you want to, two, put

       2      somebody in there who is not going to be swayed by

       3      public pressure and social activism and the feelings

       4      of the mob.

       5             And I think the two groups that would come

       6      together -- or, come to my mind, are either -- would

       7      be either a prosecutor or a retired prosecutor or a

       8      judge of tremendous reputation.

       9             I think those would be the persons -- or

      10      somebody with both, for example, both kinds of

      11      experience, I think that would be the kind of person

      12      best suited to be the special monitor.

      13             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Do you believe -- you

      14      articulated earlier your concern about establishing

      15      the process in the first place, and those concerns

      16      are well-taken.

      17             From the police officer perspective, does

      18      that concern you in terms of, if an independent

      19      monitor was established, how do you have finality in

      20      this process?

      21             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  I think there hasn't

      22      been enough of a reach-out.

      23             I've talked to a couple of police groups

      24      about this.

      25             That there hasn't been enough of a dialogue


       1      between police agencies or those who represent

       2      police agencies and the folks who have had a hand in

       3      the drafting of this, including me, this

       4      independent-monitor scheme, because there are

       5      safeguards in the independent-monitor scheme,

       6      including the very, very strict standard of review.

       7             It's not a de novo review at all.  It's a

       8      strict legal standard.

       9             And the interplay of CPL 190.25, sub 5, which

      10      the independent monitor would have to be bound by:

      11      the factual determinations of the grand jury.

      12             That's why the grand jury report would be so

      13      important, because there would be the factual

      14      findings of the grand jury, and the monitor would

      15      have to be bound by that.

      16             So, for example, if there were four witnesses

      17      to an event, and two witnesses said the police

      18      officer acted justifiably, and two witnesses said

      19      the police officer did not act justifiably, and the

      20      grand jury credited the testimony of the first two,

      21      and the report set that forth, well, that's it; that

      22      was the credible testimony.

      23             You can't -- an independent monitor could not

      24      go in de novo and make his own credibility

      25      assessments.  That would be precluded from the


       1      statute.

       2             That's a very important safeguard that --

       3      when we were talking about with the Governor's

       4      Office, that we insisted upon.

       5             I don't know if that's been communicated to

       6      many police officers.

       7             I mean, there's a lot of thought that's gone

       8      into the statutory scheme.

       9             Our problem with it right now, which I'm --

      10      it's been represented to me which will be fixed, is

      11      the release of the grand jury minutes, because my

      12      association will not agree to that.

      13             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Will the

      14      District Attorneys Association be taking a formal

      15      position on both of those issues: the Raise The Age,

      16      and the independent monitor?

      17             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  We have taken -- we are

      18      in support of the -- what we agreed to with the

      19      Governor on the independent monitor, which was,

      20      essentially, his proposal to you, but he went one

      21      step farther, which we did not agree to, which is

      22      release of the grand jury minutes.

      23             I have been assured that that's going to be

      24      amended, that's going to be taken out of his

      25      proposal.


       1             If that happens, my association is in support

       2      of the independent-monitor legislation.

       3             If it's not taken out, we are not.

       4             With respect to Raise The Age, the

       5      DA's Association has not yet taken a position on it.

       6             My sense is, that we will take a position

       7      against it, but I cannot represent that to this body

       8      at this point because we haven't had a chance to

       9      debate it internally as an association.

      10             What I can assure you, Senator, is that the

      11      people who are representing to you that the

      12      DA's Association is in favor of the Raise The Age

      13      legislation, are either being inaccurate or

      14      untruthful with you.

      15             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  You have been very helpful

      16      in your submissions and testimony, and, thank you

      17      very, very much.

      18             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Thank you, Senator.

      19             And any follow-up, I'm more than happy to

      20      come down again, or buy you a cup of coffee, or,

      21      whatever.

      22             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

      23             DA FRANK SEDITA III:  Thank you.

      24             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Mike Powers, president,

      25      New York State Correctional Officers Association.


       1             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Good afternoon,

       2      President Powers.  Thanks for being here.

       3             Could you introduce everybody that you have

       4      with you, and, then, when you're ready to proceed.

       5             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  Absolutely.

       6             To my left is executive vice president,

       7      Tammy Sawchuk; and to my right is the treasurer,

       8      John Terlesky; both statewide elected officials for

       9      NYSCOPBA.

      10             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Nice to see you guys

      11      again.

      12             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  Chairman Gallivan, thank

      13      you for providing me the opportunity to share the

      14      views of the New York State Correctional Officers &

      15      Police Benevolent Association, Inc., commonly known

      16      as "NYSCOPBA," on the critical issues relating to

      17      the police safety and public protection in

      18      New York State.

      19             My name is Michael B. Powers, and I have the

      20      privilege of serving as the president of NYSCOPBA.

      21             In that capacity, I represent over 26,000 of

      22      the bravest and most dedicated public servants in

      23      New York State.

      24             The two questions that we gather here today

      25      to reflect upon, improving the safety of the local


       1      and state law-enforcement agencies, and changing the

       2      criminal justice system to better protect the

       3      public, are very important to NYSCOPBA and its

       4      members.

       5             In our budget testimony a couple weeks ago,

       6      I began by stating the obvious:  Correctional

       7      facilities are extremely dangerous places to work

       8      and live, and are becoming even more dangerous.

       9             Regrettably, actions taken by the State have

      10      not slowed down, let alone reversed, this disturbing

      11      trend.

      12             Senator Nozzolio and Senator Gallivan asked

      13      thoughtful questions of me at that hearing.

      14             They asked if I had had ideas on why assaults

      15      on staff and assaults on inmates are increasing at a

      16      time when the inmate population is decreasing.

      17             They also asked whether staffing increases

      18      agreed to as part of the 2014-2015 budget have

      19      materialized.

      20             I will try to shed some additional light on

      21      those questions today.

      22             As was the case two weeks ago, we created the

      23      following charts with data collected and made

      24      publicly available by the Department of Corrections

      25      and Community Supervision from their website.


       1             The first two charts illustrate the rise in

       2      the rate at which inmates assault staff, and inmates

       3      assaults other inmates, during 2007 through 2014.

       4             Regrettably, this disturbing trend shows no

       5      sign of abating.  In fact, it is getting worse with

       6      respect to assaults on staff.

       7             As the next chart illustrates, through

       8      60 days in 2015, the Department of Corrections and

       9      Community Supervision report 168 inmate-on-staff

      10      assaults.

      11             If this trend continues, there will be close

      12      to 1,000 assaults on staff in 2015, an increase of

      13      nearly 28 percent from just one year ago, and an

      14      astonishing increase of more than 83 percent from

      15      the low watermark in 2012.

      16             Let me now turn to the questions posed to me

      17      two weeks ago.

      18             First, why is this happening?

      19             The short answer is, the data does not

      20      provide us a definitive answer.

      21             It does show that this rise in assaults on

      22      staff is not uniform across the entire system.

      23             At six maximum-security prisons, the assault

      24      rate actually declined between 2006 and 2013.

      25             At the remaining maximum-security facilities


       1      and the medium- and minimum-security facilities,

       2      looked at as a whole, the assault rate increased.

       3             We asked ourselves if there's been a

       4      significant change in the composition of the inmate

       5      population, as it has declined.

       6             Here we observed, the number of male inmates

       7      serving long minimum sentences grew by nearly

       8      3 percent, while the overall male-inmate population

       9      declined by nearly 11 percent.

      10             The relative share of those serving long

      11      sentences increased, from 14.9 percent, to

      12      17.3 percent, between the years 2009 and 2014.

      13             Unfortunately, the data the Department of

      14      Corrections and Community Supervision makes

      15      available do not allow us to know whether assaults

      16      on staff are committed by those serving longer

      17      sentences.

      18             That may be an interesting question for the

      19      acting commissioner.

      20             We also asked ourselves if there was a clear

      21      relationship between the number of correction

      22      officers and sergeant plot-plan posts at each

      23      facility and a change in rate at which inmates

      24      assaulted staff.

      25             Between 2009 and 2013, two years for which


       1      plot-plan data are readily available, we did not see

       2      a clear relationship.

       3             At Southport, for example, a number of plot

       4      plan-posts increased and the assault rate dropped,

       5      as we would expect it to.

       6             At Sing Sing, the assault rate dropped, but

       7      so did the number of plot-plan posts.

       8             NYSCOPBA will continue to analyze the

       9      available data to better understand why the assault

      10      rise -- rate is rising.

      11             Now, let me turn my attention to the second

      12      question posed at the budget hearing, the one

      13      related to staffing.

      14             As you know, staffing in New York's

      15      correctional facilities changes every day.

      16             The situation gets further complicated

      17      because the State has at least three different ways

      18      to count the number of staff in our correctional

      19      system.

      20             The management of each correctional facility

      21      develops a staffing plan to identify the security

      22      staff necessary to safely run the facility.

      23             These "plot plans," as they are called, when

      24      added together, represent one way to count the

      25      number of correction officers and sergeants across


       1      the entire system.

       2             A second view of staffing is the number of

       3      positions that are funded in the budget.  The term

       4      of -- the term of art used to calculate this number

       5      of positions is the "budgeted fill level," known by

       6      us as the "BFL."

       7             If the number budgeted is less than the

       8      number called for in the plot plan, it means that

       9      the State has underfunded its own plan and -- for

      10      securing correctional facilities.

      11             This is currently the case.

      12             Even though each facility has a plot plan,

      13      and most of the plot-plan positions have been

      14      funded, there are still vacancies and turnover at

      15      each facility.

      16             So the number of positions actually filled by

      17      a human being represents the third way of counting

      18      staff.  The State refers to this count as the number

      19      of items or positions filled.

      20             When we last looked at this data in February,

      21      the number of correction officers in sergeants'

      22      position filled was less than the number funded.

      23             I torture you with all this jargon because

      24      how you can count -- how you count, and the dates

      25      on which you count, matter in determining whether


       1      last year's reinvestment from the closure of

       2      four facilities ever took place.

       3             Once again, using data from the Department of

       4      Corrections and Community Supervision, we having

       5      looked at these three categories on five different

       6      dates over the last two years.

       7             No matter how we count, we cannot see how

       8      275 additional correction officers and sergeants,

       9      above and beyond those affected by the closures, are

      10      on duty today.

      11             In fact, NYSCOPBA believes that the plot

      12      plans were understaffed by more than 500 correction

      13      officers and sergeants, as of last month.

      14             There is no doubt that the Department of

      15      Corrections and Community Supervision is running

      16      training classes.

      17             It is obvious that the number of training

      18      classes held by DOCS is, at best, keeping up with

      19      the increase in attrition, as large numbers of

      20      correction officers hired in the late '80s and

      21      early '90s opt for retirement.

      22             Correctional systems in other states appear

      23      to be facing similar challenges.

      24             NYSCOPBA believes that the hiring, training,

      25      and equipping of the 475 correction officers agreed


       1      to in last year's budget process would lead to an

       2      improvement in the safety of one state

       3      law-enforcement agency; and that being, the

       4      Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

       5             In doing so, we also believe it will lead to

       6      better protection of the public.

       7             I will leave you with an updated version of

       8      the final chart NYSCOPBA shared two weeks ago.  It

       9      shows that the inmate population and staff are

      10      declining, and violence against inmates and staff is

      11      rising.

      12             This cannot and should not continue.

      13             Thank you, once again, for the opportunity to

      14      share the views of NYSCOPBA on this critical policy

      15      and budget issue.

      16             The men and women of NYSCOPBA are the finest

      17      correction officers in the nation.

      18             With continued improved communication and

      19      cooperation between the administration and the

      20      union, we can continue to be seen as such.

      21             And with that, we'd be happy to answer any

      22      questions.

      23             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  You want to go first?

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yeah.

      25             Thank you for your very frank testimony.


       1             And I know that we went through an extensive

       2      line of questioning at the budget hearing as well,

       3      and I will repeat what I said then:  The increased

       4      assaults are disturbing.

       5             Staffing, certainly, appears to be -- well,

       6      certainly appears to be one area to address it.

       7             We've talked about that at length.

       8             And I think the two of us, of course, have an

       9      understanding of the problems therein.  We'll work

      10      to try to address them, separately.

      11             Do you have any opinions, though -- when we

      12      move away from staffing, we still have problems.  We

      13      don't isolate that out as the single problem.

      14             What else has contributed, in your opinion,

      15      to the increased violence in the facilities?

      16             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  We have a more-violent

      17      felon coming into the system now.

