ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State legislature continues to take up police reform measures.
One bill requires New York State Police to wear body cameras. Another repeals section 50-A of the Civil Rights law, which currently shields police personnel records. Both bills have passed the State Senate.
“How did we get to this point? Because too often the police themselves, their union leaders, their defenders take an adversarial approach as if no one can do anything wrong if they’re wearing a badge,” said Senator Michael Gianaris during Tuesday’s session.
Senate Bill 8496 lifts the shield on police disciplinary records. Under the bill, home addresses, personal phone numbers, and emails of officers and their families are protected. But, some say it doesn’t provide police “due process.”
“The very nature of law enforcement is one that entices many vengeful perpetrators to retaliate by filing groundless complaints. Now those unfounded complaints will become fodder to discredit officers, or even worse, they may trigger anger and violence,” said Senator George Borrello.
Meanwhile, a bill that requires New York State Police to wear body cameras had broader support in the Senate.
“This is going to be an important step in terms of regaining the trust of the public and making sure that both our police remain safe and our citizens have the kind of confidence that they should in their law enforcement agencies,” said Senator Kevin Parker.
“I think [these programs are] beneficial to both the community as well as the members of law enforcement themselves,” said Senator Fred Akshar.