Officers demand 3-month moratorium on state bail reform

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Law enforcement officers are calling on the state to stop criminal justice reforms from going into effect next year.

Police chiefs from every town and village in Rockland, along with law enforcement from Westchester and local elected leaders, gathered at the Rockland County courthouse to demand the state put a three-month moratorium on the reforms. They say the moratorium will allow the public and police to voice their concerns on the legislation.

Officers say they are worried the reforms will threaten public safety by mandating some suspects be released without bail or detention. They say more than 400 crimes will require mandatory release when the reforms go into effect, including many that could put children at risk. 

The reforms will also fast-track the time police have to turn over evidence and can allow suspects to visit crime scenes after being released.

Those who oversee town budgets say the unfunded reforms will also threaten the public's pocketbooks.

“We can project hundreds of millions of dollars, each and every one of us will be paying,” says Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann.

But Sen. David Carlucci, one of many in Albany who helped pass the legislation, say the reforms are overdue and will actually save taxpayers by preventing unnecessary imprisonment. He also says he doesn't think a moratorium is the answer or even possible by Jan. 1, when the reforms are set to take effect.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been outspoken against the reforms, including State Attorney General Letitia James.

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