2008-07-18 / Top Stories

Smith Applauds Law To Enhance Police Recruitment

Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith applauded Governor David Paterson for signing into law legislation that will enhance police officer recruitment practices and help to improve the public's trust in police and the criminal justice system.

The legislation requires the Municipal Police Training Council in the state Division of Criminal Justice Services to develop new procedures to enhance police office recruitment efforts.

"The composition of police departments across our state, in many cases, does not accurately reflect the demographic makeup of their respective communities," said Senator Smith.

"This law opens new resources for police statewide when it comes to community education and sensitivity, both improving community relations and making their jobs easier.

With a better understanding of diversity issues within the communities police protect and serve, officers will be better equipped to do their jobs," Smith said. The measure is one of many identified in a June report The Task Force proposed more than a dozen initiatives to bolster community police relations. in the aftermath of the 2006 fatal shooting of Sean Bell.

"This new legislation is among many policy changes recommended in the Task Force report that will begin to reduce tensions between our communities and the police officers charged with their protection," said Smith.

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