Ramos: Assembly Passes Legislation to Improve Police-Community Relations

June 16, 2009

Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced that the Assembly passed a package of bills designed to help law enforcement officials throughout the state better serve their communities.

“These common sense reforms work to improve the relationship between the police departments and the communities they serve,” Assemblyman Ramos, a former police officer said. “It’s imperative that we never stop working to increase the trust within communities as a way of helping police fight crime and keep residents safe.”

The Assembly’s package includes a bill to prohibit law enforcement officers from using racial and ethnic profiling, and establish procedures for civil remedies for complaints (A.1676). This bill also requires data collection on all stops and stop-and-frisk incidents, this new measure will help to protect residents from illegal searches at the same time as protecting police officers from frivolous law suits.

“Law-abiding citizens should never live with having to worry about being stopped or pulled over simply because of the way they look,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “By ending the practice of racial and ethnic profiling, we ensure Islip residents can live without the fear of being unjustly stopped, and law enforcement can rededicate their time to reducing 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.5950);
  • makes it easier to appeal motions on a change of venue to make trials fairer (A.1469);
  • requires law enforcement to disclose to the court whether an application for a search warrant was previously denied (A.5457).

“The daily risks our police take to protect our community, and the choices they must make while doing so is an enormous responsibility.” Assemblyman Ramos said. “These improvements will make it easier for them to do their job effectively and protect and serve our community.”