Greene County Police Officers Association against new bail reform law

You're seeing Governor Cuomo, who is largely responsible for the new law.



November 28, 2019:

The Greene County Police Officers Association is an organization made up of law enforcement officers, active and retired, who either worked or resided in Greene County, New York.As such, our membership works to support the law enforcement community in their efforts to provide the best possible service to the residents of Greene County.

With that in mind, at our last meeting, our members unanimously approved a motion to release a statement regarding our position on the upcoming sweeping changes to New York State’s criminal procedures.These procedures are scheduled to take affect January 1, 2020.This statement is unusual in that our organization rarely issues press releases.However, in light of the truly dramatic changes, we feel it extremely important to inform the residents of Greene County as to our position.

Some highlights of the new procedures include elimination of cash bail for many offences and the imposition of strict discovery mandates on police and prosecutors, which make it nearly impossible to meet.In many instances, Judges will not be able to set bail on those suspected of committing serious crimes, including crimes that result in the death of an innocent person.Crimes such as Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child, Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in a School Zone, Aggravated Assault Upon a Person Less that Eleven Years Old, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance to a Child, Criminal Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds, Burglary of a Residence, Bail Jumping and Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer are just a few examples of cases whereby a judge cannot impose bail, but instead must release the defendant back into our communities.Also, police and District Attorneys must turn over trial-related materials to defense attorneys within 15 days, creating an almost impossible mandate to meet.For instance, our laboratory system in this state is so backlogged that it can take months for an analysis to be completed.Under the new procedures, that delay will result in the dismissal of the charges, regardless of the evidence.Another element of the change creates an opportunity for defendants to gain access to crime scenes, in the name of “discovery reform”.Theoretically, a perpetrator who commits a burglary of a residence, may be able to return to the same residence for the purpose of trial preparation.Thereby victimizing the occupants of that home again.

Make no mistake, these “criminal justice reforms” are a clear and frightening attack on our entire criminal justice system.The main part of that system was completely ignored in putting the reforms together.The apparent lack of confidence in the general population who elected our county District Attorney’s, our Town Justice’s and County Sheriff’s was remarkable.Not to mention the Police Chiefs who were appointed by municipalities headed by duly elected officials and the dedicated men and women of those agencies.None of the above were given an opportunity to provide input regarding these reforms.Apparently the sponsors of the reforms had no confidence in the voters who put their faith in the people they elected to see that justice forallwas served.

The extreme burden placed on the criminal justice system by the new reforms does not serve the overwhelming majority of law abiding citizens.These citizens, especially crime victims, were completely disregarded in this one-sided, far reaching and dramatic change to our criminal justice system.

Any effort to improve our system would be welcomed and supported by the law enforcement community.However, we must ensure those improvements are balanced in such a way that our system continues to protect society, as well as those charged with violations of the law.

Clearly, as it stands now, the new justice reform procedures are so radical it is nearly impossible to meet the necessary requirements, especially for our small rural District Attorneys’ offices, Justice Courts and police agencies.Notwithstanding the substantial added financial burden these procedures create.Upstate communities will especially be impacted by these changes due to a lack of resources.

We hope the state legislature and Governor reconsider these changes and work with all involved to ensure any changes are fair and equitable.

Please consider contacting your state representatives and letting them know how you feel.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content