      18             As was -- as the previous speaker, of the

      19      district attorneys, you know, made it very clear

      20      that, you know, we have a more violent, younger

      21      offender coming into our system today.

      22             You know, there was talk of heroin.

      23             You know, heroin and synthetic drugs are a

      24      big factor in our jails, along with gang activity;

      25      and with that comes the increase in violence in our


       1      facilities.

       2             There's multitudes of factors that play into

       3      this in our facilities, as far as, you know, the

       4      gang activity, the control over certain aspects of

       5      the drug trade, or whatever the case may be, you

       6      know, positions of power, whatever the case may be.

       7      That promotes a violent workplace.

       8             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, the heroin, and

       9      other drugs, in facilities --

      10             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  The heroin -- the

      11      reintroduction of heroin into our systems.

      12             The introduction of synthetic drugs, such as

      13      the synthetic marijuanas, that continue -- the

      14      molecular structure continually changes, it's tough

      15      for us to keep up with, to test for, in our

      16      population.

      17             Suboxone, an over-the-counter -- or, not an

      18      over-the-counter, but, a prescription drug that's

      19      used to combat heroin use, and that's more than

      20      prevalent in our jails and our facilities.

      21             Coupled with the gang activity, and the

      22      control of the trade, in the facilities is very

      23      large.

      24             And a majority of it has to do with our

      25      reclassification in our department system as well.


       1             We're seeing a large amount of

       2      maximum-security inmates being reclassified into the

       3      medium setting, and they're being put into a system

       4      that they're not accustomed to.

       5             You know, I don't want to say that they were

       6      institutionalized, but they have a certain -- you

       7      know, when an individual's in a maximum-security

       8      prison, and he's in a 6-by-9 cell, and now we put

       9      him in a 4-by-8 cubicle in a medium setting,

      10      without -- and possibly in a double-bunk situation

      11      with a younger, more violent felon coming into the

      12      system, just creates a lot of work.

      13             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is that because the

      14      maximum facilities are filled?

      15             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  I'm sorry?

      16             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  The maximum-security

      17      facilities are filled.

      18             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  We're at 100 percent

      19      capacity.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And then, of course --

      21             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  Yeah, I mean --

      22             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- you've got people that,

      23      otherwise, would meet the criteria to be classified

      24      maximum, but no place to go?

      25             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  Correct.


       1             And, you know, it's -- and it's a good

       2      comment.

       3             Three short years ago we were at 120 percent

       4      capacity in our maximum-security prisons.  And, you

       5      know, they, basically, reclassified the

       6      maximum-security inmate, in our opinion, and it

       7      shuffled it into our medium facilities, creating a

       8      hostile work environment.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Let's go back to the

      10      drugs.

      11             Whether it's heroin or the synthetics, what

      12      recommendations do you have, as far as trying to

      13      keep them out of the facilities?

      14             How can we do a better job of preventing them

      15      from getting in there in the first place?

      16             And what would it take?

      17             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  It would take resources,

      18      obviously.

      19             K-9's.  You know, you planted a K-9 out in

      20      front of every facility, and a lot it comes in from

      21      out the streets.

      22             I'm not going to suggest that it comes from

      23      families visiting, but, we get our fair share of

      24      problems coming into the facility.

      25             On weekends, through visits.


       1             It comes in through packages.

       2             You know, the department, at one time, talked

       3      about doing a centralized package location, much

       4      like they do with cook-chill.  And they were looking

       5      to kind of do that aspect of it, the 30 pounds a

       6      package each offender's afforded monthly, and would

       7      have been -- it would be heavily scrutinized and

       8      packed by security, and sent in, without it coming

       9      from the street.

      10             And, you know, with proper training, and the

      11      dogs.

      12             And, you know, if we had a K-9 in every

      13      facility, and it's just a thought that we bounced

      14      around, you know, camped out in front of every

      15      facility, are sniffing out every package, would

      16      probably help to reduce a lot.

      17             But, a lot of it -- you know, it comes right

      18      from policy, you know.

      19             JOHN TERLESKY:  Hey, Senator, could I comment

      20      on that piece?

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Absolutely.

      22             JOHN TERLESKY:  If you relied heavily on an

      23      internal, like a -- where they can buy their

      24      packages internally, and took away the external,

      25      like the packaging coming in from the street.


       1             So you have the same situation, where the

       2      visitors or the relatives could send money, and they

       3      could buy it internally, where it would be directed

       4      through one source.

       5             What we have in every facility, we have

       6      package room.  We also have where they can buy stuff

       7      directly inside the facility if they have money.

       8             If you relied on that one source, and had

       9      everything available that they could receive through

      10      a package, hence not letting anything come in

      11      through the package room, you would have them buying

      12      it directly from vendors, as opposed to having it

      13      directly come in through families.

      14             The vendors that you had on an approved list,

      15      say, whatever the item was, would be less likely to

      16      be involved in the drug trade because they would be

      17      relying on a profit margin.

      18             When you have other people bringing the stuff

      19      into the facilities, hence packages, you know, there

      20      is -- that's against the law, bringing --

      21      introducing contraband in the facility, but, you

      22      have lesser control, so you're opening the doors to

      23      a maximum-security prison to allow packages come in

      24      by multiple sources.

      25             If you controlled and had only one source,


       1      and relied on that one source, to let them buy items

       2      through the "facility commissary," it's called, then

       3      you would have a less likely event of drugs being

       4      packed into that, or weapons, or whatever we were

       5      talking about.

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Got it.  Thanks.

       7             JOHN TERLESKY:  More control.

       8             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yep, understood.

       9             Thank you.

      10             One other area I wanted to just ask you

      11      about, and I know that you're not prepared with data

      12      for this, and I won't even ask you to comment on the

      13      proposals, but, the Raise the Age proposal, among

      14      the things that it talks about, is the housing of

      15      16- and 17-year-olds, and moving them out of state

      16      prisons, and local facilities, housing them

      17      separately.

      18             There's approximately one hundred 16- and

      19      17-year-olds in state prisons, scattered at

      20      different facilities across the state.

      21             Are you able to comment on the type of

      22      prisoner they are?

      23             Not how they're housed, or anything, but what

      24      types of crimes have they committed?

      25             I mean, do you see them as different than


       1      other populations, as far as the serious nature of

       2      their crime, and whether they're, potentially,

       3      dangerous to the community, if released, or

       4      dangerous if -- in a different setting?

       5             JOHN TERLESKY:  I think you have to piggyback

       6      on what the district attorney said, because that's

       7      what we're getting into our institutions.

       8             When they graduate, as we say, to state

       9      level, and come to our institutions, we're not

      10      talking about the petit larceny, we're not talking

      11      about the DWIs...we're not talking any of those

      12      groups.  We're talking about the severely violent

      13      felon.

      14             And this person's not coming in with one

      15      arrest, and one conviction, unless they commit a

      16      murder or an armed robbery.

      17             They're graduating to us.  They're getting --

      18      you know, they're starting off with lesser-included

      19      offenses.  And then when they come through our

      20      doors, you're talking about serious violent

      21      felonies, like rape.

      22             Like, breaking into a house, it's a burglary.

      23      While they're in the house committing that crime, a

      24      burglary, they do some other offense, like assault,

      25      or something like that.


       1             That's the people we're talking about.

       2      That's the individuals coming into our system;

       3      coming into the state system.

       4             So for them to downplay it and say, you know,

       5      it's a public outcry of 16- and 17-year-olds,

       6      I don't believe anybody would want those 16- and

       7      17-year-olds around them with the crimes they've

       8      committed.

       9             And to make it a lesser, to not categorize it

      10      a crime, because it really is a crime, you know,

      11      I think the district attorney hit it right on the

      12      head:  There's severe victimization here, and you're

      13      losing track of the victims here that these people

      14      victimized to get to where -- to graduate to our

      15      level.

      16             And this is not just one offense.  This is --

      17             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Again, understanding that

      18      you're not the policymakers --

      19             JOHN TERLESKY:  Correct.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- in DOCS, and you may be

      21      able to answer, and you may not, are there programs

      22      available to those 16- and 17-year-olds?

      23             And if so, what do they address?

      24             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  There are currently

      25      two programs available now, I believe, at


       1      Green Correctional and in Woodbourne Correctional

       2      for minors, if you will, depending on the crime that

       3      they commit.  I believe it's for a non-violent crime

       4      for a 15-, 16-, 17-year-old.

       5             Those programs are established inside the

       6      facility, and it's basically a -- you know, if you

       7      can picture it, and it's like a facility within a

       8      facility.

       9             There's -- currently, at Green Correctional

      10      Facility, there's two housing units, and those

      11      two housing units are within the confines of the

      12      whole correctional facility.

      13             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And so -- if I may, and

      14      that's in response to the Prison-Rape Elimination

      15      Act, so they --

      16             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  Yes, sir, it is.

      17             That's the --

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- are now

      19      [unintelligible] and fully implemented, they will be

      20      isolated from anybody 18 and old -- over?

      21             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  I don't know how --

      22      again, we'll leave the policy in -- up to your

      23      hands --

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Understood.

      25             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  -- we'll leave it in your


       1      hands.

       2             But, as far as the Raise The Age, I don't

       3      know if that's a different component to the PREA

       4      aspect, but it's targeting the younger offender at

       5      this time.

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yeah, the Raise The Age

       7      is -- it's a complete different proposal.

       8             But those other facilities, you described a

       9      facility within a facility, they're intended to

      10      isolate the 16- and 17-year-olds from --

      11             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  They are isolated from

      12      the general population, if you will, in the current

      13      facility.

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, thank you.

      15             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Senator.

      16             I have just a couple of questions.

      17             The -- what's the billboard number up to now?

      18             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  747, plus 168, as of

      19      yesterday.  So, we're up -- we're pushing -- we're

      20      up there pretty good.

      21             We're over 900.  Well over 900.

      22             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And that -- it's not --

      23      we're not taking light of it.  It's just something

      24      that people should notice.

      25             I mean, just in the -- the last time that you


       1      testified, about 10 days ago, we've seen a

       2      significant number --

       3             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  34 since our last

       4      testimony.

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  3 1/2 a day, and that --

       6      every day.

       7             And that's not lost on this Panel that

       8      staffing levels have a great deal to do with the

       9      incidence of violence against staff, and that it's a

      10      pretty simple mathematical equation that you put

      11      forward.

      12             And I guess the biggest frustration I know

      13      you have, is that you can't see those 275 correction

      14      officers anywhere that were supposed to be deployed.

      15             I know that's an item of significant

      16      frustration.

      17             We're doing all we can to budget, and support

      18      efforts in the budget, to do the objective that we

      19      share.

      20             Reclassification, Senator Gallivan mentioned

      21      it.

      22             And I had -- in effect, it's almost

      23      unbelievable that we always have the exact number of

      24      maximum-security inmates in maximum-security

      25      facilities.  The number never ceases to change.


       1             The number of seats, and cell space, in the

       2      maximum-security facilities is the number of

       3      maximum-security inmates we have.

       4             I guess the other -- which, obviously --

       5      well, we know that that's not the case.  There are

       6      many more maximum-security inmates that are being

       7      held in medium-security facilities today.

       8             Are there any -- I guess that puts pressure

       9      on the mediums, to the minimums, even.

      10             But we've have all known for years that

      11      mediums are our tinderboxes.  Those are the places

      12      that are most dangerous and most difficult for you.

      13             I was interested in your story about

      14      contraband.

      15             We have had, and pro-offered, every year, for

      16      the last few years, Senator Gallivan, myself, others

      17      who are concerned about these issues, to raise the

      18      penalties for contraband in our prison facilities.

      19             We always pass them in the Senate.  We never

      20      pass them -- we never see them enacted in the

      21      Assembly.

      22             That all the time, effort, energy, going into

      23      contraband, the staffing that you have to put into

      24      those package rooms, the kinds of things that you

      25      had mentioned.


       1             And I know, probably, the uninitiated didn't

       2      recognize what you were saying, Mike, I don't think,

       3      when you're saying that we need K-9s.

       4             The fact is, those dogs that are deployed do

       5      a great service, and end up helping solve the

       6      problem of contraband.

       7             Any other thoughts on how we -- we're trying

       8      to raise the penalties.  That's one point.

       9             What other things would you recommend being

      10      done?

      11             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  As far as the contraband

      12      coming in through the package room, our x-ray

      13      machines are ancient.  You know, I mean, some of our

      14      equipment.

