Assemblyman Tannousis and Colleagues Announce Passage of “Detective Brian Simonsen’s Law”

Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R,C-Staten Island/Brooklyn) alongside Assemblyman Mike Reilly (R,C-Staten Island) and Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, is proud to announce the passage of “Detective Brian Simonsen’s Law,” a bipartisan proposal that will require cell phone providers to immediately disable services to stolen cell phones, in the Assembly. Often, when a cell phone is stolen it goes unreported. Currently, when a cell phone is disabled, it can still be utilized with a Wi-Fi connection or internationally. The bill will require service providers to disable cell phones completely, rendering them useless. It will help advance security measures to effectively stop theft and protect New Yorkers’ property. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Jessica Scarcella-Spanton.

Detective Brian Simonsen was responding to an armed robbery call in Queens on February 12, 2019, at a cell phone store. The perpetrator held the store employees hostage in a back room. When Simonsen approached, he was shot and killed.

“Detective Simonsen is a hero who tragically lost his life when he interrupted a robbery at a Queens cell phone store. This common-sense legislation will help prevent other such tragedies by requiring service providers to disable stolen cell phones, rendering them useless. I am proud to have co-sponsored this legislation and commend Detective Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo for his tireless advocacy in memory of fallen hero Detective Brian Simonsen,” said Tannousis.

“As a retired NYPD Lieutenant, I have seen firsthand the impact of phone theft on both victims and law enforcement. 'Detective Brian Simonsen's Law' is a critical step in addressing this issue by requiring wireless communication service providers to disable services to stolen wireless phones. This legislation will help deter theft, guard personal information and protect our community by making stolen cell phones useless. I am honored to co-sponsor this bill in memory of Detective Brian Simonsen, who made the ultimate sacrifice while investigating an armed robbery of a cell phone store,” said Reilly.

“I’m proud to carry this legislation in the Senate with the support of the DEA in honor of Detective Simonsen. The NYPD put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve. Far too often, our officers have made the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our city, as criminals repeatedly endanger people for profit- whether by robbing innocent retail workers or individuals on the street. I introduced this legislation to regulate the resale business of stolen goods more effectively and to prevent further loss of life due to criminals profiting from illegal activity. I am happy to see it pass the Assembly and that it has passed committee and will be heading to the floor to be voted on in the Senate as well,” said Scarcella-Spanton. 

***You can see the Assemblyman speak here