Assembly Republicans, joined by numerous members of law enforcement, held a press conference calling for an end to what they say is anti-police rhetoric and legislation.
“The purpose of this press conference is to bring awareness to the growing lawlessness in New York and advocate the restoration of law and order in our state,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said. “I think we’ve all seen the reports, we’ve seen the statistics, we’ve seen the violent incidents, the tragedies playing out in our streets.”
According to statistics provided by the Assembly Republicans and local law enforcement, homicides are up in Albany by around 800 percent this year compared to last year. In Buffalo, homicides are up 88 percent, and in Rochester, that number is up 40 percent.
President of the State Sheriff’s Association and Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy says that, while open to reform, he believes legislation passed by Democrats over the last two years is hurting the community’s relationship with police.
“We could see more unrest, more rioting, we could see more violence. The statistics that you just quoted keep going up, and there could be a division in this state that could take generations to heal,” Murphy said.
However, establishing this trust again is why Governor Andrew Cuomo released an executive order mandating that local leaders collaborate with communities and law enforcement on a comprehensive reform plan due before April of next year.
Assemblyman John McDonald says this tailored reform to each police department is important, as the state and country moves forward.
“The reforms that are out there dealing with law enforcement and district attorneys, they are basically a culmination of problems that were happening that should have never gotten to where they got,” McDonald explained. “And unfortunately when left unchecked, we have some tragic instances, and then this is why these reforms are put in place.”
If local governments and law enforcement do not have a plan in place by April 2021, local police departments are at risk of losing state funding.