Hochul Celebrates Success in Crime Fight, Targets Retail Theft Rings Next

Hochul Celebrates Success in Crime Fight, Targets Retail Theft Rings Next

In a recent press conference, Governor Kathy Hochul highlighted significant strides in the ongoing fight against crime in New York’s Capital Region and upstate areas. The governor commended the New York State Police for their efforts, leading to a substantial reduction in car thefts. Rochester experienced a notable 55% decline, Buffalo saw a 45% drop, and Albany witnessed a 25% decrease in car theft rates.

Governor Hochul also shared successes in reinforcing red flag laws, designed to keep firearms away from individuals considered dangerous. In 2023, these laws identified 1,385 “red flags,” resulting in the seizure of 2,549 guns. The governor acknowledged a collaborative effort between the State Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation to combat illegal firearm possession.

Despite these achievements, Governor Hochul identified the emerging challenge of retail theft, urging a coordinated effort to address the issue effectively. She proposed the creation of a joint operation, similar to those combating car thefts and illegal gun possession, to target organized retail theft rings.

As part of her executive budget, Governor Hochul proposed increased penalties for those assaulting retail workers. She stressed the importance of legislative support for these measures during upcoming budget negotiations.

In response, state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie indicated a willingness to address fiscal aspects supporting the retail industry. However, he noted that policy matters are typically not included in one-house budgets.

Hochul Celebrates Success in Crime Fight, Targets Retail Theft Rings Next

Republican state Assemblymember Mike Reilly shared past efforts to introduce a bill elevating penalties for retail theft and anticipated challenges during negotiations. He emphasized the need for the governor to assertively advocate for these measures.

Governor Hochul appealed to lawmakers, underscoring the collaborative approach required to combat organized retail theft rings effectively. As budget negotiations commence, the success of these proposed initiatives depends on securing legislative support.

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The reduction in car thefts and the enforcement of red flag laws serve as significant achievements, providing a foundation for the state’s ongoing efforts to enhance public safety and address various forms of criminal activity.

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