      15             With the newer technology today, you know,

      16      I think -- especially coming from the outside,

      17      coming through a package room, is -- you know, with

      18      newer, better equipment and technology, I think it

      19      would help as well, you know, minus even the K-9.

      20             You know, but other aspects of it is

      21      training.

      22             You know, it's training, and, you know, it's

      23      being able to accurately report and educate our

      24      front line as to how these things come in sometimes.

      25             A lot of times when contraband is found, say,


       1      in a package room, that information doesn't get

       2      readily shared with the entire facility and the

       3      entire staff.

       4             You know, knowledge is power.

       5             And the more knowledge that we have regarding

       6      the innovative ways in which it comes in, is -- you

       7      know, is paramount for us to be able to understand

       8      and to be able to look directly.

       9             I mean, you would be surprised, to see a

      10      sealed bag of potato chips come into your facility,

      11      you'd think nothing of it.  But it's got a pound and

      12      a half of marijuana in it, or heroin, or, you know,

      13      Suboxone.

      14             We've had instances, where a released felon

      15      in Franklin County, not too long ago, was released

      16      on a Tuesday.

      17             On a Saturday night, he lived locally, he

      18      showed up with a large wrapped ball in Saran Wrap,

      19      with, I believe, 80 grams of marijuana, 120 pills of

      20      Suboxone, and he put a butter knife in it for

      21      weight, and threw it over the fenced yard and into

      22      the yard.

      23             It was a planned drop, if you will.

      24             I mean, the many innovative ways that it

      25      comes in, we need to know, and we need to


       1      continually know.

       2             Information that gets to the front line at

       3      the facility level, the administrative level,

       4      sometimes doesn't get back to us.

       5             That would be a start.

       6             You know, but -- I could sit here all day and

       7      tell you the innovative ways in which contraband

       8      enters our facilities.

       9             TAMMY SAWCHUK:  I think it also has to start

      10      also with visitation, because not every visitor

      11      comes in with good intentions; they're there for a

      12      reason.

      13             And, obviously, we know that when you walk

      14      through the front entry of the prison, as a visitor,

      15      you go through a metal detector.

      16             Metal detectors do not detect drugs, and they

      17      can be on and concealed on your person.

      18             And that's another issue that we need to

      19      revisit, as far as technology.

      20             We're inundated with low staffing levels,

      21      people on our front lines, and these drugs coming

      22      in.  And then we have these tremendous amount of

      23      assaults that are a product of that.

      24             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Can I follow up on that,


       1      on that point?

       2             So how do you suggest, then, what else do you

       3      do at the entrance?

       4             TAMMY SAWCHUK:  I believe that you should

       5      have something along the lines that the airports

       6      have, that you go through.  That's a body scan.  It

       7      shows if you have something concealed.

       8             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, thanks.

       9             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

      10             And thank you very much for the hard and

      11      courageous work you do.

      12             MICHAEL B. POWERS:  Thank you,

      13      Senator Nozzolio, Senator Gallivan.

      14             Thank you for your continued support.

      15             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  The last -- the final six

      16      testifiers have agreed to team up in pairs.

      17             Drew Cavanagh and Bernard Rivers;

      18             And then following them will be,

      19      Margaret Ryan and David Zack;

      20             And our last team will be Dr. Robert Worden

      21      and Dr. Sarah McLean.

      22             And, gentlemen, before you testify, we

      23      understand that Richard Wells also wishes to give

      24      testimony.

      25             And, would you please come into the next


       1      group, with Margaret Ryan and David Zack.

       2             Thank you very much for being here.

       3             For the record, would you state who you are,

       4      who you represent, and, go to it.

       5             Thank you.

       6             DREW CAVANAGH:  Thank you.

       7             And thank you, Chairs, Senator Gallivan and

       8      Senator Nozzolio.

       9             We're happy to be here, and we're happy for

      10      the opportunity to assist you in your efforts to,

      11      you know, better protect the public and police

      12      officers around the state.

      13             My name is Drew Cavanagh, and I'm a captain

      14      with the Department of Environmental Conservation,

      15      Division of Forest Protection.  I've been a forest

      16      ranger for 22 years.

      17             And, I'm the secretary of the Police

      18      Benevolent Association of New York State.

      19             To my right is Captain Bernie Rivers.

      20             Captain Rivers has 33 years of state service.

      21      23 of those years have been as an environmental

      22      conservation officer with the DEC's Division of Law

      23      Enforcement.

      24             And he serves as the director of the

      25      Environmental Conservation Superior Officers


       1      Association.

       2             We as a union also represent the

       3      State University Police and the State Park Police,

       4      and we're here today to discuss the PBA's three main

       5      concerns.

       6             First and foremost, the staffing deficits

       7      impact each unit of the PBA and their ability to

       8      meet the needs of the general public and their

       9      fellow officers.

      10             We've been banging the drum for several years

      11      now, and we've made some headway at DEC, and we've

      12      made some headway at the Office of Parks,

      13      Recreation, and Historic Preservation, on our

      14      officer issues, but nowhere is the need more evident

      15      than the staffing crisis that confronts the

      16      State University Police today.

      17             For those of you who heard or were at our

      18      budget testimony, the union has requested that the

      19      Legislature include S-3221 (Robach),

      20      A-4519 (Abbate), and the appropriate funding in the

      21      of 2015-2016 budget.

      22             This legislation would allow State University

      23      police officers the option of transferring into the

      24      New York State Police and Fire Retirement System

      25      from the New York State Public Employees Retirement


       1      System.

       2             Today there are 564 police departments in

       3      New York State.  563 of them are in the police and

       4      fire system.

       5             There is one department, the University

       6      Police Department, that's not in the Police and Fire

       7      Retirement System.

       8             Pension disparity between the University

       9      Police and other police agencies has created a

      10      serious turnover and stability issue for the

      11      state-university system.

      12             It is a simple fact that campuses are much

      13      safer with a stable police force.

      14             SUNY officers are highly and uniquely trained

      15      for their environment.

      16             Tier 6 changed the parameters for the

      17      University Police Department, requiring officers to

      18      work at least twice as long as officers in all other

      19      police departments across the state.

      20             Tier 6 also changed death and disability

      21      benefits for SUNY police officers, and created an

      22      indefensible and highly offensive structure of

      23      vastly inferior benefits for one department of

      24      police officers in New York State.

      25             The State has been clear.  You know, clearly,


       1      they believe in the abilities of the men and women

       2      in the University Police.  And in recent years,

       3      they've been adding new responsibilities.

       4             A lot of them come with the Start-Up

       5      New York.

       6             They're doing a lot with -- we spoke earlier

       7      in the hearings, people spoke about the heroin

       8      epidemic.

       9             They've been front and center on combating

      10      the heroin epidemic that occurs on -- when -- where

      11      it occurs on our college campuses.

      12             They're involved in new sexual-assault

      13      reporting measures and rules.

      14             They've taken mandatory active-shooter

      15      training.

      16             And University Police are being dispatched to

      17      the natural disasters that are occurring across our

      18      state.

      19             They're the ones who are out there on the

      20      front lines with the rest of us.

      21             We are so appreciative that both the Assembly

      22      and the Senate have included funding for this

      23      legislation in their one-House bills, and we thank

      24      the Legislature for its leadership on this crucial

      25      issue.


       1             And the fight's not over.

       2             We urge all parties to fund the University

       3      Police retirement in the enacted state budget.

       4             As you know, we strive for diversity in our

       5      ranks so our force reflects the population that we

       6      serve.

       7             However, young State University police

       8      officers are receiving training and experience at

       9      SUNY, only to leave those departments for a

      10      different state or local police agency that offer a

      11      police and fire retirement plan.

      12             The fact is, many police departments are

      13      seeking qualified women and minority officers, and

      14      SUNY police officers are being targeted by these

      15      municipalities because they're well-trained officers

      16      who just don't have the same retirement benefits,

      17      and they can do better in other departments.

      18             University Police Department has become a

      19      training ground for other departments, and SUNY is

      20      eating the cost.

      21             It's a ridiculous waste of resources.

      22             And as the economy improves in

      23      municipalities, their hiring budgets are getting

      24      greater.

      25             The SUNY police chiefs are recognizing that


       1      they're expecting more resignations of SUNY police

       2      officers in the coming years.

       3             Attrition rates on some campuses are over

       4      100 percent.

       5             Here at SUNY Albany, I believe the attrition

       6      rate for university police officers is over

       7      100 percent.

       8             The situation has gotten so bad that the SUNY

       9      administration is using the term "critical" to

      10      describe their staffing.

      11             It's costing between eighty-five and a

      12      hundred thousand dollars a year to properly recruit

      13      and train a police officer for duty, and that

      14      doesn't even come into how much we lose when we lose

      15      an officer, and we lose all that continuity, that

      16      experience and that training.

      17             According to SUNY, they have lost $5 million

      18      since 2008, and they're projecting to lose another

      19      $10 million in the next 5 years because of this

      20      problem.

      21             It's a significant issue, and it's

      22      long-received the support of both labor and

      23      management.

      24             Both sides recognize the problems the SUNY

      25      pension disparity causes for police morale and


       1      campus safety, and that the ultimate fiscal

       2      implications caused by turnover need to be dealt

       3      with immediately.

       4             After this time, I wish to turn over the

       5      floor to Bernie Rivers, who will deliver the rest of

       6      our testimony.

       7             BERNARD RIVERS:  Good afternoon.

       8             SUNY is not only an agency dealing with

       9      staffing inadequacies.  High attrition rates,

      10      coupled with increased responsibilities and flat

      11      budgets, is a problem across the board for all of

      12      our members in all four unions.

      13             To get an idea of the attrition level and the

      14      additional responsibilities we are facing, let's

      15      look at the numbers.

      16             The number of forest rangers serving the

      17      public has dipped below 100 in 2014, while the

      18      territory that they are tasked to protect has grown,

      19      from 3.5 million acres in 1971, to 5 million acres

      20      of public land today.

      21             And in 1971, there were nearly 20 percent

      22      more forest rangers in the field.

      23             Their unit was once primarily concerned with

      24      fire protection on the forest preserve.

      25             Today, forest rangers are certified police


       1      officers assigned as primary law-enforcement force

       2      for one-sixth of the state.

       3             The DEC Division of Law Enforcement, we're

       4      down to approximately 263 officers, from where we

       5      used to have up to 345 officers.

       6             We've lost nearly a quarter of our workforce

       7      at a time when environmental-conservation officers

       8      are consistently tasked with additional

       9      environmental-quality-enforcement mandates,

      10      investigative requirements, and homeland-security

      11      duties.

      12             There is no point in strengthening our

      13      environmental-protection laws if there is no one

      14      available to enforce them.

      15             We have not made any gains in our staffing

      16      levels since the 1970s.

      17             And, currently, we have a shift of officers

      18      to cover three shifts; to cover 24 hours a day,

      19      7 days a week, 365 days a year.

      20             I would like to point out, of the 365 -- or,

      21      it's 345 officers when we were at our hay-day, when

      22      we created our bureau of investigators, actual

      23      investigators, those original investigators were

      24      pulled from that "345" number, so we never replaced

      25      those 40-or-so investigators to the uniformed force.


       1             So every time we have been tasked to do

       2      something, we have always done it with the

       3      "345" number.

       4             So as we have been tasked to do more things,

       5      we don't get extra items for those.

       6             The New York State Comptroller recently

       7      released a report that concluded the following:

       8      Over the period examined in the report, DEC's

       9      responsibility has grown, while its staffing has

      10      been cut by more than 10 percent, and that's

      11      agency-wide.

      12             New Yorkers have a vital interest in the

      13      protection and management of our environment.

      14      Intensifying fiscal pressures and expanding mission

      15      placed a premium on the effective and use of DEC

      16      resources.

      17             In this context, the report suggested

      18      consideration by policymakers and the public of

      19      whether DEC has the resources necessary to carry out

      20      its critical, important functions.

      21             When we look at our fellow officers with the

      22      New York State Park Police, they're not immune from

      23      staffing issues either.

      24             They once had 317 sworn officers.  And,

      25      today, are down to 265, including recruits who have


       1      just graduated from the academy.

       2             Since 1980, an additional 25 state parks have

       3      established and attendance has risen to over

       4      61 million visitors a year; yet park-police staff

       5      continues to struggle to maintain minimal staffing

       6      levels.

       7             Just last week, the Governor announced

       8      further plans to add recreational facilities and

       9      nature centers under their preview -- purview.

