For Immediate Release: July 15, 2020
Troopers’ Union President Demands Removal of Troopers from New York City
As President of the New York State Troopers PBA, I am demanding that New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett immediately remove all uniformed State Troopers currently stationed within New York City and cease any law enforcement activities within that jurisdiction.
We have arrived at this unfortunate decision due to the hastily written so-called police reform legislation recently passed by the New York City Council. This poorly conceived bill, which will be signed into law by Mayor de Blasio today, puts an undue burden upon our Troopers; it opens them up to criminal and civil liability for restraining a person during a lawful arrest in a manner that is consistent with their training and is legal throughout the rest of the State. Furthermore, this legislation will prevent Troopers from safely and effectively arresting resistant subjects.
The imminent finalization of NYC Administrative Code section 10-181 will criminalize methods of restraint, including putting any pressure on a person’s chest or back. These techniques are commonly used by many law enforcement agencies statewide and nationwide when officers are faced with violently combative subjects. I find it extremely troubling that these acts are now defined as criminal in nature, even if they were unintentional and no injury was sustained by the subject.
Our Troopers have become a familiar sight in New York City over the past five years following Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s request to help protect the city’s airports, bridges and tunnels against the threat of terrorism. Additionally, our presence there has significantly increased the safety of all New Yorkers as well as the millions of visitors who travel there each year.
Despite the positive effects of the presence of Troopers in New York City, this constraining legislation leaves us with few other options. One option would involve New York State Attorney General Letitia James indemnifying State Police members from this ill-conceived law. As that is unlikely to happen, it is the position of the Troopers PBA that if we continue to allow our members to remain stationed and conduct police activity within the five boroughs of New York City, we may be opening them up to criminal and civil liabilities simply by doing the job they were trained to do.
Thomas H. Mungeer
New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association