Guest Columns

Suburbs Beware: NY’s Bail Reforms are Threatening Your Safety

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By Paul DiGiacomo, President of the Detectives’ Endowment Agency and Matt Slater, Supervisor of the Town of Yorktown

In 2019, New York State’s legislature made a series of ill-fated “reforms” that turned the state’s criminal justice system upside down. The policies and laws cater to criminals – and send a message that there are no consequences for breaking the law.

From the moment these laws took effect, crime began to skyrocket.  Despite the police making it known that these laws are the cause of the new crime crisis, many politicians and district attorneys have ignored the facts. Their dismissal of these facts have sent an unmistakable message to every law breaker that there are no consequences and judges lack the discretion to stop them from reoffending.  With each passing day, the criminals grow more and more emboldened and New Yorkers become more and more in danger.

This summer, every weekend has produced a highlight reel of crime on New York City’s streets.  While the news media is often focused on the five boroughs, the crime surge resulting from Albany’s cashless bail system is spilling into the suburbs.  Just ask any cop protecting Westchester or Nassau or Rockland or even Suffolk Counties.

Yorktown has become one of the first victims of the criminal spillway from New York City. In the afternoon of June 30th, three men from Brooklyn entered the Yorktown Pharmacy, located two miles from the Taconic State Parkway, and walked behind the counter—terrifying the employees and clearing narcotic substances off the shelves. They proceeded to flee and, a half mile from the scene, they caused a traffic accident injuring innocent bystanders. Two of the suspects fled on foot causing a four-hour manhunt through quiet streets and backyards of this suburban town.

Ultimately the suspects were apprehended because of high quality and coordinated police work but, think about this, under these dangerous new laws, all three would have walked out of the police station that night without bail being set. The only reason the judge was able to set bail was because of the traffic accident they caused fleeing the scene. Two of the three suspects had histories of being arrested by the NYPD for possession of a controlled substance, one of whom was arrested last year and released on his own recognizance.

Any politician who voted for these reckless changes to our laws and says this is an isolated incident is kidding themselves and woefully out of touch with the realities of the world they created. These bail reforms are making every community in New York State less safe. This is not just a New York City problem and, just like the Town of Yorktown, every suburban community is coming under attack because criminals know the system now operates in their favor.

The highly touted “reforms” to the state’s no cash bail law that were made earlier this year did nothing to curb criminals and only fueled this summer of crime.  New stats confirm that the number of murders, shootings and gun violence in New York City increased from July 2021 to July 2022.  And don’t think the suburbs are faring any better.

The failure by Governor Hochul and legislative leaders to recognize the climate of crime they have created is infuriating—and extremely dangerous for residents, tourists and our police. New York will never regain its prominence while criminals run free and police are prevented from upholding their oath of preserving and protecting. 

Since Governor Hochul and legislative leaders are refusing to fix the broken system they created, even with New York City Mayor Eric Adams pleading for action, it is up to the voters to elect the right leaders who will have the courage and common sense to create a safe and thriving future for all New Yorkers.


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