      10             We are heartened by the fact that the DEC has

      11      committed to holding an academy this fiscal year,

      12      and Parks has indicated plans to host an academy as

      13      well.

      14             Unfortunately, these efforts will only hold

      15      steady at our current numbers due to the attrition

      16      and retirements.

      17             We urge the Legislature to do what it can do

      18      to encourage larger annual academies until our ranks

      19      are replenished to our -- to reasonable and

      20      responsible levels.

      21             When agencies make decisions to cut their

      22      law-enforcement units at the same or greater rates

      23      than their civilian units, it jeopardizes the men

      24      and women in law enforcement.

      25             The same holds true when examining in


       1      transportation and equipment budgets across multiple

       2      state agencies, a lack of significant resources in

       3      law enforcement.

       4             Transportation means vehicles for police

       5      officers that are driving are increasingly

       6      unreliable and dangerous.

       7             And we have a few examples, and I will let

       8      Drew talk about the forest-ranger example.

       9             DREW CAVANAGH:  Last fall we had a forest

      10      ranger who was asked to assist with the Office of

      11      Emergency Management's response during the

      12      snowstorms in Western New York.

      13             During the trip, his assigned patrol vehicle,

      14      of which I believe was 11 years old, broke down.

      15             He was assigned another vehicle.  It also

      16      broke down.

      17             Finally, the Office of Emergency Management

      18      who needed this officer, because he's a planned

      19      section chief and was really needed on the incident,

      20      they sent a vehicle to carpool out and pick him up

      21      and bring him to the command post.

      22             All this while the emergency is going on,

      23      that's the effort that was needed to get an officer

      24      to the scene.

      25             BERNARD RIVERS:  Okay, and then the example


       1      we have for the environmental-conservation officers:

       2             On December 10th of 2014, I was driving my

       3      assigned vehicle, which had 145 miles on it.

       4             While I was crossing the Mid-Hudson Bridge,

       5      the front left tire -- wheel -- rim, tire, and

       6      all -- separated from the vehicle, striking a school

       7      bus, and then striking another vehicle.

       8             And I was the cause of closing down the

       9      bridge while we waited to get the car towed.

      10             Fortunately, nobody was hurt in that

      11      incident.

      12             But those are just two small examples of the

      13      issues we've been having with vehicles over the last

      14      few years.

      15             Over the past few years, the park-police

      16      fleet has suffered from numerous vehicle breakdowns

      17      also.

      18             In a drastic turn of events, one of their

      19      vehicles caught fire one summer day as officers were

      20      responding to a large brawl at Jones Beach.

      21             Again, we must acknowledge that DEC and Parks

      22      have committed to purchasing new vehicles this year,

      23      as they did last fiscal year; however, the funding

      24      they're authorized to spend is inadequate, and still

      25      leaves our vehicles in dire need of repair or


       1      replacement.

       2             The final topic we'd like to broach with you

       3      today is the lack of adequate funding for the very

       4      basic and necessary equipment we rely on each day

       5      for our jobs.

       6             The issue is particularly acute in DEC and

       7      Parks.

       8             When our last class of forest rangers and

       9      environmental-conservation officers graduated from

      10      the academy, they were given their dress uniforms to

      11      look nice on stage, but it took more than a year for

      12      these men and women to receive basics, such as

      13      flashlights, winter coats, gloves, rain gear, rescue

      14      ropes, and helmets, just to name some of that

      15      equipment.

      16             And I can attest firsthand to that, because

      17      I was the officer in charge of our last academy.

      18             And throughout the academy, yes, the funding

      19      was there to get us through, but there was just

      20      basic equipment that we just didn't have, and had to

      21      substitute during training periods.

      22             Our state park police are running out of

      23      ammunition across the state, raised concerns that

      24      they will not be able to qualify with their weapons

      25      for duty.


       1             The bottom line is, is that we are here to

       2      serve the public and keep the public safe.

       3             We simply cannot do that without adequate

       4      stamping -- staffing, transportation, equipment.

       5             Flat budgets are devastating in our ability

       6      to protect you, your families, and the public lands

       7      and natural resources.

       8             We ask that you can ensure a better -- we ask

       9      that you do what you can to ensure a better future

      10      for our men and women in uniform.

      11             Thank you.

      12             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you both.

      13             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yeah, thank you for your

      14      testimony.

      15             Some information -- I mean, as you had

      16      mentioned in your testimony, we were already aware

      17      of some new information, but very -- we hear you

      18      loud and clear about resources.

      19             I don't think we it's necessary to have any

      20      follow-up questions for that.

      21             Only one question, and it has to do with, and

      22      you didn't testify to it, but the Governor's

      23      criminal justice proposals; specifically, the

      24      independent monitor in the police-fatality cases;

      25      police fatality, the person at the other hand not


       1      having a weapon, do your thoughts on that?

       2             If you're not able to say, understood.

       3             If you would rather not say, I mean,

       4      I understand that you work for the Executive.

       5             If you're in a position to comment, fine.

       6             If not just, say so, and that's all right.

       7             DREW CAVANAGH:  I don't feel we're in a

       8      position to comment at this time.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Understood.

      10             Thank you.

      11             Only question I had is, Mr. Cavanagh, you

      12      indicated, that you spoke in your testimony, a lot

      13      about those SUNY-campus police officers.

      14             Are they in your unit?

      15             DREW CAVANAGH:  Yes, we represent them as

      16      well.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  The entire SUNY system?

      18             DREW CAVANAGH:  Yeah, all the university

      19      police officers, yes.

      20             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  But are any of the -- more

      21      than anecdotal, are they reporting training

      22      accommodation and abilities relative to sexual

      23      assaults, that, in terms of their management and the

      24      criminal justice issues, that all those issues

      25      entail?


       1             DREW CAVANAGH:  Yeah, they're -- they're it.

       2      They're on the campuses, they're central to it, yes.

       3             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And they are the police

       4      officers on campus --

       5             DREW CAVANAGH:  They're the police officers

       6      on college campuses, and they're central to that

       7      program that's being set up.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Are they given special

       9      training, to your knowledge, about the types of

      10      crimes?

      11             BERNARD RIVERS:  If I can answer that, based

      12      on, you know, talking to the SUNY police officers,

      13      they're in the union with us, and sit on the board,

      14      one of the biggest issues that SUNY faces is each

      15      campus is its own hiring authority.

      16             So even though they're New York State

      17      University Police, they -- each campus works

      18      independently.

      19             So some campuses are further along with some

      20      of that training, versus others.

      21             You know, the testimony, we talk a lot about

      22      the disparity with their retirement system, but one

      23      of the things that would help them immensely, is if

      24      they were a unified police unit across the state,

      25      rather than individual -- basically, individual


       1      jurisdictions within that campus.

       2             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  That's an excellent point,

       3      and we will follow up on that.

       4             And thank you both for your participation

       5      today.

       6             DREW CAVANAGH:  Thank you.

       7             BERNARD RIVERS:  Thank you.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Margaret Ryan,

       9      Richard Wells, and David Zack.

      10             Thank you for waiting, and thank you for

      11      being here, and, we welcome your testimony and

      12      input.

      13             And just as you speak, for the record, just

      14      please indicate who you are, and who you represent.

      15             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  My name is David Zack.

      16      I'm the Town of Cheektowaga, New York, Police Chief.

      17             I'm also vice president of the New York State

      18      Association of Chiefs of Police.

      19             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And let's have everyone do

      20      the same, for the record.

      21             RICHARD WELLS:  Richard Wells, president of

      22      the Police Conference of New York.

      23             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Good to see you again.

      24             Thank you.

      25             PETER PATTERSON:  Pete Patterson.  I'm the


       1      vice president of Nassau County PBA.  And, also,

       2      legislative chairman for the State Association of

       3      PBAs.

       4             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very much.

       5             Mr. Zack.

       6             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  On behalf of the state

       7      chiefs, we'd like to thank you for the opportunity

       8      to speak before your Committee.

       9             Before we address criminal justice reforms

      10      specifically, the state chiefs of police would like

      11      the following statistics presented for the record:

      12             Since the first recorded police death in

      13      1791, there have been over 20,000 law-enforcement

      14      officers killed in the line of duty.

      15             Currently, there are 20,267 names engraved on

      16      the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers

      17      Memorial.

      18             In 2014, there were 126 law-enforcement

      19      fatalities, an increase of 24 percent from 2013.

      20             Firearms-related incidents were the

      21      number-one cause of officer deaths in 2014, with 50.

      22      This was a 56 percent increase over the 32 officers

      23      shot and killed in 2013.

      24             Ambush attacks resulted in 15 officer deaths,

      25      the leading felonious cause of deaths among officers


       1      in 2014, for the fifth straight year.

       2             From 2004 through 2014, there were

       3      573,456 assaults on police officers, with 80 percent

       4      of the officers attacked by the perpetrators'

       5      personal weapons; meaning hands, fists, or feet,

       6      resulting in 29 percent being injured.

       7             In that same period, 33 officers were killed

       8      by perpetrators with their own service weapon after

       9      it was taken from them.

      10             An additional 35 officers had their weapons

      11      stolen after they were killed with other firearms.

      12             Attempting to place a person in custody can

      13      be difficult, and 120 police officers over the last

      14      10 years have died, and over 15,000 injured, while

      15      attempting to effect an arrest or handle a prisoner.

      16             The State Chiefs Association wish to commend

      17      the more than 900,000 sworn law-enforcement officers

      18      now serving in the United States with their selfless

      19      dedication, tireless effort, and indisputable

      20      courage.

      21             We are in agreement that recent events have

      22      raised concerns and shaken the public confidence of

      23      both communities and law enforcement.

      24             An address to the President's Task Force on

      25      Twenty-First-Century Policing, City of Milwaukee


       1      Police Chief Edward Flynn accurately stated the

       2      following:

       3             "We are the most violent and most heavily

       4      armed Western society.

       5             "Police uses of force are the most

       6      publicly-scrutinized government action, and they

       7      should be.

       8             "Uses of force against human beings, no

       9      matter how righteous and justified, are never easy

      10      to watch, they are never pleasant, they are also not

      11      entirely avoidable."

      12             The question we are all asking is:  How the

      13      criminal justice system can better protect the

      14      public while simultaneously improving the safety of

      15      the law-enforcement officers?

      16             The question is straightforward, but the

      17      answer will take time, cooperation, and

      18      collaboration.

      19             We all desire the same things: a fair system

      20      of justice, safe communities to reside in, and a

      21      mutual respect between citizen and law enforcement.

      22             Let's begin with fairness in the system.

      23             For those of us in law enforcement, it seems

      24      that there is an overwhelming amount of negative

      25      attention focused on the police and how we discharge


       1      our duties.

       2             Feelings of perceived unfairness in the

       3      system are often rooted in what some consider the

       4      creation of unfair and overreaching laws, selective

       5      or overly-aggressive prosecution, inadequate

       6      representation, and disparate sentencing based on

       7      race, social status, or economic advantage; yet,

       8      time and again, the police become the central focus

       9      of scorn.

      10             Perhaps we are paranoid; or perhaps it is

      11      because we are seeing police officers executed in

      12      broad daylight on city streets after opinionated

      13      news reports, inflammatory remarks, and YouTube!

      14      videos that go viral.

      15             Consider, as well, the grand jury process.

      16             Debates have surfaced surrounding the process

      17      and the release of information, but the picked face

      18      of any perceived unfairness still remains that of

      19      the police.

      20             Even when it seems clear that unpopular grand

      21      jury decisions were, indeed, rational and

      22      fact-based, those who disagree with the final

      23      decision often target police in their reactions.

      24             The conflict between law, expectation, and

      25      reality on police use-of-force cases in particular,


       1      tends to lead to accusations of unfairness, and even

       2      demands for monitors of the process.

       3             The blame is often placed squarely on police

       4      even after the process has determined that police

       5      action did not violate any law.

       6             Rather than focus on calls for monitoring,

       7      the emphasis, instead, could be placed on resolving

       8      the conflict between expectations of society and the

       9      reality of action and law.

      10             The police officer does not create law,

      11      decide if enough evidence is present to proceed with

      12      a trial, arrange a defense for the accused, or

      13      decide punish.

      14             We are only one spoke in a very large wheel,

      15      yet the vitriol is almost exclusively directed

      16      towards us.

      17             As we discuss reform in American policing for

      18      the twenty-first century, it is our hope that other

      19      components of our criminal justice system demand and

      20      consider their own reforms.

