NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell traveled to Albany Monday to urge tougher criminal justice reforms, the department said.
“The police commissioner is meeting with as many lawmakers as possible, including leadership,” said a source in New York City Mayor’s Office Eric Adams, adding that some of Hizzoner’s aides accompanied his briefing.
Controversial state reforms bar judges from setting bails for misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes, stripping the judiciary of discretionary powers.
“I’m sure they’re pushing for judicial powers,” a senior police official said of the commissioner and her entourage, adding that this seeks to seek an “extended list of crimes eligible for bail, expanded powers for judges.” would post bail in extenuating circumstances or when an offender has a significant history of committing an offense without bail.”
Sewell was unwilling to meet with Gov. Kathy Hochul, instead speaking with some of her senior officials, the city hall source said.
The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment on the commissioner’s schedule.
Adams has called for stricter bail laws that take into account a defendant’s criminal record and the potential danger to the community – but he has to rely on state legislatures to streamline the controversial law.
“I gave Albany my blueprint. I don’t control Albany,” the mayor said last week. “I’m glad to see that the governor has embraced some of the things I raised in the blueprint … but they have a decision to make.”
As first reported by The Post, Hochul proposed minor changes to the criminal justice reform legislation in a 10-point memo earlier this month.
The governor’s proposal would give judges the power to set bail for some crimes based on a suspect’s criminal record — with a particular focus on gun crimes.
Critics say Hochul’s plan doesn’t go far enough.
Sewell’s visit to Albany comes on the same day that a newly released Siena College poll found that a majority of New Yorkers gave a thumbs-down to the 2019 reforms.
A total of 56 percent of voters polled said the reforms were bad for the Empire State, and nearly two-thirds said the move had led to a rise in crime in the state.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan
https://nypost.com/2022/03/28/nypds-keechant-sewell-in-albany-to-pitch-tougher-bail-reform/ NYPD’s Keechant Sewell in Albany to propose tougher bail reform