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The New York State Association of Chiefs of Police representing over five hundred Police Chiefs, Commissioners, Superintendents and other command level police executives, stands in opposition of the State’s intention to propose legislation that would legalize regulated marijuana in New York State.

As Police Officers, we are sworn to enforce Federal, State and Municipal laws and to protect the public. Marijuana is illegal under Federal law and is classified as a “Schedule 1” drug which means that the federal government views cannabis as highly addictive with no medical value.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that “The epidemiological and preclinical data suggests that the use of marijuana in adolescence could influence multiple addictive behaviors in adulthood”. New York State is currently battling an Opioid epidemic with law enforcement and public health professionals on the frontline and it would be counterintuitive to condone the use of marijuana.

Aside from the numerous health related issues with the use of marijuana, we are concerned with how the legalization will impact public safety. Of great concern is traffic safety. New York has been making great strides in lowering traffic fatalities to the lowest numbers on record. In comparing data in Colorado (which legalized marijuana in 2013), the first year that marijuana was legalized traffic fatalities increased 62% in that one year.

The detection of impairment by drugs on the roadside must be performed by a certified Drug Recognition Expert, which is a law enforcement officer that has undergone at least two weeks of classroom training and an additional one week of practical field training. It is anticipated that law enforcement would have to add approximately 650 new Drug Recognition Experts to handle the necessity of the increase in suspected impaired drivers.

Most law enforcement agencies within New York State have twenty or less members.  Without the appropriate funding from the State, the financial impact could be crippling to some municipalities.

In addition to the need for new DRE’s, legalizing regulated marijuana would necessitate retiring a large majority of Police K-9 dogs that are trained to detect marijuana, as their detection capabilities would no longer be admissible in court. The replacement of these K-9 officers could easily take 5-7 years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There has not been ample time or studies conducted in order to see what pitfalls may arise should marijuana be legalized in the state of New York. Only after bringing all stakeholders together for meetings, studies and dialog can an educated, informed decision be made.

Once again, I must emphasize that the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police is in opposition to the legalization of marijuana.  I urge the State to proceed cautiously, learning from other states that have already suffered the deleterious effects of this decision, before moving forward with legalization in New York State.

Sincerely,

Chief John Aresta

President

New York State Association of Chiefs of Police

FRAUD ADVISORY: IG WARNS PUBLIC ABOUT FRAUDULENT PHONE CALLS THREATENING ARREST OR OTHER LEGAL ACTION

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2018
 
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority.
 
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to receive reports from across the country about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA.  Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls.  The callers state, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number (SSN) or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number to address the issue.  This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information.
 
SSA employees do contact citizens, generally those who have ongoing business with SSA, by telephone for customer-service purposes.  However, SSA employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up
 
“Unfortunately, scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people, including scaring them into thinking that something is wrong with their Social Security account and they might be arrested,” Stone said.  “I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence.  We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”
 
The OIG recently warned that some of these impersonation calls have “spoofed” SSA’s national customer service phone number, displaying 1-800-772-1213 as the incoming number on caller ID.
 
The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
 
For more information, please visit https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/scam-awareness For media inquiries, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, OIG’s Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2018

CONTACT: President Michael Lefancheck - mlefancheck@nychiefs.org

In this press release, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police (NYSACOP) expresses its concern about the current opiate crisis and its support for the enactment of the NYS Drug Take Back Act bill to combat the problem.  

For more information, please view the press release by clicking here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2018

CONTACT: President Michael Lefancheck - mlefancheck@nychiefs.org

In this press release, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police (NYSACOP) expresses its concern about a guest speaker, Sekou Odinga, appearing at Niagara University, NY on April 11th, 2018.  

For more information, please view the press release by clicking here.

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