Chamber of Commerce’s concerns about bail reform laws

The Utica Chamber of Commerce invited Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol to educate some chamber members about the impact bail reform is having throughout the state, and on businesses.

Posted: Jan 31, 2020 6:20 PM

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol addressed a small group of businesspeople about how he feels the bail reform laws are working. He first informed them about what new laws entail, and then gave examples of how it’s impacting Oneida County. One of the concerns affects local business owners.

"Time after time they’re arresting the same people. Time after time, and they’re giving them a ticket, processing them, and they’re fingerprinting them, and in many cases they’re back at the store again, and they’re stealing again. So again, this has a direct impact on local business."

The City of Rome is experiencing the same problems. Under the new bail reform laws, larceny offenders are given a ticket and released. The defendants are supposed to return to court on their own and face the charges, but Police Chief Kevin Beach believes there needs to be changes to the law sooner rather than later.

"They give them an appearance ticket. They go right back to the stores, and they’re doing it over, and over, and over again. How many times can they do this before these businesses go out? They won’t be around for long if we continue to keep these bail laws like they are."

The Chamber of Commerce will take all the information into consideration before taking any action, but they are hearing about adverse effects the bail reform laws are having across the State, and have concerns of their own. Patrick Becher is the Utica Chamber of Commerce Chairman of Government Affairs. He spoke about the concerns the Chamber is hearing. 

"I think the biggest concern is that it will be a difficult place for businesses to flourish in New York State if people don’t feel safe, if businesses do have to incur losses and have no way to recoup those losses because the perpetrators are constantly being released back into the public to do it again."

The Governor did mention looking at bail reform in the State Budget address, however the Sheriff believes we are fighting a downstate majority controlled legislature, and it’s going to take a good amount of pushback from upstate to see some action.

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