      21             We ask this because we are the face of our

      22      criminal justice system.  We encounter the hostility

      23      of the perceived unfairness.  It is our lives at

      24      risk when the system is deemed unfair.

      25             This is not to imply that the police are


       1      blameless, or not responsible to some degree for

       2      feelings of injustice to some in our society,

       3      particularly people of color.

       4             Can we improve our delivery of service?  The

       5      answer is, unequivocably, yes.

       6             In the words of the immortal Sir Robert Peel,

       7      founder of the modern police force:

       8             "We must remember and strive for the

       9      principle that the police, at all times, should

      10      maintain a relationship with the public that gives

      11      reality to the historic tradition that the police

      12      are the public and the public are the police; the

      13      police being only members of the public who are paid

      14      to give full-time attention to duties which are

      15      incumbent on every citizen in the interests of

      16      community welfare and existence.

      17             "The test of police efficiency is the absence

      18      of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of

      19      police action in dealing with it."

      20             When a police officer's actions go beyond

      21      perceived unfairness and are factually proven to be

      22      a reality, we need to examine it and correct it,

      23      department by department, officer by officer, until

      24      the unfairness is eliminated.

      25             Perennial critics, however, must avoid the


       1      urge to paint an entire profession and those who

       2      courageously and proudly serve with a broad-stroked

       3      brush.

       4             Safe communities are next.

       5             Our democracy enables us all to pursue our

       6      own version of the American dream within the scope

       7      of the laws that govern us.  That pursuit can be

       8      severely interrupted, or even permanently

       9      eliminated, if we live, work, and play in dangerous

      10      communities.

      11             Plato's version of the perfect society

      12      envisioned guardians to protect the community.

      13             In our American society, police officers are

      14      those guardians.

      15             Plato also concluded, "It does not matter if

      16      the cobblers and the masons fail to do their jobs,

      17      but if the guardians fail, the democracy will

      18      crumble."

      19             Our nation's police officers will not fail,

      20      provided they are given the tools and resources to

      21      succeed.

      22             Members of our military train full-time to

      23      ensure they are fit for their respective duties.

      24      Part of that training is designed to overcome the

      25      debilitating effects of acute stress.


       1             During high-stress incidents, heart rate

       2      increases, and cognitive, motor, and perception

       3      abilities become, to varying degrees, compromised.

       4             Police officers must make split-second

       5      judgments, decide how to react, and then perform the

       6      response perfectly, all while their abilities are

       7      compromised.

       8             The reality, is that police officers do not

       9      receive even a fraction of the training they need to

      10      perform at the level expected of them by many

      11      people.

      12             In 2014, nearly $800 billion was spent on

      13      defense, 23 percent of our federal budget.

      14             Surely, if we feel our system of justice has

      15      a portion of our citizenry questioning our

      16      legitimacy, we can manage whatever funding is

      17      necessary to address real or perceived inequities.

      18             Any serious talk of reform must acknowledge

      19      that the funding of better training for line staff,

      20      mid-level, and senior management is imperative to

      21      success.

      22             Support is also needed.

      23             We must remember police officers are human

      24      beings, and as such, are fallible.

      25             Things will go wrong, mistakes will be made,


       1      especially when operating during high-stress

       2      encounters.

       3             As we discuss reform, it is vital that we

       4      bring reasonable people to the table; not idealogues

       5      or propagandists whose sole purpose is to draw

       6      attention to themselves by exploiting the fears of

       7      others and ignoring facts that may be inconvenient

       8      to their preconceived narrative.

       9             We know who these people are, and they need

      10      to be marginalized during the discuss, not leading

      11      it.

      12             We need answers, not inflammatory rhetoric.

      13             Reform will not succeed if the reformers are

      14      themselves considered legitimate.

      15             Finally, in order to maintain a civil

      16      society, there must be respect; mutual respect

      17      between citizens and law enforcement.

      18             As chiefs of police, we know our officers are

      19      more likely to respect and accept our authority if

      20      our actions are perceived as legitimate.

      21             Likewise, if our citizens perceive our

      22      officers' actions as legitimate, it will be logical

      23      to conclude that their level of cooperation would

      24      increase.

      25             That is why, today, police agencies are


       1      working harder than ever to attract the best

       2      possible persons to become law-enforcement officers.

       3             We must recruit, hire, and train only those

       4      who understand the nobility and responsibility that

       5      comes with being a police officer.

       6             I would just like to share one finding from

       7      the President's Task Force on Twenty-First-Century

       8      Policing.

       9             As our nation becomes more pluralistic and

      10      the scope of law-enforcement abilities expand, the

      11      need for more and better training has become

      12      critical.

      13             Today's line officers and leaders must meet a

      14      wide variety of challenges, including international

      15      terrorism, evolving technologies, rising

      16      immigration, changing laws, new cultural mores, and

      17      a growing mental-health crisis.

      18             All states, territories, and the District of

      19      Columbia should establish standards for hiring,

      20      training, and education.

      21             But respect is a two-way street.

      22             What is a police officer supposed to do when

      23      confronted with an uncooperative citizen when

      24      attempting to enforce the law?

      25             Our laws, and the mores behind them, must be


       1      reinforced by the words and actions of our elected

       2      leaders.

       3             Aside from what is perceived as fair versus

       4      unfair, we must remember that our laws define us and

       5      set forth our standards of acceptable and

       6      unacceptable behavior.

       7             Without clear and decisive messages being

       8      sent, both directly and indirectly, there are many

       9      who will feel empowered to challenge and disobey the

      10      lawful requests of police officers.

      11             The predictable consequence of this is that

      12      violence will occur.

      13             Any changes to the criminal justice system,

      14      at any level and degree, will have limited effect

      15      without a corresponding strong message stressing

      16      personal responsibility.

      17             Somehow, the public must be made to

      18      appreciate the fact that, in customary and routine

      19      encounters, such as the traffic stop, or questioning

      20      a suspicious person, police officers get hurt, or

      21      worse, killed.

      22             Needless to say, our guard has become

      23      increasingly and justifiably heightened.

      24             We need to strengthen our laws to punish

      25      those that refuse to respond to the lawful commands


       1      of police officers.

       2             Challenging an officer's authority on the

       3      street is inappropriate and can lead to tragedy.

       4             Such behavior must be condemned and not

       5      defended.

       6             The New York State Association of Chiefs of

       7      Police wish to participate in constructive dialogue

       8      to improve trust between law-enforcement agencies

       9      and the communities we serve.

      10             By so doing, we will be improving the safety

      11      of those who have honored the call into such a noble

      12      profession of police officer.

      13             We welcome the opportunity to work with the

      14      Legislature and the Division of Criminal Justice

      15      Services on the many issues related to law

      16      enforcement.

      17             We would like to thank you for your time and

      18      willingness to include our voice in these important

      19      issues.

      20             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Chief.

      21             We're -- I assume that you're Margaret Ryan?

      22             I hope your car is safe, and that you enjoyed

      23      your traffic jam.

      24             We need a few more police officers, I guess,

      25      on the beat.


       1             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  We tried to get her an

       2      escort.

       3             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Mr. Wells.

       4             RICHARD WELLS:  Good afternoon.

       5             During the budget hearings two weeks ago,

       6      Pete and I testified on the grand jury reform.

       7             Today we would like to concentrate on

       8      police-safety issues.

       9             Again, we've submitted written testimony,

      10      which I will not read in the interest of saving some

      11      time.

      12             Just a few brief remarks, and then we'll take

      13      whatever questions you gentlemen may have.

      14             The first thing is on the vests.

      15             There's been a lot of discussion today on

      16      vests.

      17             We will simply say that we advocate for

      18      legislation that will mandate all vests being

      19      replaced after a five-year time.

      20             Five years is the warranty on most of these

      21      vests, and we feel that that would be a fair way to

      22      go about it.

      23             The issue of body cameras:

      24             Body cameras, while a useful tool, do not

      25      tell the whole story of any encounter with a


       1      citizen.

       2             They don't always tell what the police

       3      officer is experiencing, seeing, and dealing with,

       4      in its entirety.

       5             They need more study before we rush into

       6      equipping every police officer and every police

       7      department in this state with body cameras.

       8             Another issue that's come to the forefront on

       9      that topic recently, is the storage costs that

      10      police departments are incurring with these things.

      11             In some departments, it's running into the

      12      hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to store

      13      the video images.

      14             And, smaller departments really do not have,

      15      and larger departments also, but especially the

      16      small ones, just do not have the budgets to take

      17      care of this type of thing.

      18             Some departments have been reporting that

      19      they're telling their officers, "only turn them on

      20      when it's absolutely necessary," to save on the cost

      21      of storage.

      22             Now, that's going to cause a problem, because

      23      now we're going to be accused of white-washes and

      24      cover-ups, because why didn't the camera get on

      25      here?  You're only turning it on when you see what


       1      you want it to see.

       2             So there's a lot more that should be done on

       3      body cameras before we go pal-mal [ph.] into

       4      equipping everybody with them.

       5             On issues, such as training, hiring

       6      standards, criminal history, on applicants, agility,

       7      and age requirements should all be revisited, as to

       8      make sure they're in line with what police officers

       9      must encounter in the street every day, and be

      10      properly equipped to handle these types of

      11      situations.

      12             We strongly advocate for increasing penalties

      13      for resisting arrest.

      14             Senator Golden has sponsored a bill to make

      15      it a felony.  We support that 1,000 percent.

      16             The public must be made aware that resisting

      17      arrest is a serious crime.

      18             We also would strongly encourage the

      19      district attorneys not to plea-bargain these cases

      20      down when they're brought before them, or, even in

      21      worse cases, they're entirely dismissed, leading the

      22      public to think that it's not a serious crime to

      23      resist arrest.  It encourages more people to resist

      24      arrest, and we have more violent encounters that are

      25      totally unnecessary if people just learned to obey.


       1             Police officers are not going to, and cannot,

       2      lose these arguments in the street, and they can't

       3      debate these issues forever.

       4             When a police officer determines that an

       5      arrest is justified, it is incumbent upon the person

       6      being arrested to comply.

       7             Okay, Pete, you want to take the rest it?

       8             PETER PATTERSON:  Yeah, I just got one.

       9             Obviously, we testified --

      10             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Before you go, could

      11      I just -- Richard, did you skip over hiring

      12      standards?

      13             Because I know Senator Gallivan was hoping

      14      that you would support raising the age of police

      15      officers, since he himself [unintelligible] is a

      16      police officer currently --

      17                  [Laughter.]

      18             RICHARD WELLS:  You know, that was quite

      19      intentional, yes.

      20                  [Laughter.]

      21             PETER PATTERSON:  We weren't going to go that

      22      [unintelligible].

      23                  [Laughter.]

      24             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.

      25             PETER PATTERSON:  [Microphone not working.]


       1             You have our written testimony also from the

       2      State Association of PBAs.  Mike Paladino testified

       3      [unintelligible] down in Manhattan before this

       4      Committee.

       5             I'd like to just briefly touch back on the

       6      use-of-force policy that I testified in front of you

       7      before.

       8             It was discussed earlier that the use of

       9      policy introduced in the state legislation --

      10      proposed state legislation is, basically, going to

      11      be a policy that the Governor's staff -- not the

      12      staff, but the police are going to set a statewide

      13      policy that we can adopt or not adopt.

      14             My commissioner testified earlier, from

      15      Nassau County, that we have, you know, a very

      16      vigorous use-of-force policy that our officers are

      17      trained in.

      18             Our concern is not a use-of-force policy.

      19             Both our associations support a use-of-force

      20      policy.

      21             We want our men and women to know what they

      22      have to do, especially when they're faced in

      23      deadly-physical-force confrontations.

      24             Our issue was, in the legislation, it

      25      addressed that they may or may not prohibit or


       1      address techniques when using the use of force,

       2      particularly in deadly physical force.

       3             I gave the example last time, and you both

       4      were there, but -- and, Senator Gallivan, you were a

       5      police officer.

       6             You remember when the proverbial (head nod)

       7      hits the fan, you know what happens within seconds,

       8      and, usually, you're trying to save your life.

       9             You're effecting arrest, but, in reality,

      10      you're trying to save your life, and you don't need

      11      to second-guess on, Can I use this technique?  Can

      12      I use that technique?

      13             Article 35 is very broad for that reason.

      14             They want police officers to go home.

      15             They want them to -- they have to -- we have

      16      to justify what we did, and that's rightfully so.

