Gun violence is still striking our community and breaking the hearts of families. This issue extends beyond policing and as a community, we must come together to create safe havens for young people. There should be designated locations for everyone to participate in sports or shared hobbies. Funding for first response group is nonnegotiable. We must provide the necessary funds for groups that are fighting to reduce or eliminate gun violence and mentoring our young men and women.
Building a healthy and trusted relation between the police and the community through the Neighborhood Community Officers (NGO) program, has helped in many ways to build confidence between the two groups. Closing the gap between the community and the police will be a consistent effort of my office. I will ensure that the police work with the leaders of the different Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) to identify trouble spots in the community while dispelling the perception and fears between the two groups. My office will initiate programs to empower community leaders to work intimately with the police, and embed the police within these community programs to continue strengthening their relationship to the community.
Bail reform is in place to keep the justice system equal. Many communities were stricken by previous bail laws that had innocent individuals sitting in jail for extended amounts of time before appropriate hearings. Economic stability was a major factor in our previous structure.
Today, we are here trying to make the criminal justice system equitable. Many minority families do not have the savings to post bail. New York State recognized the gap in savings and addressed it through the appropriate reform. Many were sitting in jail for minor crimes due to their lack of available finances. Those remaining in jail for extended amounts of time, having not been proven guilty lost employment and missed out on paychecks while waiting for a hearing. Jail worsened an already difficult situation for many due to their economic standing in society.
Police Community Relations
Police and community relations are pivotal in the time we are in. It is my goal to continue to grow this relationship. Our NCOs and community affairs have continued to try to bridge the gap. We have both good and bad cops, but it is important for us to work together to weed out the bad seeds resting in our community. I will actively work with the NYPD to try to dismiss the fears that many young men and women have of police encounters. Police have a responsibility to protect our citizens so, training on community service relation must be part of police training within the community they serve. Police should be required to take a 5 days community internship program during their training in different community to be among the people they planned to take an oath to serve.
It is incredibly important to decriminalize marijuana which has landed many people of color to jail for minor infractions. While acceptable for medical reasons, individuals and communities of color must have the ability to benefit from any financial advantage from this product. However, a common sense or conscious determination must be made to prevent smoking or using this product in shared spaces and 300 feet away from establishments such as parks, religious, and education institutions.
Recent attacks in places of worship is unacceptable. We cannot condone this behavior in our society today. We must continue speaking against this behavior while providing security for the religious places of worship and for victims. My office will work with the NYPD and other organization to make sure we stay as one community.