In a series of coordinated press conferences, New York State Sheriffs presented a number of legislative proposals aimed at protecting law-enforcement personnel and the public they serve. These proposals were the result of weeks of conversations among Sheriffs about the recent confrontations between police and the public across the nation.

"Officers are trained in de-escalation, but that requires cooperation on both sides," noted State Sheriffs’ Association President Jeffrey Murphy, Washington County Sheriff. "An officer's split-second reaction to a perceived threat perhaps may later be thought all wrong. There is a time and place to question an officer's actions, but not in the middle of the street when the officer is under pressure to control a situation on behalf of the public's safety."

Two of the ten legislative proposals presented include increasing the felony level for those who resist arrest and for those who fail to retreat or halt when ordered by a police officer. Another six proposals address related crimes against officers such as assault, aggravated harassment, criminal doxing and stalking of officers.

Additionally, Sheriffs encouraged the legislature to recognize and highlight the work done by law-enforcement personnel by passing a $500,000 disability and death benefit and designating May 15 of each year as a state holiday - Police Memorial Day - to honor the more than 1,500 officers who have died in the line of duty to New York State.

"We call upon the Legislature and the Governor to enact these proposals in recognition of the sad fact that, in the performance of their difficult and dangerous work, too many of police officers lose their lives," said President Murphy.