      17             We have to justify every action we take under

      18      Article 35, but we also got to go home.

      19             No different than a civilian walks into the

      20      house and one of their loved one's getting killed,

      21      as an example.  They shouldn't have to sit back and

      22      think, Should this technique be prohibited or not?

      23             It should be reasonable, and very

      24      necessary -- necessary, but it should be very

      25      reasonable.


       1             But that's where the issue of our

       2      associations were with the use-of-force policy.

       3             It's not the concept of having a use-of-force

       4      policy, which we support.

       5             And like I said, my commissioner -- we --

       6      I've -- my commissioner would be glad to provide, we

       7      have a very comprehensive one with our department,

       8      and we would be glad to put it before the Committee.

       9             And the last thing I -- actually, at the risk

      10      of time, I'll just go over the one other thing here.

      11             The CCRB, I know, Senator Marcellino, I can

      12      speak to him later, but he brought up a question

      13      about this statewide CCRB.

      14             I just want this Committee to take this -- if

      15      you think about this while you're, you know, having

      16      the discussions about this, and I'm not saying you

      17      guys are advocates of it, but it has come up:

      18             Our associations have put forth legislation,

      19      and both House have passed it, over the last seven

      20      or eight years, that, basically, give us the right

      21      to have an outside arbitrator, just like certain

      22      discipline procedures.

      23             Not look -- we're not looking to take away

      24      from the commission, but we're looking for fairness

      25      like other public employees.


       1             Now the media is all over this, saying that

       2      we should not have that right.  We as police

       3      officers should be disciplined.

       4             And our counterparts over there, they might

       5      not feel the same way, which I respect, but, we

       6      should be disciplined, and the commissioner or chief

       7      should be accountable for his men, because we're

       8      paramilitary.

       9             The media loves that concept, and they don't

      10      want us to go to independent arbitrator.

      11             However, when it comes to CCRB, they want

      12      civilians to come in and make comment about police

      13      discipline.

      14             It's like the old thing, you can't have your

      15      cake and eat it too.

      16             If you want a CCRB, maybe we'll discuss that,

      17      along with the independent arbitrator, which I don't

      18      thing that's going to happen.

      19             But -- that thing.

      20             And the last thing I want to do, I don't know

      21      if this is an appropriate venue, and by all means,

      22      stop me if you don't think it is:

      23             My association, we represent four out of the

      24      five NYPD groups: the sergeants, lieutenants,

      25      captains, detectives.


       1             I've seen a budget, that the Senate is

       2      actually addressing the issue of the three-quarters

       3      disability for them.

       4             I -- on behalf of my membership, we thank

       5      you.

       6             And we also -- myself and Richie Wells, we

       7      were there when Tier 2 was vetoed by

       8      then-Governor Patterson.  We were there during the

       9      negotiations.

      10             The disability was a by-product of what

      11      happened.

      12             It was never in the intention of the governor

      13      or the Legislature to take away disability from

      14      cops.  That was an unintended result.

      15             And, I can prove that, by, when we went into

      16      Tier 5 negotiations with the governor's staff, we

      17      were able to come to somewhat of an agreement.  The

      18      disability was put in, without question.

      19             Because, to give the benefit to the

      20      Legislature and the governor at the time, that's not

      21      what they were looking to do.

      22             This was an unintended result.

      23             And, now, our counterparts in the city are

      24      left with this by-product for the last five,

      25      six years.


       1             It should have been addressed a while ago.

       2             And I thank you, on behalf of our

       3      associations, that you're addressing this important

       4      issue.

       5             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you for raising it.

       6             I can assure you Senator Golden has educated

       7      every member in the conference, as you have.

       8             And I fought hard for three-quarter

       9      disability for our correction officers a number of

      10      years ago.

      11             And, certainly, parity within all

      12      law-enforcement makes all the sense in the world,

      13      and, hopefully, this issue will be resolved in the

      14      near future.

      15             Ms. Ryan, did you have a comment you'd like

      16      to make?

      17             MARGARET RYAN:  [Microphone not working.]

      18             I apologize for being a little bit late.

      19             I, as you know, sit with you on the justice

      20      task force in New York City, where I just came from.

      21             And, knowing my time frame was going to be

      22      close, I deferred to Chief Zack to make sure that

      23      our association was able to present in front of you

      24      today.

      25             So, I'll, in the interest of time, again,


       1      wait.  And if you have more questions, I'll be happy

       2      to answer them.

       3             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Well, thank you very much.

       4             And, yes, we have some questions.

       5             Senator Gallivan.

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks, Chairman.

       7             I appreciate everybody being here, your

       8      testimony, and your patience, being late in our

       9      program.

      10             I wanted to ask each of you, and it can be

      11      individually or just speaking on behalf of the

      12      groups that you're representing, about some of the

      13      Governor's -- your positions on some of the

      14      Governor's criminal justice policies.

      15             The first are proposed changes in the

      16      criminal justice policies, the first one having to

      17      do with an independent monitor -- the proposed

      18      independent monitor.

      19             In the cases of police-involved fatalities,

      20      where the civilian does not survive, as opposed to a

      21      police fatality, do you have thoughts on that?

      22             RICHARD WELLS:  Well, as Pete and I testified

      23      at the budget hearing, we oppose the independent

      24      monitor, number one, because it strictly, in the

      25      case of police officers using deadly physical force,


       1      is the only time it gets implemented.

       2             That is treating police officers like

       3      second-class citizens --

       4             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Richard, would you please

       5      just kind of pull that closer?

       6             RICHARD WELLS:  Yes.

       7             That's treating police officers like

       8      second-class citizens.  It's blatantly unfair and

       9      unjustified.

      10             Again, there will be no second-guessing or

      11      monitor looking at it.

      12             If a police officer is killed, if deadly

      13      physical force is used against a police officer, no

      14      monitor is triggered.

      15             It's strictly when the police officer, doing

      16      their job, has to make that terrible decision to use

      17      deadly physical force.

      18             And just the mere fact that we're the only

      19      ones that are going to fit under that scrutiny, it's

      20      just highly offensive and completely wrong.

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Chief?

      22             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  Our association opposes

      23      the monitor as well.

      24             Obviously, if the Governor feels that there

      25      is a problem with a case, he has the ability already


       1      to appoint a special prosecutor.

       2             It seems like an unnecessary layer.

       3             Also, you know, we are concerned that public

       4      opinion, media reports, would influence whoever this

       5      monitor may be.

       6             If the Governor feels that something's wrong,

       7      he has the ability to appoint a special prosecutor,

       8      and should.

       9             The monitor seems unnecessary.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, thanks.

      11             Earlier, the Governor's representatives spoke

      12      about -- we asked them about the statewide use of

      13      force, but, they testified that it was their thought

      14      that not all police departments in the state had a

      15      specific use-of-force policy.

      16             Do you have any knowledge about that?

      17             I mean, certainly, everybody is bound by the

      18      CPL, Article 35, but, as specific beyond that, is

      19      there any agencies, that you're aware of, that do

      20      not have a use-of-force policy?

      21             RICHARD WELLS:  None that I'm am aware of.

      22             And I believe it's -- I think you brought it

      23      up earlier, Senator Nozzolio, that there are

      24      model -- no, maybe it was you, Senator Gallivan,

      25      brought up model policies, that the smaller ones


       1      have adopted, that don't have the time or the

       2      expertise to develop their own.

       3             But I know of none that don't have a

       4      use-of-force policy.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  In general terms, and

       6      I know it was part of PCNY's testimony, so, chiefs,

       7      regarding the state adopting a policy, and then, in

       8      this case, a use-of-force policy, and then mandating

       9      that all departments follow.  Of course, you can go

      10      beyond that, but your minimum standard would be what

      11      they follow.

      12             Do you have any thoughts on that; whether

      13      it's the State adopting and insisting on everybody

      14      following a policy, as opposed to following the law,

      15      whether it's the use of force, or anything that's

      16      involved in policing and the running of a

      17      department?

      18             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  I mean, again, I guess we

      19      would -- it would almost be, you'd have to see what

      20      the policy was.

      21             Certainly, we would want to be at the table

      22      when that policy is being formulated.

      23             If that were the case, there would probably

      24      be less resistance to it.

      25             We really haven't formulated a position on


       1      that at this time.

       2             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Two --

       3             PETER PATTERSON:  Excuse me --

       4             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Oh, go ahead.

       5             PETER PATTERSON:  [Microphone not working.]

       6             -- Senator, I don't mean to interrupt, but

       7      that was one of the biggest issues we had with it:

       8      we wouldn't be there.

       9             Basically, if we supported this law and the

      10      law was enacted, we're basically adopting a blind

      11      policy.  We don't even know what the policy's going

      12      to be once the law's enacted.

      13             I mean, I'm not suggesting that the policy

      14      should be enacted within a statute, but, if this was

      15      done, basically, that the law would to be enacted,

      16      they would submit to a policy, and we would have to

      17      adhere to it.

      18             We could go stricter, but we would have to

      19      adhere to it.

      20             And, like, our chiefs, our commissioners,

      21      like my commissioner, he represents 3,000 employees,

      22      he wouldn't have a say in it?  And our policy might

      23      be even better, but we'd have to adopt the State

      24      one.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, understood.


       1             Thank you.

       2             Two other areas:

       3             The additional reporting to DCJS of the

       4      so-called "pedigree policy," race, ethnicity, things

       5      of that nature, of course, now that's done on

       6      misdemeanors and felonies on the arrest report.

       7             But what about the Governor's proposal to

       8      extend that to pretty much everything; everything,

       9      where you're encountering somebody, or taking

      10      somebody into custody, issuing them a summons?

      11             Is it a good proposal? bad proposal? present

      12      problems for agencies? is the data useful?

      13             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  Where I would see a big

      14      problem coming in, is, you know, an officer

      15      performing, you know, just a routine traffic stop

      16      and having to issue a summons, where he's now got to

      17      start asking people their race, their sex, perhaps.

      18             Anything that could potentially make that

      19      traffic stop more contentious is a concern.

      20             And, until you're out on the road and you're

      21      making these stops and asking these questions, they

      22      could be considered by some to be very, very

      23      inflammatory, and create a situation where that

      24      becomes a volatile encounter.

      25             So that would be problematic, I can see, for


       1      the line officer on the street.

       2             It's a great thing for us to discuss, but,

       3      for that officer who's issuing that summons, it's a

       4      very, very uncomfortable position to be in.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, thanks.

       6             RICHARD WELLS:  And if the officer then

       7      doesn't ask, and guesses, which is also part of the

       8      statute, that they can make an estimate, now we're

       9      not going to have accurate information.  It's going

      10      to be somebody's opinion of what somebody's race or

      11      ethnicity was.

      12             So you have inaccurate info, and it's not

      13      going to help the situation.

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, thanks.

      15             PETER PATTERSON:  [Microphone not working.]

      16             And the ironic thing with that is, if we

      17      weren't discussing it here now, and it wasn't a

      18      proposed law, if, like a year ago, if I did that,

      19      I'd have a complaint --

      20                  [Laughter.]

      21             PETER PATTERSON:  -- and it would be

      22      investigated, and I'd probably get burnt over it.

      23             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I think that's a point

      24      very well-taken.

      25             And, finally, we saw a lot of this discussion


       1      started by things that happened in other place in

       2      the country, and then, of course, a case in

       3      New York City, and we saw some very irresponsible

       4      outcry.

       5             On the other hand, when we talk about

       6      police-citizen interaction, police-community

       7      relations, as you all know, I live out in

       8      Western New York.  I thought the community activists

       9      out in Erie County were much more responsible.  And

      10      I thought the police community was extremely

      11      responsible, and I think they took some productive

      12      steps to enhance that -- the police-community

      13      relations.

      14             And, Chief, I know you were a part of it, and

      15      I commend you for that, and thank you for it, but

      16      could you just comment on some of that reaction, and

      17      some of the successes that have come about as a

      18      result of people talking responsibly and trying to

      19      move the ball forward together?

      20             I mean, as, perhaps, something that we could

      21      be advocating for in other parts of the state.

      22             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  As you know, I mean,

      23      our -- in Western New York, we haven't been immune

      24      from diversity-related issues and friction between

      25      police and private citizens.


       1             We've had that, certainly, in Cheektowaga.

       2      We've had that -- we've been able to overcome a lot

       3      of those issues through good dialogue.

       4             But really what the difference is in

       5      Western New York, is, quite frankly, and I said this

       6      during a recent television interview, our elected

       7      leaders are not flame-throwers.

