NY Senate Leader: de Blasio Insensitive About Police

ALBANY (AP) -
Police Commissioner William Bratton on Wednesday speaks at the NYPD swearing-in ceremony at Queens College. Mayor Bill de Blasio is on his left. (Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)
Police Commissioner William Bratton on Wednesday speaks at the NYPD swearing-in ceremony at Queens College. Mayor Bill de Blasio is on his left. (Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)

The Republican leader of the New York state Senate said Wednesday Mayor Bill de Blasio should “be more sensitive” when it comes to the city’s police officers.

Sen. Dean Skelos says his chamber will make police safety a priority following the shooting deaths of two New York police officers last month. The Senate plans to hold hearings to review how to improve training, equipment and benefits to help police.

The Long Island Republican criticized de Blasio, who has been under attack by the police union for his handling of protests against alleged police misconduct.

“We have to show strong support for our police officers, and our (GOP) conference will do it,” Skelos said.

Democrats who control the Assembly, meanwhile, plan to hold hearings on criminal justice reforms after the Cuomo administration makes proposals expected to address alleged police misconduct and perceptions by minorities that they are treated unfairly.

“They’re doing police safety,” Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said of the Senate. “That’s not criminal justice reform.” Lentol, a Williamsburg Democrat, chairs the Assembly Codes Committee that will hold hearings.

However, Skelos said he doesn’t believe the New York Police Department treats minorities differently than whites.