NYS to eliminate cash bail on certain charges, public officials weigh in
(WENY) -- Starting on January 1st of 2020, a judge will be able to set bail for qualified felonies and charges. There will also be non-qualifying charges where a person will be released into the public either on their own recognizance or by appearance ticket. This applies to anyone charged with low-level misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. Bath Village police chief, Chad Mullen, says the new reform will create a lot of work for his department.
"Lots of warrant details," said Mullen. "Lots of us picking up people on warrants and that's going to be a lot. I can tell you that because we're going to have warrants all over the place. Trying to pick these people up, it's going to be a big issue with budget."
This new reform also applies to people already in jail. Chief Mullen says one of the big problems with this bail reform is that it expedites the process of putting criminals back out into the community to potentially commit more crimes.
"You have a robbery or burglary and the person ends up going to the home and they're released," said Mullen. "That means they can go back out into the public and do it again."
According to Mullen, any drug charges will also result in an appearance ticket. WENY News spoke with Chemung County district attorney, Weeden Wetmore, about his thoughts on the new bail reform. When asked, he said he doesn't like it.
"Just making a uniform, blanket statement across all the penal law provisions that say hey if you do this crime you can't be held," said Wetmore. "We disagree with that and I think it's going to cause a lot of concern."