Brooklyn pols push for bulletproof windows for NYPD patrol cars
A long list of changes have been suggested following a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer for the death of Eric Garner and after a later shooting of two police officers in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Some recommended reforms include better training for law enforcement and perhaps a special prosecutor who would handle alleged police misconduct. However, other politicians, including some Brooklyn legislators, are pushing for bulletproof glass for police patrol cars.
A group of Republican pols — including state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) and state Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge) — are set to put forth legislation to outfit police cars with protective gear.
“We are proposing state legislation to begin to retrofit all law enforcement vehicles in New York state with the best protective bullet proof glass for all windows,” said state Assemblymember Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville).
Golden, a retired New York City police officer, equates bulletproofed police cars to the bulletproof vests police officers wear while on the street.
“We provide police offers with bullet-proof vests to protect them when they are on the streets patrolling,” Golden said in a statement. “We should give them equal protection when they are in their patrol cars. This bill accomplishes that goal.”
The call for protection of police officers is a significant shift in discourse. Immediately following the deaths of Garner, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Akai Gurley in Brooklyn — all unarmed men of color killed at the hands of a police officer — reform efforts have been focused on changing the way police units patrol and approach communities of color and how the criminal justice system addresses instances of police abuse and misconduct.
The Republican-led proposal, according to Adam Kramer, chief of staff for Tedisco, would install bulletproof glass in police cars over a phased-in period, starting with the NYPD and New York state police. But concerns have been raised regarding the cost of this effort.
Capital New York reports that with the NYPD’s car fleet of more than 9,000 and more than 3,000 state police trooper vehicles, the cost of retrofitting each car would range from $50,000 to $500,000.
“We cannot put a price on protecting the men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us,” state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk County), a sponsor of the proposal, said in a statement. “When our police officers are safer, we are all safer.”
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