THE BRONX, NY — June 17, 2015 — Supporters showed up to express backing for Bill-A02804b on Monday, June 15, 2015. Facilitated by the Westchester County Home Owners’ Coalition (WCHC), voice was given at a press conference held at the 50th Precinct in The Bronx, in Speaker Carl Heastie’s Assembly District, calling on the Speaker to move the bill from the Rules Committee to the floor for a vote.
- New York State Chiefs of Police Association
- Westchester County Chiefs of Police Association
- MLK Institute of Non Violence of Westchester
- New York Chapter, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America
- Westchester Rockland Guardian Association
- NAACP, Greenburgh Chapter (endorsed —June 16)
- Westchester County Home Owners’ Coalition
“This is an opportunity for New York State to lead the nation on a dominant issue of our time,” said Derickson K. Lawrence, chair of the WCHC. If passed the Bill would remove an impediment which would increase the hiring of minorities and women, without lowering standards, in the police force within New York State.
Pelham Police Chief, Joe Benefico, said: “In 2009, The Westchester County Chiefs of Police Assn. endorsed a bill that had the same intent of A2804. Our goal then is the same as it is now: Create the opportunity for police departments to continue to hire locally, but provide them an avenue to expand their pool of candidates by allowing their communities to hire from a local civil service list and a countywide civil service list, in an effort to interview from a higher number of qualified and more diverse candidates.” “ Because Police departments are responding to and addressing calls for help from a more diverse population of residents and non-residents alike,” he continued, “the community should have tools in place that gives them the means to meet the needs of all people and the ability to adapt the police department to a changing populace. A2804b is one of those tools.”
Rev. Doris Dalton, director of the MLK Institute of Westchester said: “local law enforcement agencies that better reflect our diverse communities will change perceptions, create opportunities for beneficial interaction, and generate pathways towards peaceful communities.”
“What’s historic here is that this bill has unified organizations and individuals that may disagree with each other, on other public safety issues, but are willing to stand on the same virtual platform today,” Lawrence continued.
This is crunch time in Albany as the Legislature Session Calendar is expected to conclude by the end of this week.