       8             When there is an issue that comes up, there

       9      is productive dialogue immediately.

      10             The relationships are there, there's a level

      11      of respect there.

      12             There doesn't seem to be the people who want

      13      to be out front, leading the charge before all the

      14      facts are known.

      15             So, in our community, at this particular

      16      snapshot in time, we've got people in high places

      17      who are very, very responsible and productive in

      18      keeping the narrative or the discussion on track.

      19             So that's been very, very successful.

      20             But, again, it's been, over time, and in

      21      years and years of community outreach work, that

      22      we're now seeing the benefits of that.

      23             So when you do have something like what

      24      happened in Ferguson and in New York City, you know,

      25      there's a lot of communication there.


       1             But a lot of this goes to training as well.

       2             When you talk about dealing with

       3      crowd-control issues, for example, and I've heard

       4      that discussed, you know, especially over on the

       5      Assembly side, police officers, police agencies, get

       6      little or no training in issues like crowd control.

       7             There's no senior-level-management training

       8      in New York State.

       9             I personally will be attending in June the

      10      Senior Management Institute for Police.  I have to

      11      go to Boston College for that.  The tuition's

      12      $10,000 to get training on how to lead my agency

      13      properly.

      14             Where is that institute in New York State?

      15             We're certainly big enough, we certainly have

      16      enough police officers, police agencies, and we

      17      certainly have the issues, but there is no

      18      senior-management training on how to run these

      19      organizations, and what is successful, what programs

      20      have worked, what programs haven't.

      21             And the fact New York State has nothing like

      22      that, that I have to go travel to Massachusetts for

      23      that training, or I have to go to Quantico, to the

      24      FBI academy, to learn how to lead my organization,

      25      where is that institute in New York State for higher


       1      education, higher training, to teach police

       2      executives, mid- and senior-level management, how to

       3      run these departments?

       4             It doesn't exist.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  The very last question is

       6      a follow-up.

       7             Point well-taken about the training.

       8             But as a follow-up to the police-community

       9      relations built up over the years, is it your

      10      thought that our criminal justice system needs to

      11      change?  Or were your successes within the existing

      12      criminal justice system?

      13             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  I think what -- you know,

      14      there's a saying that I really like in policing, and

      15      it's that, "agency culture eats policy for lunch."

      16             So we can come up with rules, we can come up

      17      with model policies.

      18             A lot of the problems that we see in policing

      19      today in twenty-first-century policing are

      20      agency-specific.  It's certain agencies that need

      21      reform, not necessarily the system.

      22             And, there seems to be a knee-jerk reaction,

      23      when these things like Ferguson and New York City,

      24      that everyone feels the entire system must change,

      25      when, in fact, perhaps, in many instances, it's just


       1      agency culture.

       2             And, again, that goes back to leadership

       3      training on how to run these organizations.

       4             When you have the people in place who

       5      understand the principles, who understand what

       6      important culture of your agency is, you're going to

       7      have better police departments, they're going to be

       8      better run, and they're going to be more legitimate

       9      in the eyes of the community.

      10             And we don't have that type of training in

      11      New York State.

      12             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, all.

      13             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And I'm -- before we

      14      leave, I want to thank our police officers and their

      15      associations for the input.

      16             Richard, your comments certainly will be --

      17      all your comments, but, your suggestions relative to

      18      equipment and policing, we're certainly going to be

      19      looking favorably to include that in the record of

      20      our Committee report.

      21             I want to probe on the issues of this

      22      monitor, because that's right in front of us right

      23      now.

      24             Have all -- from the chiefs, to the

      25      officers -- line officers, have you done formal


       1      resolutions in opposition to the Governor's

       2      proposal?

       3             RICHARD WELLS:  Yes.

       4             MARGARET RYAN:  [Microphone not working.]

       5             [Inaudible] I've been here a week so far in

       6      my new position, so, that is being formulated, and

       7      it will be forwarded to you, Senator.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  There is a -- well,

       9      earlier today you may have heard the Governor's

      10      counsel, who has to come to the hearing, and he

      11      promoted the issue of the monitor, discussed it.

      12             I assumed it hasn't changed any of your

      13      minds.

      14             But the fact is, it's very timely, and that

      15      it's in front of us now.

      16             So, any input that you have additionally

      17      would be -- I recommend it become sooner than later.

      18             In terms of the monitor itself, we heard from

      19      our district attorneys who have said that there's

      20      serious jeopardy and concerns with grand jury

      21      testimony being admitted, about the -- I think,

      22      frankly, the neutrality of the so-called

      23      "independent monitor."

      24             But all said and done, in my conversations

      25      with those police officers who are on the line, who


       1      are out there each and every day on the beat, what

       2      they're mostly concerned about, something like this,

       3      is there's just an unlimited amount of time that

       4      this process holds over somebody's head.

       5             It -- did you see anything in the proposal

       6      that has a limitation on time, or giving finality to

       7      the process, of a police officer engagement in some,

       8      as you indicated, Chief, making difficult decisions

       9      under very stressful conditions?

      10             Would -- I did not see a timeline.

      11             Did you?

      12             RICHARD WELLS:  No, there is none.

      13             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  No.

      14             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Would that -- if there was

      15      a timeline established, would that make this anymore

      16      palatable?

      17             RICHARD WELLS:  No.

      18             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  No, I don't believe so.

      19             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Well, I appreciate your

      20      candor, and your direct response.

      21             More importantly, I appreciate the work you

      22      do, and thank those who you represent.

      23             And your input is greatly appreciated.

      24             Thank you.

      25             CHIEF DAVID ZACK:  Thank you.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Our last panel, our

       2      final panel:  Dr. Robert Worden, and

       3      Dr. Sarah McLean.

       4             Good afternoon.

       5             Welcome.

       6             Thank you for your patience, and --

       7             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Thank you for having us.

       8             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- and we appreciate your

       9      input.

      10             The only thing we ask, is you summarize your

      11      comments, so that we can get into a dialogue.

      12             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  All right.

      13             Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Senators.

      14             We tried to -- in preparing our testimony, we

      15      tried to, as academics, be uncharacteristically

      16      concise.

      17             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Would you pull that

      18      microphone to you, Dr. Worden, as close as you can.

      19             Thank you.

      20             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Sure.

      21             Oh, yeah, that's different, isn't it?

      22             And we also tried to anticipate what other

      23      presenters might share with you, and to, as little

      24      as possible, duplicate that kind of testimony that

      25      you would hear.


       1             So we probably omitted some topics that are

       2      very important --

       3             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  For the record, excuse

       4      me --

       5             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Oh, I'm sorry.

       6             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- would you indicate who

       7      you are, and what is the Finn Institute for Public

       8      Safety?

       9             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Sure.

      10             I'm Robert Worden.  I'm the director of the

      11      John Finn Institute.  And I'm also an associate

      12      professor of criminal justice at the University at

      13      Albany.

      14             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And the Finn Institute is,

      15      what?

      16             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  The Finn Institute is an

      17      independent not-for-profit research organization.

      18             We focus on research on crime and justice.

      19             We work mostly collaboratively with criminal

      20      justice agencies, to apply social science, evidence,

      21      and methods to the development of programs and

      22      practices that are effective and fair.

      23             DR. SARAH J. MCLEAN:  I'm Sarah McLean, the

      24      associate director of the Finn Institute.

      25             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Okay, so, as social


       1      scientists, we've based our remarks today mainly on

       2      our understanding of the findings of scientific

       3      research.

       4             The research, we would note, is informative

       5      but not conclusive, and so our remarks reflect both

       6      our interpretations of the findings and our

       7      judgments about their implications for police safety

       8      and public protection.

       9             You may already be familiar with the concepts

      10      of police legitimacy and procedural justice.

      11      I suspect you've heard some about that already.

      12             We would note that, "legitimacy," as we use

      13      that term here, is a subjective judgment about the

      14      propriety with which an authority, such as the

      15      police, is organized and operates.

      16             A legitimate authority is one in whose

      17      decisions the public places its trust and

      18      confidence, and it is one whose directives the

      19      public is inclined to obey.

      20             And for police, legitimacy turns on what has

      21      been called "rightful policing," which encompasses,

      22      among other things, procedural justice.

      23             And procedural justice refers, not to

      24      whether, but how authority is exercised.

      25             An authority that acts with procedural


       1      justice treats people with dignity and respect,

       2      exhibits neutrality and fairness by explaining the

       3      basis for its decisions, demonstrates

       4      trustworthiness through expressions of concern about

       5      individuals' needs and well-being, and affords the

       6      people an opportunity to participate in

       7      decision-making by telling their side of the story.

       8             Procedural justice is not unique to police

       9      work, although that's the context in which it has

      10      been most often invoked in the last several months.

      11      It is a criterion that people use to evaluate their

      12      experiences with any authority, such as a boss at

      13      work or a judge in a courtroom.

      14             Now, legitimacy is important and relevant to

      15      your deliberations about police safety, insofar as

      16      it is associated with citizens' compliance.

      17             Some research indicates that people who have

      18      greater trust and confidence in the police are,

      19      other things being equal, less likely to violate the

      20      law.

      21             But more importantly, perhaps, for you; all,

      22      research indicates, also, that people who perceive

      23      the police as legitimate, and who are treated, as

      24      they see it, with greater procedural justice, are

      25      less likely to resist the application of police


       1      authority; and, thus, to threaten the safety of

       2      officers, as well as themselves.

       3             Now, in general, we would like to emphasize

       4      that the police enjoy fairly high levels of public

       5      trust compared with other social institutions.

       6             In recent polls, only the military and small

       7      business enjoy higher levels of trust than the

       8      police.

       9             But trust and confidence, or legitimacy,

      10      exhibits a persistent and substantial disparity

      11      across social groups, and is much lower in minority

      12      communities.

      13             Now, little is known about how police can

      14      enhance legitimacy, and we can point to no

      15      evidence-based practices; and, moreover, much of

      16      what might be done to enhance police legitimacy, and

      17      thereby improve officer and citizen safety, would be

      18      done by local officials at the local level, begging

      19      the question about what the State can do to support

      20      such efforts?

      21             We offer for your consideration three

      22      initiatives that the State could take to enhance

      23      police legitimacy and to promote police safety.

      24             One I'm sure you've heard about and are

      25      familiar with:  Community policing.


       1             Community policing, when implemented

       2      properly, is an organizational strategy, is an

       3      innovation of strategic proportions that has

       4      implications for the mission and structure of police

       5      organizations.

       6             It is not a programmatic add-on in police

       7      agencies.

       8             It entails police performing new tasks, or

       9      old tasks in new ways; and that requires changes at

      10      many levels in the organization.

      11             Community policing enhances police

      12      legitimacy, both instrumentally and symbolically, in

      13      connecting with communities and focusing greater

      14      police attention on communities' priorities, and

      15      then addressing communities' problems using diverse

      16      means.

      17             Decisions about the adoption and

      18      implementation of community policing are local

      19      choices.

      20             But just as the federal government has

      21      encouraged and supported the adoption of community

      22      policing through hiring and other grants to states

      23      and localities, New York State could encourage and

      24      support the implementation of community policing

      25      through grants to localities, and also through


       1      technical assistance, to ensure that

       2      community-policing initiatives are properly

       3      conceived and implemented.

       4             We would add, though, although we did not

       5      include it in our written statement to you, that

       6      sustaining community policing can be particularly

       7      challenging in the context of efforts to promote

       8      management accountability.

       9             Many of the important outcomes of community

      10      policing are not captured very well, or at all, in

      11      police record-management systems, and attention to

      12      the kind of police work that generates these

      13      outcomes can wane when performance measures do not

      14      extend to these outcomes.

      15             Second, New York State could promote and

      16      facilitate the adoption of police auditors, which

      17      represent a fairly new form of citizen oversight.

      18             Like other forms of citizen oversight,

      19      especially civilian review boards, police auditors

      20      could be expected to enhance police legitimacy

      21      through the greater perceived neutrality and

      22      transparency for which they provide.

      23             Police auditors conduct inquiries into

      24      broader patterns of police operations and

      25      performance, review policies and procedures, produce


       1      publicly-disseminated reports of their findings, and

       2      engage in community outreach.

       3             Auditors make recommendations for changes in

       4      policy and practice, and they follow up to determine

       5      the extent to which adopted recommendations are

       6      implemented and sustained.

       7             And several cities currently police auditors,

       8      such as San Jose, Denver, and Seattle.

