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OCTOBER 27, 2015 Goldfeder, Borelli Announce Bill to Track Potentially Violent Criminals

Introduces legislation requiring electronic monitoring of Judicial Diversion Program participants to strengthen accountability following killing of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder


Assemblyman’s legislation a response to reports that alleged killer skipped Judicial Diversion program-mandated court appointments, was unaccounted for by law enforcement despite multiple attempts to locate him in weeks leading up to murder


Far Rockaway, Queens – Heeding the call of various city and state officials for meaningful criminal justice reform in the wake of the killing of NYPD Officer and Rockaway son Randolph Holder, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Far Rockaway) has introduced legislation requiring regular electronic monitoring by enrollees in the state’s new Judicial Diversion Program.

“The Judicial Diversion program allowed this alleged cop killer to slip through the cracks,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “It pains me to think that if law enforcement had been able to find him in the weeks leading up to October 20th, Officer Holder may still be with us. By requiring regular electronic monitoring of program participants, we can ensure that potentially violent offenders are accounted for at all times.”

“There has to be some level of individual responsibility and court oversight over the hundreds of city residents who are placed in diversion programs in lieu of prison. In most cases, these are not these individual’s first offenses, and many, as we have seen, have convictions for violent crimes. The cost of this monitoring program is relatively small in comparison to the cost in man-hours of investigators who must track down the whereabouts of individuals who fail to meet even their most basic requirements of the program, as we saw with Tyrone Howard, who was wanted in connection with further crimes and failed to show up for court appearances,” said Assemblyman Joe Borelli (R – South Shore), a co-sponsor of the bill. “I am glad to stand with Assemblyman Goldfeder on this in the Assembly and will soon work as a member of the Council towards having this funded and included in the city’s proposed bail reform package.”

This week, Goldfeder introduced legislation amending the state’s Criminal Procedure Law to require the use of “continuous electronic monitoring” for all participants in the Judicial Diversion program. Goldfeder’s bill was spurred by reports that Officer Holder’s alleged killer Tyrone Howard had missed a September court appearance as part of his participation in the program. According media sources, a warrant was issued on September 17th and law enforcement officials subsequently attempted to locate Howard on at least eight separate occasions in the weeks leading up to Officer Holder’s October 20th murder.

According to the New York State Office of Court Administration, approximately 550 people are currently enrolled in the Judicial Diversion Program in New York City, with 29 people residing in Queens County. Under the program, each enrollee can be subject to periodic court appearances as prescribed by law.

The Judicial Diversion program was created in 2009 as part of the state’s landmark reforms to the decades-old Rockefeller drug laws. Under the program, felony offenders facing non-violent charges that have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse can be diverted to substance abuse treatment programs in lieu of jail or probation. In addition to regular court appearances, enrollees attend treatment sessions and are subjected to periodic drug testing. The program typically lasts a minimum of six months.

Goldfeder has stated that his legislation is not intended to scrap the program, but rather to strengthen it. The Assemblyman has pointed out that as many as 40 states employ electronic monitoring for at least one type of offense, and that California requires criminals with known gang affiliations to submit to monitoring. It is believed that Officer Holder’s alleged killer had possible gang affiliations.

According to Goldfeder, implementing the program would cost little to the state as costs associated with electronic monitoring are generally borne by the wearer. In New York State, courts are known to apply supervision charges to wearers. Under California’s program, the cost is about $21 per day. For Goldfeder, this is a small price to pay to improve the program.

“This small, common sense approach will go a long way in improving safety in our city so that these tragic mistakes are not repeated in the future,” concluded Goldfeder.



The installation of a brand new wooden fishing platform and gravel access road come as a result of Assemblyman Borelli’s 2014 request to determine the potential of opening the pond to fishing


Assemblyman Borelli (R – South Shore) is happy to announce that the first phase of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) project, part of Governor Cuomo’s $6 million initiative to increase accessibility at state parks, at Mount Loretto Unique Area has been completed, allowing access to the pond on the Hylan Boulevard side of the property via a newly constructed, wooden fishing platform.

Borelli had requested that the pond located in the Mount Loretto Unique Area off of Hylan Blvd in Tottenville be made accessible to the public, and that a study be initiated to determine the pond’s potential for fishing. A gravel path has also been installed leading from the parking lot to the fishing platform and pond in order to provide easy access to the pond for licensed catch and release anglers and nature observers.

The project is still ongoing, and will ultimately include a widening of the current parking lot off of Hylan Boulevard to accommodate more vehicles. At the request of Assemblyman Borelli, the DEC will also consider the need to stock the pond with fish that are indigenous to the area and beneficial to the ecology of this preserved space, which is home to and visited by many rare animals, including bald eagles.

“I’m proud of the work that has been done by the DEC in a relatively short period of time, and I’m grateful that they have been so responsive to our requests for additional access. As a Staten Islander and a fisherman, I’m excited to get my line in the water and enjoy another aspect of this wonderful preserved area,” said Borelli. “I, like so many others, anxiously await the completion of this project and the additional utilization that this unique area will receive from the south shore community.”