Officer fears increased response times due to new criminal justice reforms

New York News

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The president of the Troy Police Benevolent Association worries officers will be so tied down with paperwork it will prevent them for getting back on the road. 

The evidence portion of the reforms include providing automatic discovery for defendants, disclosing witness information, and getting almost everything done within a 15 day time frame.

In addition to response times, PBA President Nicholas Laviano worries the new reforms will keep witnesses and confidential informants from coming forward. 

“There are people who want to cooperate with the police but if you’re going to make it that much harder for them to do that, then why would you even want to come forward?” Laviano told News10 on Thursday. 

Not all think the reforms are a bad idea. Some defense attorneys say it levels the playing field for those accused of crimes. It also prevents police and prosecutors from withholding information or evidence that is not explicitly requested.

Defense attorney Stephen Coffey has heard complaints coming from District Attorneys offices across the area about having to do more work in a shorter amount of time. He says lawyers need to earn their money. 

“You’re paid sometimes quite well if you’re a public servant,” Coffey told News10. “It’s what’s you’re paid to do. If they’ve got to work a little extra, or got to do a little more digging, then they should do it. It’s what taxpayers are paying them for as public servants to do.”

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