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View Diary: New York Senate Passes Bill Making ANY "Aggravated Contact" a Felony Punishable by 4 Years (23 comments)

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  •  Costs? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, sceptical observer

    I wonder why anyone thought that this "harassment" was a problem.  Why would legislators think that arrestees have been trying to piss off the police for that bit of extra enforcement we all know officers are primed to deliver?  If this came from an organization of cops, I would be surprised because cops know they can always find an excuse to make an arrest.  From prosecutors, maybe ....  Most likely, though, is that it came from legislators themselves, looking to bolster their resumes by sponsoring some "tough on crime" bills that they can tout during the next election.  And, if that is right, then the way to stop it, seems to me to be tying the consequences to the bill - in this case the fiscal consequences.  Opponents would do well to require a fiscal note attached to the measure, describing a realistic increased arrest rate, with attendant costs of jailing, prosecuting, and imprisoning these otherwise non-criminal people.  I would expect estimated costs to reach well into seven figures, perhaps eight.  The sponsors' base may be OK with the civil rights implications of the measure, but I would be willing to bet they won't like the idea that they have to pay for it.

    •  IDEOLOGY (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nattiq, markthshark

      Like marijuana prohibition: it costs over $20 billion a year, accomplishes nothing but is HUGELY popular with law enforcement and their over-paid lobbyists.

      Money does NOT matter where people's egos and ideologies are concerned.

      •  There may be an urban rural divide here too (0+ / 0-)

        I was born and raised in Upstate NY.  I have a brother, sister, and daughter living in rural Upstate NY - where I am reasonably sure the sponsors of this legislation come from.  I think I have seen this act before.  Trying to have an ideological argument with these legislators is a recipe for frustration.  Short of those Representatives hearing a giant booming voice from the heavens along the lines reportedly heard by Noah, they will not change the way they think.  However, if their opponents can frame the questions before the legislature properly, the troglodytes who wrote and sponsored this bill will change what they do.  

        Money may not matter in the abstract, but when it is their constituents' money, and they know that their constituents will learn of these costs through simple declarative non-partisan attribution in the course of their next campaign, I think it likely that the politicians will see the matter in a whole new light.  

        And I actually know a bunch of cops, with whom I have discussed drug enforcement.  To a man or woman, they view marijuana possession enforcement as a pain in the ass.  They bust drug dealers to make them go away, but when they bust a kid for possession, they see it as making more problems than it solves.  Here's why: There are five officers in our small town, enough for someone to be on duty 24 hours per day, but most of the time there is only one officer on duty.  That pot bust means they have to take the kid (and it is almost always a kid) to the County jail (a 45 minute ride - minimum, one way) and book him, a process that takes about an hour.  Then they ride back, for a total absence of about 2.5 hours, during which either no one is on duty (with the obvious problems) or someone has to be called in on overtime (the Chief is not a fan of officers who cause unscheduled overtime to be used).  In short, an officer who arrests a kid for marijuana possession without some over-riding reason beyond the pot has some explaining to do.    A pattern of those explanations is not a good career move.  

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