YORKTOWN, NY – Preparing to assume the office of Yorktown Supervisor in six weeks, Matt Slater has formally requested Governor Cuomo to offset the unfunded mandate associated with the sweeping criminal justice reforms that are set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The Supervisor-elect detailed his concerns pertaining to the financial impact, as well as those regarding overall public safety, in a letter to the Governor.
“Our Police Department and local courthouse provide model leadership on a daily basis,” Slater explained. “These new standards will have a negative impact on their ability to properly protect our residents and will cost local property taxpayers more of their hard-earned money.”
Keith Olson, President of the Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester agreed saying, “The new bail reform and discovery laws will only make the jobs of our police officers that much harder. The financial burden and unnecessary workload that accompanies this reform will result in less cops patrolling our neighborhoods, the place where we need them the most.”
Albany’s latest unfunded mandate is estimated to cost Yorktown taxpayers $80,000 this coming year. Meanwhile New York State’s Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM), which is approved as part of the state budget, has remained flat.
“Having worked in the both houses of the State Legislature, I firmly understand that details of complicated policies are often not recognized until the final stages of implementation,” Slater continued. “Seeing how we are on the cusp of the full enactment of these new procedures and protocols, I believe the state has a responsibility to take immediate action to delay the implementation of these reforms, determine the true fiscal impact this will have on local governments, identify the necessary funding mechanism to offset these costs and engage in a meaningful dialogue with law enforcement officials about the new protocols.”
Specifically concerns have been raised about the new discovery requirements and the burden it will place on local police depatments and district attorneys. The new mandates are leaving municipalities scrambling to cover the costs. Earlier this week the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) became the latest organization to publicly raise concerns over the criminal justice reforms citing inadequate funding.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, President of the District Attorneys Associaion of New York stated, “The bail changes enacted in Albany this year are reckless; forced through the budget process where they didn’t belong; without adequate consideration of how they will adversely affect public safety; and without adequate input from most of the agencies that work in the system, prosecutors, police, the courts.”