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Upstate NY Police Union Tells Officers To Steer Clear Of NYC After Police Reform

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An upstate New York police union told officers Thursday to avoid law enforcement activities in New York City after recent policing reforms.

The Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester (APA), which presides over the seventh most populous county in the Empire State, urged officers to enforcing the law in  New York City.

The advice was a response to Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ratification of a police reform bill Wednesday that forbids officers from engaging in choke holds, mandates the public disclosure of disciplinary complaints and opens the door for police officers to be charged for new violations, among other things, according to CBS New York.

“The APA is strongly advising all police officers in Westchester County to avoid any law enforcement activity in New York City if at all possible,” APA president Keith Olson wrote in a press release. “We are also calling on all local Police Chiefs and Commissioners to join us in this message. We cannot have our police officers held criminally or civilly liable for simply doing the job they were trained to do.”

New York City’s new rules for policing followed the city’s decision to cut the New York City Police Department’s budget by $1 billion and disband a prominent plain-clothes anti-crime unit. De Blasio’s choke hold prohibition also includes language that forbids cops from kneeling on an arrestees’ chest or diaphragm, and imposes criminal penalties on officers who use those tactics, according to the New York Post.

Olson said the reforms were “hastily and recklessly” passed into law, according to the APA release.

“This bill, which was hastily and recklessly signed into law by irresponsible elected NYC officials, will now open up all police officers to criminal and civil liability, even if they are executing lawful arrests while using their training and utilizing tactics that are safe and legal in the rest of New York state,” he said.

De Blasio supported the reforms following the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died after a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, video showed. The mayor called the signing of the bill “a powerful day.”

“This is a powerful day. Powerful day for so many reasons. And it’s a moment when you can feel change coming,” de Blasio said.

Vice president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), a NYC-based police union, Vincent Vallelong told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Olson is doing right by his members in releasing the guidelines.

“This letter should send shockwaves to the citizens of New York,” Vallelong told the DCNF in a statement. “I guess the mayor and the city council didn’t take into consideration that the other departments also help fight crime in our city. Keith is doing what is right for his membership.”

The SBA likened the mayor’s reforms to “idiocy” and said they were “harmful” to public safety in a Thursday tweet. (RELATED: ‘Morale Is In The Toilet’: Police Union Officials Wouldn’t Want Their Own Sons In Law Enforcement)

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