Assembly Passes Legislation to Improve Police-Community Relations

June 12, 2009
Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) announced that the Assembly passed a package of bills designed to help law enforcement officials throughout the state better serve their communities.

“This legislation takes strides to improve the relationship between police departments and the communities they serve,” said Jacobs. “It’s important that we always continue to work to increase trust within communities as a means of helping police battle crime and keep residents safe.”

The Assembly’s package includes a bill to prohibit law enforcement officers from using racial and ethnic profiling, require data collection on stops and stop-and-frisk incidents, and establish procedures for civil remedies for complaints (A.1676).

“Law-abiding citizens should not live in fear of being stopped or pulled over simply because of the way they look,” Jacobs said. “By ending the practice of racial and ethnic profiling, we ensure Brooklyn residents can live without fear and law enforcement can dedicate their time to criminal activity.”

In addition, the Assembly package:

  • regulates the use of “no-knock” search warrants and makes other improvements to the search warrant process (A.1508-A);
  • authorizes the attorney general to investigate and prosecute allegations of police misconduct in connection with police officers’ official duties in certain circumstances (A.1486);
  • authorizes a salary increase for New York City police officers who speak a foreign language – helping attract officers to the force who can better communicate with the city’s immigrant population (A.5959);
  • makes it easier to appeal motions on a change of venue to make trials fairer (A.1469);
  • requires drug and alcohol testing of police officers under certain circumstances – including firing a weapon resulting in serious injury or death of another (A.1477); and
  • requires law enforcement to disclose to the court whether an application for a search warrant was previously denied (A.5457).

“These bills establish guidelines and procedures that protect both law enforcement and the community and enhance the relationship between police departments and the people they serve,” concluded Jacobs.