       9             Cities across New York State can now choose

      10      to establish police auditors with similar authority,

      11      but so far as we know, none other than New York City

      12      has such an authority.

      13             New York State could encourage the voluntary

      14      establishment of auditor-like mechanisms, through

      15      grants to police departments that come with a string

      16      of an auditor attached, which might make it

      17      sufficiently attractive to induce departments to

      18      voluntarily submit to such external oversight.

      19             Auditor's purpose would not be to defect

      20      individual cases of policy violations; but, rather

      21      to assess broader patterns of police performance and

      22      offer independent recommendations for improvement.

      23             They're based on the premise that misconduct

      24      is not a simple function of bad people making bad

      25      choices; but, rather, a product of organizational


       1      systems that leave room for improvement.

       2             They would be independent of the police

       3      departments; and, thus, credible to the public, and

       4      the existence and operation of such auditors would

       5      help to build trust and confidence in the

       6      departments that submit to such scrutiny.

       7             Third, and, finally, training.

       8             You've already heard some about training,

       9      especially, but not only, training in verbal

      10      deescalation.

      11             Fair and impartial policing, and procedurally

      12      just policing, might offer the opportunity to

      13      enhance officer safety and improve the quality of

      14      policing.

      15             While it is only our impression, it appears

      16      to us that local resources for in-service training

      17      are not adequate, as agencies are reluctant to incur

      18      the opportunity costs of training which often take

      19      the form of overtime necessary to backfill trainees'

      20      position for the duration of their training.

      21             The State could help with funds earmarked for

      22      safety-related training.

      23             Now, we take as a premise that training is

      24      important for effective policing; yet, fairly little

      25      rigorous research has assessed the impacts of


       1      different training curricula and modalities on

       2      officer performance and safety.

       3             We do not have scientifically-credible

       4      evidence about what kinds of training are effective

       5      in achieving various outcomes.

       6             And in our judgment, the state and federal

       7      government could better support the development of

       8      an appropriate evidenced-base on police training.

       9             And insofar as state and federal governments

      10      to fray the costs of training, the public and its

      11      representatives deserve better information on the

      12      benefits of training.

      13             We believe that the rapid expansion of

      14      technology, such as in-car and body-worn cameras in

      15      police agencies, although, we would emphasize are

      16      not a panacea, but they provide a proficuous

      17      opportunity to examine the impact of training on

      18      officers' performance; and, thereby, accumulate an

      19      evidenced-base for best practices.

      20             And, finally, in closing, though we welcome

      21      your questions, we would acknowledge that enhancing

      22      police legitimacy, and through that, the safety of

      23      police officers, is a very tall order, particularly

      24      in the minority neighborhoods that currently have

      25      the lowest levels of trust and confidence in the


       1      police.

       2             The procedural justice that citizens

       3      experience in their encounters with the police is

       4      shaped not only by how officers behave, but also by

       5      how citizens perceive and interpret officers'

       6      actions.

       7             And citizens' preexisting attitudes toward

       8      police, we know from research, have a strong

       9      influence on their perceptions, both for the better

      10      and for the worse.

      11             And against the historical backdrop of racial

      12      discrimination in the U.S., and the contemporary

      13      backdrop of disparities of many kind, not only in

      14      criminal justice, but in private hiring and

      15      employment, and educational outcomes, and

      16      health-care delivery, to name a few, an inference of

      17      procedural injustice is easy to draw.

      18             And scientists disagree, as they will, about

      19      the sources of the disparities and the quality of

      20      the evidence on which those inferences rest.

      21             The people on the wrong end of those

      22      disparities do not look to science for explanations.

      23             In the context of individual police-citizen

      24      interactions, it appears that most of what the

      25      police can do is avoid making matters worse through


       1      acts of a procedural injustice, such as discourtesy

       2      or a refusal to listen, that detract from police

       3      legitimacy.

       4             We probably cannot achieve dramatic gains in

       5      the face of these powerful, historical, and social

       6      forces.

       7             And so, in that, we echo Chief Zacks'

       8      observations about our expectations for what police

       9      can achieve in making improvements in these regards,

      10      but we must try to do so.

      11             Thank you, and we'd be happy to address any

      12      questions you might have about these remarks or any

      13      other topic on your mind.

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Doctors, both,

      15      for your testimony.

      16             My first question is an odd one.

      17             You were at the school of criminal justice in

      18      the early '90s?

      19             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Yes, I guess I was.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I think I was there at the

      21      same time, when we were both a little bit younger.

      22             But, nonetheless, thank you for your

      23      testimony.

      24             And your testimony, as I turned each page,

      25      answered some of the questions that came to mind, so


       1      I want to move off your testimony.

       2             Have you -- are you aware of, or have you

       3      done any research, regarding the broken-windows

       4      theory?

       5             And if so, are you able to comment on it,

       6      please, and your thoughts about it?

       7             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  I would not characterize

       8      any of the research that either one of us has done

       9      as on broken-windows, but, I'd say -- I think it's

      10      fair say, we're familiar with the literature on

      11      broken-windows policing.

      12             I would say to you, and for the record, as

      13      I did to my class a couple of weeks ago, that

      14      broken-windows is a style of policing that is often,

      15      and, unfortunately, confused and conflated with

      16      zero-tolerance policing.

      17             Broken-windows, as I understand that

      18      approach, directs police attention to the very kinds

      19      of problems that really motivate community policing

      20      more generally.

      21             The minor crimes, we call them "disorders,"

      22      or "incivilities," but the kinds of matters that,

      23      for decades, police found easy to ignore, and really

      24      didn't appreciate how important they were to the

      25      communities that they served.


       1             Through the '70s and '80s, research

       2      contributed to our deeper understanding of how

       3      closely connected fear of crime and quality of life

       4      in urban neighborhoods is connected to those

       5      seemingly minor matters, but they're conditions with

       6      which people live day in and day out, and they seem

       7      to have a much more dramatic impact on their quality

       8      of life than criminal incidents do.

       9             And, so, policing that attends to those is

      10      important; it's important in meeting the priorities

      11      of the communities that they serve.

      12             And as I understand it, broken-windows, when

      13      it's properly practiced, does exactly that, and it

      14      does not do it only by invoking the law.

      15             Police intervene into those incidents of

      16      minor offenses, or not offenses but are troublesome

      17      to communities, and they might exercise a wide range

      18      of discretion in fashioning responses to those

      19      problems, and do not rely only on invoking the law,

      20      then making arrests or issuing citations.

      21             And that I think can be, and the research is

      22      not a very strong evidenced-base, but there's

      23      certainly evidence that supports the proposition

      24      that broken-windows policing can have very

      25      beneficial effects.


       1             I think, at the same time, broken-windows

       2      practice and zero tolerance can be very destructive

       3      to police-community relations, and I think it's

       4      important to keep broken-windows and zero tolerance

       5      separate in our minds.

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I think that's an

       7      excellent point.

       8             So if -- would it be fair to say, and you

       9      brought the other word together, "community

      10      policing," very early in your answer to that, that

      11      if deployed properly, it fits very well within the

      12      community-policing model, and the practice of

      13      community policing, as you had testified to, as you

      14      described earlier in your testimony?

      15             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Absolutely.

      16             I think it's fair to say that, you know,

      17      departments across the country that claim to

      18      practice community policing emphasize either a

      19      broken-windows approach or they emphasize a more

      20      kind of problem-oriented approach.

      21             It's not that each is exclusive of the other,

      22      but both are quite compatible with the aims of

      23      community policing, in my view.

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Great.  Thank you.

      25             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Sure.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I'd like to address a

       2      couple of questions.

       3             That, on page 9, you list your end notes.

       4             I guess they call them "end notes" now

       5      instead of footnotes.

       6             That, the end note is from both Mr. Worden

       7      and Ms. McLean, citing, "Assessing Police

       8      Performance in Citizen Encounters:  Police

       9      Legitimacy and Management Accountability" --

      10             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Yes, sir.

      11             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- is a report that your

      12      institute evidently made to the National Institute

      13      of Justice?  Is that accurate?

      14             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Yes, sir, it is.

      15             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And what was this report?

      16             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  It was a report of a

      17      project that we undertook between 2011 and 2014.

      18             We worked in collaboration with Syracuse and

      19      Schenectady police departments.  It was motivated by

      20      a concern that CompStat mechanisms,

      21      management-accountability mechanisms, in police

      22      departments tend not to capture many of the

      23      important outcomes of policing, including,

      24      particularly, the subjective experience of citizens

      25      in their encounters with the police, the quality of


       1      police service, as they see it --

       2             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  How did you measure

       3      citizen input?

       4             And I go to your cite in the testimony, "The

       5      police enjoy fairly high levels of public trust

       6      compared with other social institutions."

       7             Did you measure that public trust in a

       8      particular subset?

       9             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  We measured trust and

      10      confidence in the police --

      11             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And how did you do that?

      12             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Through surveys.

      13             We conducted ongoing surveys in each of those

      14      two cities, of people who had contact with the

      15      police.

      16             We interviewed -- each -- well, semi-monthly,

      17      we do samples from police records of calls for

      18      service of people who had called for police

      19      assistance, we sampled from among people who had

      20      been arrested, and we sampled from among people who

      21      had been stopped by the police, in each of those

      22      cities.

      23             We administered a standardized interview

      24      protocol to each of the citizens.

      25             We inquired generally about their perception


       1      of the Schenectady and Syracuse police,

       2      respectively.  And we also inquired particularly

       3      into the nature of their interaction with the

       4      police; their perceptions of the procedural justice

       5      with which the police acted in that particular

       6      context.

       7             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  How did you get

       8      information on stops?

       9             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  The Syracuse Police

      10      Department has, for many years now, required its

      11      officers to complete a form, they call it a "C67,"

      12      about all of their police-initiated-enforcement

      13      contacts with citizens.

      14             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And you did this study in

      15      conjunction with the department, or a commission by

      16      the departments?  Is that --

      17             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Yes.  We approached each

      18      department about the study, and they agreed to

      19      cooperate in conducting the study.

      20             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Consistently high levels

      21      of support in the community, even by those

      22      individuals that may have been apprehended, or even

      23      within the mix of those that have been apprehended,

      24      interesting finding --

      25             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  We thought so.


       1             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- particularly, contrary

       2      to a lot of the anecdotal descriptions we get from

       3      media reports and others.

       4             I thought that extremely interesting in this

       5      assessment.

       6             One of the proposals out there, and you heard

       7      about it if you were -- you probably know about

       8      it -- knew about it beforehand, but you might have

       9      heard us discuss it today, of asking the police

      10      department to, basically, be a census-taker, and

      11      solicit demographic data from everyone that they may

      12      stop, may apprehend, may arrest.

      13             And the data is a subjective test based on

      14      race, when, in fact, as an arresting officer, the

      15      officer's forbidden from -- or had been forbidden

      16      from asking that question, about race.

      17             Now they find themselves to be a veritable

      18      census-taker in the -- if this policy is put

      19      forward.

      20             What do you anticipate your poll results to

      21      be if this type of question has to be asked by

      22      police officers?

      23             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Well, I have two

      24      reactions to that, Senator.

      25             First, as a social scientist, I certainly


       1      appreciate having more information.

       2             On the other hand, as social scientists, as

       3      we design data-collection efforts, we have to, at

       4      every turn, ask ourselves:  Of what value will the

       5      data be?

       6             And I would anticipate that data of this kind

       7      will show us something about disparities in police

       8      contacts with the community.

       9             But, unfortunately, and, you know, we've seen

      10      research on racial profiling accumulate for well

      11      over 15 years now.

      12             We still don't really know what to make of

      13      that.

      14             We lack an appropriate baseline or benchmark

      15      against which to compare the data that we collect

      16      and analyze; and, so, we're not in a very good

      17      position to interpret the results of our data

      18      analysis.

      19             And so I'm a little skeptical about the value

      20      of the data, because I'm skeptical about the value

      21      of the analysis that it might support.

      22             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you both for

      23      waiting, for being here, and for your testimony.

      24             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Of course.

      25             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  We appreciate it very


       1      much.

       2             DR. ROBERT WORDEN:  Thank you for the

       3      opportunity.

       4             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks.

       5             Are we going to officially close it?

       6             SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I think we can wake up

       7      anybody that's left.

       8             Thank you.


      10                  (Whereupon, at approximately 3:39 p.m.,

      11        the joint public hearing held before the

      12        four New York State Senate Standing Committees

      13        concluded, and adjourned.)


      15                            ---oOo---