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New York state legislates teaching police to recognize hate crimes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs bill sponsored by Jewish lawmakers that comes as anti-Semitic incidents in particular are on the rise in NYC

Illustrative: A police officer patrols a mostly the ultra-Orthodox Jewish section of the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, May 23, 2008. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)
Illustrative: A police officer patrols a mostly the ultra-Orthodox Jewish section of the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, May 23, 2008. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

NEW YORK (JTA) — New York state police officers must be trained in how to recognize and respond to hate crimes under a new law.

The bill comes as hate crimes in general — and anti-Semitic incidents in particular — are on the rise in New York City.

Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn have seen a string of assaults and vandalism directed at Jews and Jewish institutions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure on Monday. Its chief sponsors are State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic of the New York City borough of Queens and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky of Long Island, both Jewish lawmakers.

“Hatred has no place in New York State and we will continue taking aggressive measures to stamp out hate whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head,” Cuomo said in a statement.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses a regional summit of governors on public health issues in New York, October 17, 2019. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

The bill instructs the state Division of Human Rights and Hate Crimes Task Force to develop procedures for training law enforcement to handle hate crimes. It does not detail exactly what the training will entail.

“With the steady surge of hate crimes across New York, there is little room for complacency,” Rozic said in a statement. “This new law will equip local law enforcement with the proper tools to identify, report, and respond to these crimes that continue to divide and instill widespread fear.”

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