ALBANY – State Senator George Borrello is calling on the Democrat lead State Senate to honor two fallen police officers by making real changes that will protect those who serve.
“To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, you are in a unique position today,” says Borrello. “You are in a unique position to physically look in the eyes of these families. And I hope that it motivates you to set aside the politics and the rhetoric. I hope that it motivates you to look at the tragedy that we have seen happen. And to fix what this legislature has broken when it comes to law enforcement and the safety of our law enforcement officials.”
Early this year, New York Police Department officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera were shot and killed while responding to a domestic incident in Harlem.
To curge the increasing crime rates, New York City mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain, is reintroducing plain clothes officers which had been disbanded two years ago.
Some critics derided plainclothes units for years as counterproductive and argued they were a relic from the stop-and-frisk era of policing, used instead as a bludgeoning tool that more negatively affected Black and brown communities.
Senator George Borrello, however, believes there is more the state can do to decrease violence against officers.
“Actions are what counts, and if you want to honor these fallen police officers, those actions mean fixing what we broke here in this chamber,” claims Borrello.
These sentiments were echoed by Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt who spoke about the bravery of the fallen officers, and of their families who now bear the burden.
“It’s a dangerous job, there’s no question about it,” says Ortt. “But we need to make sure we are doing things to make it less dangerous for people like officers Mora and Rivera and not more dangerous. We need to be doing things to not create more families whose only claim to fame is that they lost a husband, a wife, a son or a daughter, or a brother and a sister in service to the state, to New York City, to this community.”
The push to crack down on crime is a popular discussion for Borrello, who has made his stance on bail reform clear.
The Senator explains that the law hurts victims the most, decreasing their faith in the criminal justice system. The first step to fixing this, according to Borrello, is by returning judicial discretion, something that must be a bipartisan effort.
So far, Borrello believes Democrats will step up, like Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown and New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams have, to pressure their own party to change the law.