NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell ventured to Albany on Monday to push for tougher criminal justice reforms, the department said.
“The police commissioner is meeting with as many lawmakers as possible, including executives,” a source from New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ office said, adding that some of Hizzoner’s aides were accompanying his commissioner.
The state’s controversial reforms prohibit judges from setting bail for misdemeanors and non-violent crimes, removing judges’ discretion.
“I’m sure they are pushing for judicial authority,” a senior police official said of the commissioner and those around her, adding that this would include seeking an “expanded list of crimes that may bail, an expanded power for judges to set bail in extenuating circumstances or where a suspect has a significantly related criminal record and commits an offense without bail.
Sewell was not set to meet Governor Kathy Hochul, but was instead talking about some of her top aides, the town hall source said.
The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment on the commissioner’s schedule.
Adams has called for tougher bail laws that take into account a defendant’s criminal history and potential danger to the community — but he must rely on state lawmakers to change the controversial law.
“I gave my plan to Albany. I don’t control Albany,” the mayor said last week. “I’m glad to see the governor has embraced some of the things I raised in the plan…but they have to make a decision.”
As first reported by The Post, Hochul proposed minor changes to criminal justice reform legislation in a 10-point memo earlier this month.
The governor’s proposal asks judges to have the power to set bail for certain crimes based on a suspect’s criminal history — with a particular focus on firearms offenses.
Critics argue that Hochul’s plan doesn’t go far enough.
Sewell’s visit to Albany comes on the same day a poll recently released by Siena College found a majority of New Yorkers reject the 2019 reforms.
A total of 56% of voters polled said the reforms were bad for the Empire State, and nearly two-thirds said the move led to increased crime in the state.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan
New York Post