Funding our First Responders
Even in these tough economic times, it is vital that we fully fund our first responders. Firehouses and police precincts cannot go underfunded when they protect our community and our families. In the State Senate, José Peralta will fight to make sure our local police, such as the 110th and 115th precincts, and fire companies such as Engine Companies 289, 307, and 316 and Ladder Companies 138 and 154 receive the funding necessary to preserve and improve our safety.
Improving Community-Police Relations
While it is important to recognize the vital role the NYPD plays in keeping us safe, it is equally important to understand that there is more that can be done to increase the positive relationship between the NYPD and our community.
The 13th Senatorial District has a both large Latino and immigrant populations, with a large portion of the Latino population comprised of recent immigrants. In fact, well over half of the 318,000 residents of the district are Latino, from countries as diverse as Columbia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. An area where police-community relations can be improved is with this immigrant community. Many recent immigrants are afraid to report crimes to the police for fear of being deported.
In the State Senate, José Peralta will increase funding to programs and outreach entities like the New Immigrant Outreach Unit, which works to improve police-community relations, especially when it comes to immigrant populations. The New Immigrant Outreach Unit needs more funding and more comprehensive training is needed for all police officers in precincts located in densely populated undocumented immigrant communities. Police officers should engage in direct dialogue with the newly arrived immigrant population in our community.
Putting an End to Domestic Violence
According to a new NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) report, the rate of homicides related to Domestic Violence increased by 7.3% in New York State from 2007 to 2008. In New York City, the domestic homicide rate increased by 2.7% during the same time. In Queens, domestic violence murders shot up an astounding 18% in the past year. This is a crisis that has to stop.
In the Senate, José Peralta will be a staunch advocate for women, children and families and will fight for tougher penalties against domestic violence offenders and stronger protections for victims. To punish offenders, José will support increased jail time and mandate the registration of convicted repeat domestic violence predators.
To protect victims, José will support legislation to require insurance companies to give victims the option of registering alternative contact information needed to receive bills and claims so that their abuser cannot find them. He will also sponsor legislation allowing victims to sue their abusers in Civil Court, prohibit job and housing discrimination, and require employers to give victims of domestic violence time off from work to get help.