Public safety should not be a partisan issue

Staff Writer
Wayne Post
Brian Kolb

The most important function of state government is to keep people safe. Public safety is the foundation. We can’t educate our children, create new jobs or even go about our daily routines if we can’t rely on law and order. We can’t build a stronger, more prosperous state out of chaos and lawlessness.

You wouldn’t think that would be a controversial opinion. You would think public safety would be a bipartisan priority. You might feel differently, however, if you’d been in Albany recently.

During this week’s correction committee meeting, Democrats voted against a series of Republican bills. They voted against a bill that would protect our correction officers by establishing safe-staffing standards in our correctional facilities. They voted against a bill that would improve the contraband screening process and keep weapons and drugs out of our prisons. They even voted against our bill preventing registered sex offenders from living within 1,350 feet of schools.

These are recent, concrete examples of a broader, troubling pattern — partisan politicians on the left have turned their backs on law enforcement and crime victims and continually cater to criminals and inmates.

“Defund the police” isn’t just a slogan for radical Democrats. Sen. Ramos called for it on the Senate Floor. Democrats have ignored the pleas of district attorneys, law enforcement officials and crime victims from across the state who know we need to repeal their dangerous changes to our bail laws. Democrats won’t pass Brittany’s Law, legislation that would create a violent offender registry and protect New Yorkers from violent criminals. Instead, they’ll allow domestic abusers to walk out of their arraignments and back on to the street with no possibility for pre-trial detention.

This administration has paroled cop-killers and terrorists. This administration pardoned sex offenders and restored their voting rights so they could cast their ballots in schools across the state.

In New York City, Mayor de Blasio bragged about cutting the NYPD budget by $1 billion at a time when shootings are up 63% over last year. It’s not just a downstate issue. In Rochester, homicides are up 40%.

We need dedicated, principled police officers now more than ever. It’s a shame that radical politicians on the left are willing to demonize their entire profession just to score cheap political points. The disrespect and hostility toward law enforcement officials who put their lives on the line to protect our families and our communities is disgusting.

Recently, county sheriffs from across the state held a press conference to advocate for legislation that would deter radical leftists from attacking them, increase penalties for resisting arrest and make it a felony to throw dangerous projectiles at officers in the line of duty. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Democrats support our law enforcement officials for a change?

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at 315-781-2030, email me at, or find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook.

New York State Assemblyman Brian Kolb represents the 131st District, which includes Ontario County and part of Seneca County.